5 Tips for Picking the Right LinkedIn Profile Picture

by Sandy Balzer

posted on 08-21-2017

LinkedIn is a 2017 MAX partner. We’d like to thank all our 2017 MAX partners who help make the conference possible.

Your profile picture can be one of the most important elements of your LinkedIn presence. Our research shows that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. This means that this little, square image is your first chance to make a good impression on prospective employers and is a key element of your brand.

Typically, we’d recommend having a professional photographer take your headshot. A professional will make sure the lighting is flattering and that you are putting your best foot (or rather face) forward. On average, this will cost you between $200-$400.

However, if you don’t have the budget, don’t fret. Here are 5 tips to help you pick a strong photo from the ones you already have:

1. Choose a photo that looks like you.
Don’t roll your eyes at me. I’m serious. Have you ever had the experience of first seeing someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn picture online and then meeting them in person only to find that they look completely different (for better…or for worse)? If yes, you know it can be startling and even make you question their credibility.

So, make sure your LinkedIn profile picture is up-to-date (within the past few years) and reflects how you look on a daily basis – your hair, glasses, makeup, etc.

2. Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame.
Don’t be the guy that has a picture of himself on top of a distant mountain peak. It’s very cool that your outdoorsy (me too!) but I have no idea what you look like.

Crop the picture from the top of your shoulders to just above your head so that your face fills the frame and shows off that pretty smile.

3. Choose the right expression.
As Tyra Banks would say: smile with your eyes. Really. As a recruiter, you want to appear warm and friendly. You don’t have to wear a big goofy grin if that feels unnatural, but don’t look too serious (aka scary). Exude approachability. That way, candidates will be able to imagine having a pleasant conversation with you.

4. Wear what you’d wear to work.
Wear clothes that match the level of dressiness at your office. If you work at a startup and wear sweats everyday (jealous), you should probably step it up a notch. You don’t want to be over or underdressed.
Also, note that solid colors tend to do best on camera (step away from that Hawaiian shirt).

5. Choose a background that isn’t distracting.
After you put all that effort into having the perfect expression, you don’t want anything to distract from your face. Keep the background simple so that you are the focal point.

What having a great profile picture means for you

To increase your response and referral rates, invest in your profile picture. It’s your first chance to communicate that you are friendly, likeable, and trustworthy. These attributes are crucial to getting prospects to engage with you. Think of it as your first step to building your personal brand on LinkedIn and making yourself stand out from other recruiters.

But, no need to stop there – for more tips on how to polish up your profile and build your personal brand on LinkedIn, download our free eBook: 6 Steps to Building Your Recruiter Brand on LinkedIn.
* image by Allen Lee

Topics: Adobe MAX, Creative Inspiration & Trends