Ten golden rules for your LinkedIn profile picture

(Or “You Don’t Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression”)


Remember that old dandruff shampoo ad? The one about making a first impression? Well research shows that first time visitors to your LinkedIn profile page will spend 19% of their time looking at your picture. So make sure it does you and your professional image justice.

Here are 10 easy rules to make sure your picture says the right thousand words about you:

  1. Actually have a picture. Nothing more off-putting than a half baked, half complete profile – especially one with the grey silhouette of doom. This is especially vital if your name is common. There are more than 50 Helen Currys on LinkedIn – I’d like to think you’ve got the one you were looking for!
  2. Use a professional shot. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune but the difference that a photographer can make to how professional you look is immense. Plus, they will always get your best side!
  3. Head and shoulders please (back to that dandruff shampoo!) – not just your eyes. Or so far away I can hardly see you. On LinkedIn I’m less interested in your six pack and more interested in being able to recognise you at a networking event.
  4. Use a neutral background. You want to you be the star of this show, not the background.
  5. Be in a professional setting – not the pub. Or the beach. Or your bathroom. That’s for dating sites and maybe Facebook, not a professional networking site
  6. No selfies please! It’s not just my teenage daughters who find the selfie to be “soooo embarrassing!”
  7. Be alone in your picture – not with your partner, or kids or dog. I don’t want to have to work out by a process of elimination which one is you!
  8. Smile. Go on. You want to look approachable, friendly, and connectable.
  9. Make it a picture of you – not a beach, or a building, or, worse still, an avatar. Your company logo won’t cut the mustard either. LinkedIn is about personal connections (unless it’s a company page of course!)
  10. Make it current. Come on! Who are you kidding?

If you don’t believe me, have a scroll down your suggested LinkedIn connections. Take a long hard look at the pictures and ask yourself: is that a picture of a person I want to do business with? Then apply the same scrutiny to your own picture. If you don’t like what you see, change it!

If you want to help make you LinkedIn profile All-Star then call 01268 655541 and ask us how

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