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  • Writer's pictureDrago Dragusin

LinkedIn Profile Picture Do's and Don'ts + Tips from a Professional Headshot Photographer


linkedin profile photo headshots dos and don'ts












Dos : Creating a Great LinkedIn Profile Photo

  • Choose a Recent and Updated Photo

  • Convey Approachability and Professionalism

  • Use Proper Composition, Neutral Background and Lighting

  • Reflect Your Career and Industry

  • Keep it Simple and Authentic

  • Focus on the face and shoulders

  • Color photography (not black and white)

  • Ask help from a professional photographer for best results

Don'ts : Mistakes to Avoid in Your LinkedIn Profile Photo

  • Avoid Party Photos and Unprofessional Attire

  • Steer Clear of Overly Serious or Intense Expressions

  • Don't use a Group Photo

  • Say No to Filters and Odd Angles

  • Don't Use Dating Profile-Like Photos

  • Avoid busy backgrounds

  • Don't use outdated or low-quality images

  • Don't be too far away from the camera

  • Don't use a Selfie


Additional Tips for an Outstanding LinkedIn Profile Photo

  • Use High-Quality Resolution and Clarity

  • Consider Professional Headshots for Added Impact

  • Highlight Your Personality and Character

  • Showcase Your Professional Environment

  • Exclude Children, Spouses, and Pets

  • Steer clear of distracting accessories

Choosing the right LinkedIn profile headshot can be challenging. A good headshot can help you stand out from the crowd, but a poor one can be a turnoff. It's important to have a professional-looking photo that accurately represents you and your brand. In this post, we'll cover LinkedIn Profile Picture Do's and Don'ts to prepare better for a LinkedIn profile headshot that will help you make a great first impression. We'll also provide some tips on how to take a great photo that you can use on your LinkedIn profile.



LinkedIn Profile Picture Do's : Creating a Great LinkedIn Profile Photo


Choose a Recent and Updated Photo

When selecting a profile photo for LinkedIn, it's crucial to choose one that is recent and accurately represents your current appearance. Using an outdated photo can create confusion and fail to reflect your professional growth. Keep your photo updated, reflecting any changes in your appearance, such as a new hairstyle or glasses.


Convey Approachability and Professionalism

Your LinkedIn profile photo should strike a balance between approachability and professionalism. Opt for a friendly and engaging facial expression that conveys confidence and approachability. A warm smile can go a long way in creating a positive first impression. Avoid intense or overly serious expressions that may come across as unapproachable.


Use Proper Composition, Background and Lighting

Composition and lighting play a crucial role in creating a visually appealing profile photo. Follow these guidelines to ensure your photo is well-composed and well-lit:

  • Proportions: Make sure your face occupies at least half of the frame, allowing viewers to see you clearly. Avoid extreme close-ups or photos taken from too far away.

  • Background: Choose a solid or blurred background that doesn't distract from your face. A cluttered or busy background can take the focus away from you.

  • Lighting: Good lighting is essential for a high-quality photo. Natural light is often the best option, so consider taking your photo outdoors or near a well-lit window. Avoid harsh shadows or overexposure. Experiment with different lighting conditions to find the most flattering one.

Reflect Your Career and Industry

Your LinkedIn profile photo should align with your professional image and the industry you work in. Consider the following factors when selecting your photo:

  • Attire: Dress professionally in a shirt with a solid color and avoid busy patterns. Choose clothing that reflects the level of formality in your industry. For example, if you work in a corporate environment, opt for business attire, while a more casual industry may allow for business casual attire.

  • Environment: If relevant to your career, consider including elements of your professional environment in your photo. For example, if you work in healthcare, a photo taken in a hospital setting can help establish your expertise and credibility.

Keep it Simple and Authentic

Simplicity and authenticity are key when it comes to choosing a LinkedIn profile photo. Avoid using excessive filters, gimmicks, or odd angles that may distract or misrepresent your true self. Your photo should be an accurate representation of who you are professionally and should align with your personal branding.


Focus on the face and shoulders

Make sure your head and shoulders are clearly visible in the frame, allowing others to easily recognize you. Keep the focus on your face by avoiding excessive props or distractions in the photo.


Ask help from a professional photographer for best results

A photographer can help you with multiple factors like: posing, lighting setup, capturing photo with a professional camera, editing or retouching.


LinkedIn Profile Picture Don'ts : Mistakes to Avoid in Your LinkedIn Profile Photo

While it's important to know what to do when selecting your LinkedIn profile photo, it's equally important to be aware of the common mistakes to avoid. Here are some don'ts to keep in mind:


Avoid Party Photos and Unprofessional Attire

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, so it's best to avoid using photos that are clearly taken at parties or social events. Photos of you holding drinks or in casual attire can send the wrong message and may not be suitable for your professional image. Stick to photos that convey professionalism and align with the expectations of the platform.


unprofessional linkedin profile photo night out









Steer Clear of Overly Serious or Intense Expressions

While it's important to appear professional in your LinkedIn profile photo, avoid overly serious or intense expressions. These types of expressions can come across as unapproachable or intimidating. Aim for a friendly and approachable demeanor that reflects your personality and makes others feel comfortable reaching out to you.


