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Is a Good Profile Picture Critical to Success on LinkedIn?

All social media networks provide you with an opportunity to add a picture to your profile. Your profile picture will be the first thing that people look at when you come up in a search, or they see one of your posts online. Your profile picture can is the starting point to getting someone to click on your profile, read it, connect with you, and ultimately lead to building a mutually beneficial professional relationship. So no pressure right??

Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when picking out the perfect profile picture on Linkedin.


Linkedin is not Facebook

The profile you put on LinkedIn should (in some cases) be different than your Facebook profile in terms of your image. You can’t just have any old image on LinkedIn. Linkedin is considered to be the social network for professionals and in order to be successful on Linkedin, you need to adapt your profile accordingly.

On Linkedin you’ll want to showcase yourself as a professional, confident and trustworthy business person. There’s no room for poor “casual” or absent images on Linkedin. Here are some examples of both high quality and poor images on LinkedIn.

Poor LinkedIn Images

  • A picture of you in your ball cap by your sports car
  • An image of you, the kids, your wife, and dog
  • An image of you holding your new baby
  • An image of you in a stained old shirt
  • A picture of you with extremely messy hair
  • An image of you with a three day beard
  • A picture of you and your friends raising wine glasses in a toast
  • A picture of you in a low cut top

Proper High Quality Images

  • An image of you in a business suit smiling
  • A head shot that has a smile done at a professional studio
  • You wearing clean clothing, with nice hair
  • You with a clean shaved beard

The whole idea is to use the most professional image you can on LinkedIn. A business suit and a nice smile is going to go a long way to showing that you are a business person and looking for new contacts. Try to make the image you put on LinkedIn the best it can be because you want to present yourself in the best way possible on this site.


Things you can do in order to get a great picture


1.) Take LOTS of shots

If you ever ask a professional photographer, they take hundreds of shots in order to find that one perfect one. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or colleague that you are comfortable with help you out with this. After you snap off the first few you’ll notice that you get more relaxed and you’ll be much more likely to get that natural happy look captured by the camera.

2.) Consider the background

In most cases a plan background is best. You want the focus to be YOU in the picture. Your profile picture will be your first impression with people viewing your profile and you’ll want to be able to offer them a picture that can they can connect with.

3.) Don’t over accessorize

If your outside, take off your sunglasses and make sure you are smiling. A good smile is going to go a long way to making your image credible on LinkedIn. Just remember, you won’t know who might find your profile online and you want to put your professional self forward not your “casual” self.

4.) Black & White is a classic

If you are struggling to find a photo that you truly love of yourself, try looking through them again in Black and White. Often, people feel that this can really help to enhance the photos.

5.) Wider angles

Another great solution may be to stay farther away from the camera and take a shot of yourself doing what you love to do professionally. For example, a picture of a chief in the kitchen with their white jacket and chief hat on would make a great profile picture. This picture would immediately convey what that profile was about. Not all professions open themselves up to be able to do this, but it’s something to keep in mind.


Are there any risks?

One question that is always asked, is: “Should I worry about being discriminated against because of my picture?”

While I understand this question, the simple fact is that you will be subject to judgements and discrimination at every level of your profile. It may be your age, your physical features, your race, your professional degree, education, previous experience, or whatever. The one thing that I CAN guarantee you is that if choose not to even “play the game”… then you have already lost.

Want to learn more?

If you want to Start Taking Advantage of Linkedin to Successfully network with high-profile individuals, Stand out from the crowd and start getting job offers I would highly recommend you getting Linkedinfluence. An online course that shows you exactly how you can use Linkedin to accomplish these goals and more!


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