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  • Writer's pictureDrago Dragusin

10 LinkedIn Headshots Mistakes to Avoid & How to Choose Yours

Linkedin headshots mistakes

Your LinkedIn profile photo is usually your first impression on potential employers, colleagues, and connections. A captivating and professional headshot can significantly impact your career prospects. However, there are common mistakes that many make when selecting their LinkedIn profile pictures. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the 10 LinkedIn headshot mistakes to avoid and provide valuable insights on how to choose the perfect headshot to enhance your professional image.

The Importance of a Great LinkedIn Headshot

Your LinkedIn headshot is more than just a photo; it's a representation of your personal brand and professionalism. A compelling headshot can:

  • Establish Credibility: A professional headshot conveys trust and competence to your network.

  • Attract Opportunities: A well-chosen headshot can grab the attention of recruiters and potential employers.

  • Enhance Networking: It encourages more connections and engagement with your profile.

  • Show Your Personality: A good headshot can convey your approachability and personality.

Common Linkedin Headshots Mistakes to Avoid

1. Neglecting Professionalism

Your LinkedIn profile is not the place for casual selfies or vacation photos. Avoid using images that are overly casual, blurry, or include distracting backgrounds. Your headshot should reflect a professional demeanor.

2. Poor Lighting

Bad lighting can ruin an otherwise great photo. You need to take your headshot in a well-lit area or invest in studio lighting for a polished look.

Insufficient or harsh lighting can cast unflattering shadows and distort facial features. To avoid this mistake, opt for soft, natural lighting or seek a professional photographer who understands the setup needed for proper lighting.

3. Inappropriate Attire

Wearing the wrong outfit can send the wrong message. Dress professionally, just as you would for an important business meeting. Dress in attire that reflects your industry and the level of professionalism you wish to convey. Dressing professionally is essential.

4. Over-Editing

While a touch of editing can enhance your photo, over-editing can make it look artificial. Keep it natural and avoid excessive retouching.

5. Group Photos

Your LinkedIn profile should feature you alone, not a group. Potential connections should know exactly who they're engaging with.

linkedin headshots mistakes group photos

6. Ignoring Headshot Dimensions

LinkedIn has specific photo size requirements. The suggested LinkedIn profile picture size is 400x400 pixels, with a 1:1 or square aspect ratio. You can go higher than 400x400 but keep in mind that the maximum file size is 8MB. If you don't follow these requirements the photos will be too pixelated or distorted.

7. Lack of Eye Contact

Maintaining eye contact with the camera conveys confidence and approachability. Eye contact can also establish trust. Avoid looking away or appearing distracted. This might show that you are disinterested in your photo.

8. Unprofessional Poses

Choose a pose that exudes professionalism. Avoid overly casual or overly formal stances.

9. Neglecting Background

A cluttered or distracting background can divert attention from you. Opt for a simple and clean backdrop.

10. Using Outdated Photos

Your LinkedIn headshot should represent your current appearance. Using an outdated photo can lead to confusion and mistrust.

Scenario example: I had a person where the recruitement agency said to him that his photo didn't reflect his current appearance. The reason was that his profile photo was over 5 years old.

How to Choose the Perfect LinkedIn Headshot

Now that we've discussed the common mistakes, let's explore how to choose the perfect LinkedIn headshot.

1. Showcase Your Personality

Your headshot should reflect your personality. Smile genuinely and let your warmth shine through.

2. Use a High-Quality Camera

Invest in a high-resolution camera or hire a professional photographer for the best results.

3. Consider the Background

Opt for a clean, uncluttered background that doesn't distract from your face.

4. Seek Feedback

Get opinions from trusted friends or colleagues to help you select the best photo.

5. Update Regularly

As your appearance evolves, so should your LinkedIn headshot. It is recommended to change your profile photo also every time you have a significant change in your hairstyle. On average once every year is a good frequency to maintain accuracy.


Your LinkedIn headshot is a crucial element of your professional image. By avoiding common mistakes and choosing the right headshot, you can make a lasting impression on your network and potential employers. Remember, your headshot speaks volumes about your credibility, approachability, and professionalism. Take the time to select the perfect one to boost your career prospects.

F.A.Q. - Common questions

Q: What's the best outfit for a LinkedIn headshot?

Choose professional attire that aligns with your industry and the image you want to project.

Q: How often should I update my LinkedIn headshot?

Q: Is it worth hiring a professional headshot photographer for Linkedin photos?

Q: Should I smile in my LinkedIn headshot?

About Author

Dragos Dragusin Headshot photographer Chelmsford

I am a headshot photographer with over 7 years of experience in editing and retouching using tools like Photoshop or Lightroom. Whether you're an actor, a performer, a company, or a professional, please do explore the website to see if you'd like us to work together.

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