Your Linkedin Profile Photo: What Image Are You Creating?

headshot photo linkedin photo linkedin strategy professional headshot Jul 11, 2021
Your LinkedIn headshot photo

Your LinkedIn profile photo can help you make new connections, or it may be the reason your invitations aren’t accepted. If you don’t have a profile photo on your LinkedIn profile yet, stop what you are doing and upload one NOW.

And if you do have a profile photo, read this blog to make sure your settings and photo are helping to create the RIGHT professional image for you. 

First, some basics:

Make sure your headshot photo is pleasant (smiling), professional, current, and sized appropriately. 

  • PLEASANT: since this photo will be viewed by your connections (current and future), make sure your photo is pleasant. I prefer a smile and looking at the camera. This is not a mugshot photo and your goal is to be welcoming, not scare people away. 
  • PROFESSIONAL: I recommend using a professional photographer if possible for your LinkedIn headshot photo. You want this photo to be THE BEST professional photo of yourself. 

No, selfies are not acceptable on LinkedIn.

Group photos where you are cropped aren’t ideal. We can see that hand on your shoulder. Kinda spooky...

Vacation or personal photos where you are wearing sunglasses, t-shirts, baseball caps, or showing too much skin (especially ladies, but men can have this issue with buttoned-down tops). LinkedIn is a professional networking site. It’s not Facebook. It’s not eHarmony. 

Please, no sleeveless shirts or low-cut tops. These make your connections focus too much on your skin and not on YOU as a professional.  

The ideal attire is something you would wear to a job interview or client meeting for your industry. 

If you’re not sure if your image is professional: it’s not. 

I used to wear a business suit in my profile photo.


However, in 2018, I changed my attire to a more casual, brightly colored, yet still professional blouse in my photos:

Now that I’m an independent marketing and social media consultant, I wanted to make sure my photo helps to position me as approachable, but still professional, knowledgeable, but confident. 

You can see my current headshot photo by visiting my profile:

It’s important to me that my personality shines through as I am creating my personal brand for Meller Marketing.

Here's what I recommend for your headshot photo:

  • CURRENT. If your profile photo hasn’t been taken in the past 5 years, it’s time for a new photo. Same applies if you’ve significantly changed your hairstyle or hair color.

    We all want to look younger when we age, but it’s shocking to meet someone in person when you see their LinkedIn photo from 20 years ago.

    I change my photo every 2-3 years at maximum and schedule my headshot sessions with Scott Lawrence Photography. He makes me feel comfortable and takes at least a hundred shots to offer me a handful of great selections. Then, he does some light retouching to make me look my best. I only refer people to businesses I know and trust, and Scott is definitely on my referral list!

  • SIZED APPROPRIATELY. I recommend that your face be about 50% of the total circle where your profile photo appears. The reason is that about 50% of web traffic is on a mobile device nowadays. If you have uploaded a full head-to-toe photo, we can barely see your face.

    If you show from your top of head to your waist, your face looks small. I’ve found that if you keep your face at 50%, you look more impressive and personable.

    The next time you’re on LinkedIn, pay attention to photo sizes. Those profile photos where the face is smaller makes it appear the person is more diminutive or less important than others whose face is 50% of the frame. 


Hopefully this blog provides you some helpful reminders. We are all in charge of the image we are creating on LinkedIn. Your headshot photo creates a powerful first impression.

What does your professional photo on LinkedIn say about YOUR professional image?

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Let's connect on LinkedIn:

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Follow the Meller Marketing company page on LinkedIn:

Need help setting up your LinkedIn profile? I work with individuals and organizations to help them optimize their presence on LinkedIn. I love helping my clients unlock the power of LinkedIn. Visit or email me at [email protected] to learn more.

Considering a new headshot photo? Contact Scott Lawrence at or [email protected] and tell him Brenda sent you.