Don't use a group photo

Cropping out other people from a photo may seem like a quick fix, but it can lead to a negative impression. Cropped photos can look unprofessional and leave viewers wondering about the missing person. It's best to choose a photo where you are the main focus and avoid any confusion or distractions.


dont use a group photo for linkedin profile photo











Say No to Filters and Odd Angles

LinkedIn is a professional platform, so it's best to avoid using filters or odd angles that distort your appearance. Stick to natural and authentic photos that accurately represent your professional image. Filters and odd angles can create an unprofessional or unrealistic impression.


Don't Use Dating Profile-Like Photos

LinkedIn is not a dating platform, so avoid using photos that resemble dating profile pictures. Leave out romantic or dreamy poses and focus on projecting professionalism and credibility. Save the beach or vacation photos for your personal social media accounts.


Avoid busy backgrounds

Avoid patterns, cluttered environments, or distracting elements that take away from the focus on your face.


Don't use outdated or low-quality images

Ensure your photo accurately represents your current appearance and is of high quality.


Don't be too far away from the camera

If you are too far away your face won't be showing in a clear way. People need to easily see your face . For the scenario below if the resolution is high you could crop the photo closer until shoulders or closer to the neck area.

linkedin profile photo too far away distant








Don't use a Selfie

This type of photo might be ok to use on other platforms like Instagram or Facebook but not on Linkedin. Linkedin can connect people with top leaders in different industries.

no selfie linkedin bad profile photo








Additional Tips for an Outstanding LinkedIn Profile Photo

In addition to the dos and don'ts mentioned above, here are some extra tips to help you create an outstanding LinkedIn profile photo:


Use High-Quality Resolution and Clarity

Ensure that your photo is of high resolution and clarity. Blurry or pixelated images can give the impression of unprofessionalism. The photo should be sharp and clear, allowing viewers to see your face and features easily.


Consider Professional Headshots for Added Impact

If you have the budget, consider investing in a professional headshot. Professional photographers have the expertise to capture your best angles and create a polished image that showcases your professionalism. A professional headshot can make a significant difference in the overall impression you make on LinkedIn.


Highlight Your Personality and Character

While professionalism is important, don't be afraid to let your personality shine through in your LinkedIn profile photo. A genuine smile, confident posture, or subtle props related to your interests or hobbies can add a touch of personality and make your photo more memorable. Just ensure that these elements align with your professional image and are appropriate for your industry.


Showcase Your Professional Environment

If appropriate for your career, consider incorporating elements of your professional environment into your profile photo. For example, if you work in a laboratory, a photo taken in a lab setting can help establish your expertise and credibility. This can also provide context and reinforce your professional identity.


Exclude Children, Spouses, and Pets

While your loved ones are an important part of your life, they do not belong in your LinkedIn profile photo. Keep the focus solely on yourself and your professional image. Including children, spouses, or pets can distract from your personal brand and may not be perceived as professional.


Steer Clear of Distracting Accessories

Avoid wearing hats, sunglasses, or any other accessories that might distract from your face. These items can cast shadows or cover parts of your face, making it difficult for others to see your features clearly. Opt for a clean and unobstructed view of your face.



Conclusion for LinkedIn Profile Picture Do's and Don'ts

By following the dos and don'ts outlined in this guide, you can create a professional and impactful photo that captures the attention of potential employers, clients, and colleagues.

Remember to choose a recent and updated photo, convey approachability and professionalism, use proper composition and lighting, reflect your career and industry, and keep your photo simple and authentic. Avoid common mistakes like party photos, unprofessional attire, overly serious expressions, cropping out other people, filters, and odd angles.

By selecting a compelling LinkedIn profile photo and incorporating these tips, you'll enhance your professional image, increase your visibility, and make a lasting impression in the competitive world of LinkedIn. So, go ahead, put your best face forward, and watch your LinkedIn profile soar!

If you want to get the best quality for your Linkedin profile photo talk to a professional LinkedIn profile photo photographer to help you, and your LinkedIn profile will become a key tool in your career.


F.A.Q. - Common questions for a Linkedin headshot session

Q: What are the fundamental do's and don’ts for a professional LinkedIn profile picture?

Do's : Creating a Great LinkedIn Profile Photo

  • Choose a Recent + Updated Photo

  • Convey Approachability and Professionalism

  • Use Proper Composition, Neutral Background and Good Lighting

  • Reflect Your Career and Industry

  • Keep it Simple + Authentic

  • Ask help from a professional photographer for best results

Don'ts : Mistakes to Avoid in Your LinkedIn Profile Photo

  • Avoid Party Photos and Unprofessional Attire

  • Steer Clear of Overly Serious or Intense Expressions

  • Don't use a Group Photo

  • Say No to Filters and Odd Angles

  • Don't Use Dating Profile-Like Photos

  • Avoid busy backgrounds

  • Don't use outdated or low-quality images

  • Don't be too far away from the camera

  • Don't use a Selfie

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

Q: How do I maintain a natural expression in my Linkedin photo?

Q: Does my LinkedIn Photo Have to be Taken by a Professional?

Q: How long does a professional Linkedin headshot session typically take?

Q: Should I smile in my LinkedIn headshot?

Q: Is it recommended to use filters or photo editing tools for my LinkedIn profile picture?

Q: Should I use a color or black and white photo for a Linkedin profile?

Q: Can I use a cropped group photo for a profile photo on Linkedin?

About Author

Dragos Dragusin Linkedin Headshot photographer

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. I can help with professional Linkedin Headshots for different types of people.

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