What makes a good linkedin profile photo?

December 11, 2021

One of the main reasons people would like to have professional head shots taken are for their Linkedin profile photos.

Should the Linkedin profile photo be taken by a professional photographer?

In this digital era, this Linkedin head shot photo can potentially be your first introduction to your peers, your clients or your contacts. Alternatively, it can be a reminder of who you are after they have met you over Zoom or in person. Together with your Linkedin CV, this photo stamps your identity and authority and helps you stand out from your competition.

Having a professional head shot in your profile reflects that you pay attention to your professional image, invest in yourself and helps create that trust worthiness. A good head shot also helps engage the audience and gives out the vibe you want to create.

Whether you would like to have your head shot taken by professional photographer or recruit the help of a friend, do read on for some tips for great Linkedin profile photos!

What constitute a good Linkedin profile photo?

Up Close and Personal

We are each represented in Linkedin in a small limited circular space. It is hence important that the others can see us clearly from the photo. Rather than including a full or half body picture, the Linkedin profile photo should be a tight crop from top of head to chest, with your face taking a prominent proportion of the photo.

Sharp and In Focus Image

Have you got a favourite photo of you but it is not in focus and ambiguous? Don’t use it. Your audience should be able to identify you clearly from your profile photo, not getting a rough idea what you might look like.

Be the only person in the photo

Often I see profile photos of individuals that are obviously cropped out of a photo with other people, that there are others’ shoulders or bodies in sight. It simply does not appear professional. It is important that you talk to your audience and make a statement on your own. Not to mention, as part of a group photo your face is rarely pin sharp!

Do not use holiday or party photos

This is my biggest NO NO when I see a Linkedin head shot being cropped out of a holiday or party photo. Linkedin is a professional platform and you should adhere to a professional protocol. A party or holiday photo does not communicate that you take your job or business seriously. Please leave these photos for sharing on the personal social media platforms.

Looks like you

Do you have the experience that you look at someone’s profile photos and wonder if it is the same person you have just met? While the photo should be the best version of you, it also needs to look like you. If it is a photo that is reflective of you a decade ago, it is time to have that photo re-taken and profile updated.

Engage the audience

Often people look at your professional profile to connect or to decide whether to work further with you. Your photo gives the first impression you create, before your profile descriptions are interpreted. Ideally this photo helps you earn their trust. It is therefore important to engage the audience through your eye contact and facial gestures. A small smile tends to work for most professions!

Wear appropriate attire

Just think of your profile photo as a virtual handshake. Greet your audience in how you would like to be represented. I always suggest clients to wear clothes that they wear to meet clients or at work for their head shots. You do not necessarily need to look more formal than how you usually dress for work.

Related reading: Personal Brand Photography: What to wear to a photoshoot

Keep the background simple

Keeping the background minimal is a good way to make sure you stand out in the photo. I will suggest using a clean plain colour background – often a clean white wall will do the trick. If you would like to have an environment in the background, do make sure it is not too busy and the scene is easily separated from your appearance. If you use the service of a professional photographer for your head shots, he or she would be able to fade out the background for that separation and create a more desirable ambience for you.

Ask someone else to take the photo for you

While it may feel more convenient to have a selfie photo taken, it is best to ask someone else to take the picture for you. To start off with a selfie camera lens tend to be an inferior lens on your phone, creating pictures of lesser quality. Also there tend to be a level of distortion in the photo given the limitation of the angle and distance the camera is held from you.

Want to know more?

If you would like to upgrade your Linkedin profile and have a set of convincing yet beautiful head shot pictures, I would love to hear from you. Please see more information here or get into contact here.

Related reading: Business Portraits: How to exude confidence as Entrepreneurs