Workin’ Girl

The Do's and Don'ts of a Bomb LinkedIn Photo

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network with more than 400 million users and more recruiters have been using LinkedIn as a way to scout talent for job positions. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, many recruiters say that your LinkedIn profile picture is just as important as the skills that you list on your actual profile.


At my last internship, I was helping the HR Director find candidates for open and opening positions throughout the company. During my search, I couldn't help but to notice how some candidates had perfect skills mentioned on their profiles but the profile photos were a bit questionable. Yes, one shouldn't judge a book by it’s cover but when you’re searching for a candidate for a job position and their profile picture is them sitting at a bar or a photo of their pet, you can’t help but to judge.

If you already have a LinkedIn profile, you’re well on your way to having recruiters scoping you out for a job. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn profile pictures so recruiters aren’t distracted from your qualifications due to the lack of strong, professional picture.

Do

Take a headshot on your own or have a friend take one for you if you don't have the time or money to pay a professional. If you are taking a headshot of yourself make sure you’re positioning your hand in such a way that it isn’t obvious that you’ve taken it yourself or use a tripod.

A killer smile always wins.

Don’t

Use a selfie that you would post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or send to your boyfriend. It’s unprofessional and should not be on LinkedIn.

Do

Smile and look inviting. You don't have to look cheesy but having a resting bitch face is NOT ideal. You also need to make sure you’re displaying good posture for this can come off a little awkward if you aren’t.

Don’t

“Do it for the gram” or do any duck lips, kissy faces, dramatic head tilts etc. There’s a time and place for everything and your LinkedIn profile picture is not one of them.

 Do

Find an appropriate background for your photo. If you take an outside headshot, be mindful of what is in the background (trees, flowers, brick walls and other not so busy backgrounds work just fine). If you decide to take a photo inside, make sure it is in front of a blank wall (preferably a neutral colored wall) or some type of backdrop. Even just a white/neutral color poster board that you’ve hung on your wall specifically for your headshot will serve as a good background.

You can show a little personality with your attire. Just remember to keep it classy!

Do

Apply makeup to make you look refreshed. Some foundation + powder (preferably with a matte finish), a subtle blush, a natural lip color and a coating of mascara should suffice.

Don’t

Beat your face to the GAWDS unless you are a makeup artist or it aligns with your career goals. Recruiters aren’t here for the extras.

Do

Be mindful of the attire you wear (mainly your top since it’s a headshot). A button down of course is always safe but depending on the field that you’re in or aspiring to be in (creatives, stylists etc.) clothing that exudes your personality is acceptable. 

it's okay to use props as long as they're not distracting.

Don’t

Wear anything in your LinkedIn photo that you wouldn't feel comfortable wearing in front of your future employer. That includes but is not limited to, low cut tops, hoodies/sweatshirts/, baseball caps etc.

Do

Take photos in natural lighting to get a better quality image. If you’re not taking your headshot outside, make sure to take your photo in front of a window when there is plenty natural coming in the room.

Don’t

Take photos under house lights, lamps etc. The lighting came come off with a yellowish tint, which is not appealing in a professional headshot.

Related Article: DO THESE 4 THINGS ON LINKEDIN & YOU WILL HAVE RECRUITERS SLIDING IN YOUR DMS

Do

Edit your photos a bit to make them the best quality possible. Even if you take your images with a higher quality camera, you may need to make some minor adjustments like improving the contrast or appropriate cropping.

You can never go wrong with a simple headshot against a plain background.

Don’t

Add an Instagram X-ProII filter (or any other social media appropriate filter for that matter) to your photo.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure your LinkedIn photo is screaming “hire me because I am the BOMB!” 

Check out the gallery below for some of our favorite LinkedIn headshots and share with us how you’ll be utilizing these tips to boost the chances of recruiters sliding into your DM’s! 

Get more career tips and tricks by visiting our xo Business section

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