Picture Perfect – 6 Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn Photo Etiquette

24 Feb 2015 by Sarah Leembruggen.

Profiles with a picture stand out and make an immediate impression. A photo will encourage the headhunter to stay on your page and read the rest of your profile. In fact, your profile is 7 times more likely to be clicked on by simply having a profile picture. It indicates not only that you’re a real person, but that you’re active enough on the network to respond to a headhunter’s message.

You want your LinkedIn profile to show what makes you an individual. Your picture needs to be professional but must show good personality and – like the rest of your profile – it shouldn’t be boring and like everyone else’s.

The problem is that many people do not put much effort into their pictures. They pull one from Facebook or Twitter or take a quick selfie. Who is that person next to you that you cropped out? Why are you looking up at the camera? What is your pet doing in the picture?

We have seen our fair share of terrible headshots – the holiday snap, the scary face, the out of date shot, the gratuitous pic taken with a celeb…enough said!

LinkedIn is shining the spotlight on you. Special attention ought to be paid to the selection of your pose, wardrobe and facial expression. A thoughtful, pleasing portrait instantaneously enhances you, pulls people in and motivates them to learn more about you. A poorly composed, pixilated or unflattering photo will quickly deflate visitors to your page. And having no image whatsoever is a deal-breaker – you’ll be instantly ignored.

We asked professional photographer, Tina Bolton, to share a few of her Dos and Don’ts for a winning LinkedIn profile pic.


1. Think carefully about the type of business you are trying to attract, who your clients are and the image you wish to portray.

2. Dress professionally and appropriately for your industry. Let’s say you work in Consumer PR – you will want an edgier look; those in the corporate sector should focus on striking a happy balance between a professional and well-polished image that looks warm and welcoming.

3. Keep the image simple – a plain background with simple lighting is all you need.


1. Use a whole body shot. Most profile images are small so stick to a head and shoulders shot to maximise the impact of your image.

2. Use an old photo or let your photo go out of date. You want people to recognise you when you meet them in person.

3. Use shots taken from a low angle and never ever use a selfie, however good you think it makes you look.

For more great professional photography tips and information, check out Tina’s website -

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