Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile Picture

Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile Picture

LinkedIn has emerged as THE go-to social networking platform for all things business. Whether you’re looking for a new job, searching for a top candidate, or exploring ways to publicize your company, LinkedIn is a great place to begin. When people look at your profile, the first thing they’ll see is your picture, so it’s essential that you make a positive first impression. You’ll want to appear professional but approachable, and make sure your “look” matches your personality.

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LinkedIn profile picture tips

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to make sure you put your best foot forward:

  • Dress according to your profession. Wear the type of clothes you’d wear on the job. If you work in finance, go for a suit and tie. If you’re a programmer at a high-tech firm, a plaid shirt is A-OK.
  • Smile like you mean it. A warm, inviting, genuine smile will go a long way to attracting attention to your profile. Be sure to look directly into the camera and let your true self shine through.
  • Go solo. Don’t include spouses, partners, friends, or kids in your picture. This is your professional profile and your online business card. Focus on you.
  • Use a recent photo. While it’s tempting to go back into the archives and pick a great shot from yesteryear, it’s important to depict yourself as you look right now. If someone meets you in person and doesn’t recognize you from your profile pic, that could raise a red flag.
  • Follow the rules. LinkedIn lays out clear rules for profile pictures. Landscape photos, pictures of animals, and other types of imagery are a no-go. If you flout the rules three times, LinkedIn could block you from uploading your headshot.
  • Consider hiring a pro. If you’re serious about getting a good headshot for your profile, look into hiring a professional photographer. Sites like findaphotographer.org help you connect with a photog in your area, or just look for a portrait studio in your neighborhood.

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  • Use our Touch Up tool. PicMonkey has amazing touch up capabilities that let you polish your photo to your heart’s content. Cut down on shine, make your teeth whiter, or brighten your eyes to give yourself a boost of energy that’ll make your headshot stand out. But remember not to overdo it. You still want to look like you.

LinkedIn’s technical specs

You can’t upload any old photo to LinkedIn. If your file is too big, it’ll be rejected. If it’s too small, your face will look like a blurry mess. Follow these instructions and you’ll get it just right.

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  • It’s hip to be square. Your headshot should be a square when you upload it to LinkedIn. In the PicMonkey tool, click Basic Edits, click the Crop button, and choose Square from the dropdown menu. Save your image just like that or do further editing with our Touch Up tools.
  • A square peg in a round hole. You can choose your photo to show up in a circle on the LinkedIn site or mobile app. If you go the circular route, don’t crop too tight, as you might lose a bit around the outside edges.
  • Choosing a file format. PicMonkey allows you to create JPEG or PNG files, both of which work fine with LinkedIn. The PNG format works well with logos and graphics, while JPEG works best for portraits.
  • Getting the size right. LinkedIn will reject your photo if it’s bigger than 20,000 pixels wide or tall, or has a file size of more than 10 megabytes. Your photo also needs to be at least 400 x 400 pixels, which can be too tiny for some displays.
  • Saving in PicMonkey. When you save, you’ll be asked to choose one of three quality options—Roger, Pierce, and Sean. Pierce is a happy medium, offering great resolution and a good file size.

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That’s it! Your snazzy new headshot is ready for the world.

Want to get even more mileage out of your perfectly business-y headshot? Add it to your business card and other professional ephemera on the quick with our new design templates and network with the best of ‘em.

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Rich Harrington
Rich Harrington is a visual storyteller exploring the fusion of photography and video. He's the publisher of Photofocus (http://www.Photofocus.com) and an avid travel photographer. He's also a husband and a father who finds time for a Girl Scout and Boy Scout troop.