There are some seriously bad profile photos on LinkedIn. See 29 LinkedIn Photo Mistakes To Avoid to see examples of what I mean.
The core rule? Your photo should allow us to recognize you in real life. There are a lot of things you could do beyond that, but that’s the main rule that will keep you safe. Here’s how to make it happen:
- Face the camera. Don’t show us your back, side, or backside. It doesn’t mean you have to be 100% beaming the camera, but if I meet you face to face and I’m shaking your hand and I can’t recognize you from your photo because you were turned or not even facing your photo, that’s a problem.
- Don’t wear sunglasses. Are there exceptions? Sure, but unless wearing sunglasses is part of your personal brand and you’re always wearing them, then don’t.
- Get close. If I can see your entire body from head to toe in your LinkedIn photo, that means your face is too small for me to recognize easily. Something between just your face showing and your head to your waist is about right.
- Light it up. Come out of the shadows and let us see you. Don’t just avoid a dark room when taking a photo, but also shadows from tree branches or wires, and never, ever, put yourself between the camera and a window.
- Look sharp. Your photo should be at least 400 x 400 pixels at 72 dpi. It not should be blurry in the least.
- Stay current. How old is your photo? Mine is 3-4 years old, but luckily I’ve been blessed with a timeless beauty that…ah, who am I kidding? I need a new photo. If yours is more than 3-4 years old you probably do too.
- Beware the background. If you have black hair and stand in front of a black background, you may end up looking bald. Lighting, focus, color, and contrast are great friends, and dangerous enemies.
- Dress the part. If your audience on LinkedIn is most likely to meet you in real life in a professional setting where you will be dressed professionally, then dress that way in your photo.
- Be yourself. That is, don’t use a group photo. No wedding photos. No bro photos of you and your buddies. No family photos. No work team photos. No sports team photos. No pets! Just you, by yourself.
- Bonus tip: Brush your teeth and smile.
What rules would you give a LinkedIn newb on how to get a good photo for their profile?Liked it? Share it!