Top 5 Tips For LinkedIn Profile Photos

Apart from the obvious, like really good lighting and equipment), the following are my top 5 tips for making the best impression with your LinkedIn Profile Photograph.

Tip # 1 - Smile or Not To Smile?

It is important to appear competent at your work. Lawyers do not want to look like Realtors and Realtors don't want to look like Accountants. There really is a difference. It is possible to have a profile image that has a combination of competence and approachability with a hint of likeability. The best approach is to smile with your eyes.

Headshots showing one with a smile and the other without a smile
Smile or no smile?

Tip #2 - Plain Background

Using a plain background without distractions ensures that you are the main focus of the image. Don't use chairs, walls or desks as props. These are OK for website imagery but not for LinkedIn. There is such a small space for you to impress your profile visitor so use it to the best of your advantage.

Headshot of a business woman on a white plain background. No distractions in the background is best.

Tip # 3 - Background Colour

Go for the most striking background colour for your skin tone first and then what colour your industry will find acceptable.

Finance, IT and Pharmaceutical typically like the grey, white or navy backgrounds. Marketing venture toward the more striking powder blue, purple or red. Remember, when your client is scrolling thought the LinkedIn page, you want to stand out in a good way!

Headshot of a young Asian man on a blue background
This young man is in the Marketing Industry

Tip # 4 - Crop Above Your Chest

The camera gives you a full framed image such as the one below left but for LinkedIn you'll need to crop this to a 1:1 aspect ratio or square. This will be cropped even tighter now that LinkedIn has made your profile a circle. Consider this when cropping your image.

Your image is best cropped from the chest up. Once you start including more of your body, your face becomes smaller and smaller and you become less significant.

Sub Tip: Have your Photographer provide you with a cropped image already resized for the web so that you avoid the pixelation that will occur by it being cropped otherwise.

Portrait of a business lady showing most of her bodyThe same image of a business lady but this time cropped to a square so her face is more prominent

Tip #5 - Colour or Black and White?

This is a tough one. I've read studies that have determined that the majority of people prefer colour. However, it could be a good way to stand out from the other people on the page.

I'll have to take your vote on this one. Which do you prefer?

Image showing the same headshot in colour and black and white
Colour or B&W?

About The Author

Nina Beilby is a professional photographer and photography educator with a background in Corporate IT.

She is based in Chatswood, Sydney Australia. You can see her work at the following:



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