The Professional Headshot - Is it Really Necessary for LinkedIn?

linkedin for job search linkedin profile linkedin tips professional headshot Jul 11, 2021

From a network connection.

Q: I don't have a photo on my LinkedIn. Do I really need one?

A from me: Yes, you will need a professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile. 

At a minimum, your photo should include:

  • You in professional attire
  • Head and shoulders only. Your face should be 50-60% of the circle
  • Pleasant, smiling
  • Not a selfie
  • Clean background

Here's a blog with more instructions and info.

I know of several professional photographers in the area if you want to invest in one. They typically range from $300 - $500+ if you go to their studio. More if they come to you, but you could also look at booking a group to bring the individual cost down.

Or you could have a friend or family member snap a few photos from your phone. If you go this route, take them against a clean wall and take many pics so you can get a good angle.

Or you could go to a JCPenney or some other studio and pay a semi-pro a fee for photos. probably under $100, including a fee to get the photo digitally.


"BUT BRENDA," you ask, "WHY is this Necessary? Isn't the Photo I Have Good Enough?"

In a word, "NO." If your headshot is not professional, it looks sloppy. You are creating the wrong first impression for your profile visitors.

When I visit profiles for executives and I see any of the following, it immediately causes me to conclude that they are not that polished and prestigious as I once believed:

❌ A selfie. YES, we can tell.

❌ A photo taken in your car. YES, we can see the backseat.

❌ A photo taken in your kitchen. Egad. And by the way, you need new wallpaper. That style was popular in the 70s.

❌ You in sunglasses. Unless you sell sunglasses or you're a celebrity.

❌ An obviously cropped photo, with someone's arm draping over you. Yes, we can tell.

❌ You from 20 years ago. I've seen you. You don't look like that anymore.

❌ A poorly lit photo where I can barely see your face. Yes, it's important.

❌ Your company logo instead of your professional headshot photo.

❌ You on a surfboard, the beach, a boat, or some other place. OK, so you're rich. Great. No, I'm not impressed.

❌ You wearing a baseball cap or some other hat. Unless you sell baseball caps.

❌ You looking like you want to pick me up in a bar. You have some provocative stare and you may be showing chest hair (men) or cleavage (women).

❌ You with your significant other or a group of people.

❌ You presenting on stage. You look fabulous, but I can't see your face.

❌ You looking angry or ominous. A blank stare with no smile also goes into this category for me.

And here's my current headshot photo and header as of July 2021:


What are the headshot photo mistakes do YOU see most often on LinkedIn? Create a LinkedIn post and tag me and Meller Marketing with your response.

Video Resources - Headshot Photos

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Wear glasses in YOUR HEADSHOT session? 🤓🤔 


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