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We have one shot to make a good first impression, and for job seekers online that can be your LinkedIn profile picture. Just as we make quick judgments about others and the images we see, It’s no different for our online profiles. 

Those who view our profiles decide the type of person they think we are based on visual cues. So you want to ensure you influence that person to see you in the most positive way possible.

LinkedIn can be an amazing resource for connecting with people in business. It’s a place where you network, find clients, employers/employees, and more. Therefore, it’s a place where your personal brand needs to shine.

Why Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Matters

LinkedIn research shows that having a picture makes it 14 times more likely that others will view your profile. In fact, put yourself in the shoes of potential employers and recruiters. These are the folks who click through to your LinkedIn profile. What are they looking for? 

The first thing they’ll notice is your photo. Or possibly a lack of one! If you have no photo, their initial thought will likely be “what is this person trying to hide?” And if you have one, but it’s poor quality, they may question how much you care about your career prospects. 

People connect more easily with, believe, and remember content more when it’s accompanied by the author’s photo. They’re more likely to reach out to someone when they can “see” the person. Thus, your photo helps to personalize and humanize your brand-driven content.

Your LinkedIn profile picture matters. It is your calling card on LinkedIn. It’s how people are introduced to you, and visual beings that we are, it guides impressions from the start. Read on for some valuable tips on how you can make your profile stand out visually. 

How to Take a Great LinkedIn Profile Picture Photo

Like most things in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to take your LinkedIn profile picture. These tips will help you make your profile shine by doing things the right way!

The 60% rule

Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame. Using a photo of you with a lot of background, even if it’s a beautiful landscape, is not ideal for LinkedIn. That’s because on LinkedIn you can’t click to enlarge the profile picture. Thus, a distant photo makes it hard for contacts who want to know what you look like. Therefore, it’s important that your face occupies 60% of the space. Crop the picture from the top of your shoulders to just above your head so that your face fills the frame.

Keep in mind that there are two kinds of crops you want to avoid in your LinkedIn profile picture: face only and full body. Instead, opt for the classic head and shoulders composition for your profile photo. It looks great and it’s easy to capture.

Dress like you would for work, not an interview

To convey your professionalism, wear what you would normally wear to work. But not necessarily what you’d wear to an interview! For an interview, you typically dress more formally than you would at work. 

However, when you meet someone in person, it’s likely that you wouldn’t be dressed that way. If you work in an industry where suits and ties are standard dress, that’s fine. But if you’re in a more casual or creative field, dress nicely but in a way that shows some of your personality. Always choose solid colors instead of prints, as they can be distracting.

For more tips on how to dress for a professional headshot, check out this article for men and this one for women

Smile in your LinkedIn profile picture

It can be hard to strike the right balance in your headshot, so some people opt for serious faces. But you can improve your likeability with a great smile. You want your smile to look natural rather than forced. Sometimes a little practice in the mirror can help. Read more about how expressions can impact your headshot

Make eye contact with the camera

Avoid the artsy pose of staring into the distance – this is not that kind of portrait. Remember, when you’re having a conversation, you want to look at the person you’re speaking with. Do the same for your profile viewers and show you’re engaged and ready to connect.

Don’t Forget the Background Photo

Your background photo is the second visual element at the top of your profile page. Thus, you want to make sure it fits with your LinkedIn profile picture and your overall brand. 

Your background photo can grab people’s attention, set context, and show a little more about what matters to you. More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention, and stay memorable. 

To make a good first impression, use the right background for your photo in addition to providing a professional LinkedIn profile picture. A background image size of 1000 pixels by 140 pixels is ideal. Also, avoid using stock images for your background. Choose something meaningful or that connects to your brand, business, or career aspirations. 

Get Started Today

Your LinkedIn profile picture represents you. It tells the world who you are. And with 94% of recruiters screening candidates on LinkedIn, it’s your chance to make a great first impression. 

But don’t fret, you can get your new headshot photo ready and posted within 3 business days! With Heroic Headshots, you’ll take your photo using nothing but your smartphone – and some great pointers. Then our team of world-class editors will retouch the image so it has professional polish. 

And when you’re ready, just remember these key takeaways: 

  • make sure the picture is recent and looks like you
  • make sure your face takes up around 60% of the image
  • wear what you would like to wear to work
  • smile with your eyes!

Now you’re ready to seize the day with an amazing LinkedIn profile picture.