10 Tips for Your LinkedIn Photo

LinkedIn is the modern job seekers yearbook.

When was the last time you thought about a good head-shot? probably your high school yearbook photo, right? Well, it is time to break out the throw-away black plastic comb and get in line again. (Or just go to a professional photographer and have some nice pictures taken, your choice.)

With the prevalence of social media profiles and their ever-increasing importance for job seekers high quality pictures have become quite important. This is especially true for those of you on LinkedIn. If you do not yet have a profile there, I highly recommend you do. More and more companies are skipping the traditional job listings and going straight to this media.

Your profile photo on LinkedIn is very important. Did you know that profiles with pictures attract 50-70 percent more inquiries than profiles without pictures? That is reason enough to get you in front of a camera.

Here are 10 tips for your LinkedIn photo:
  1. Don’t use an old photo. There are few things worse than meeting someone for the first time and not recognizing them because the profile on their LinkedIn profile is from 10 years ago (or longer)!
  2. Use a photo of you in your profile — don’t use a photo of an object.
  3. Consider using a full body shot of you sitting or standing. At a minimum, your photo should include your head and shoulders, not just a close-up of your face.
  4. Smile! Radiate warmth and approachability in your photo.
  5. Photos should be professionally done, if possible (but not Glamour Shots).
  6. Wear your most complementary color. Bright colors can attract attention, but avoid patterns.
  7. Don’t have other people in your photos (and don’t crop other people out of your shot — there should not be any errant body parts in your LinkedIn photo!).
  8. Make sure the background in the photo isn’t distracting.
  9. Relax. Look directly at the camera.
  10. Take multiple shots and ask people their opinion on which one makes you seem most “approachable.”
Bonus Tips:
  • Tips for Men: Wear a dark blue or black dress shirt. No t-shirts or Hawaiian shirts. No busy or crazy patterns.
  • Tips for Women: Wear something you feel comfortable in. No t-shirts. No big or busy patterns. Soft, dark v-necks look great. Black always works; avoid white. If possible, your hair and makeup should be professionally done.
So step up to the camera and say cheese. It may just be the first step towards landing a new job.