If you want to stay connected in the business world, LinkedIn has emerged as the place to be. Whether it’s staying in touch with clients and former coworkers or building new connections, the site is all about business.
If you want to connect with others, a professional, but approachable headshot is really important. LinkedIn estimates that a profile with a great picture is 14 times more likely to be viewed than a profile without a picture. But not any photo will do.
What makes a good profile photo?
In the online world of business networking, your headshot is the smile that goes with your handshake. It’s important that your profile photo conveys who you are and matches your personality. Here are a few tips to make a great first impression:
- Dress professionally. Wear the type of clothes you would on the job or at a networking event. Save the beachwear for Facebook or Instagram. If your industry is casual, dress that way.
- Smile like you mean it. The goal here is to look professional and energetic. Smile and look directly into the camera.
- No group shots. This is not the time to post your family portrait or a group photo with your friends. This is your profile and your online business card. Focus on you.
- No old photos. While it’s tempting to go back into the archives to our thinner selves with better hair, try to stay recent. You want folks to recognize you, and a current photo is typically best.
- Follow the rules. LinkedIn lays out its rules for profile pictures pretty clearly. Landscape photos, pictures of animals, and other types of images are a no-go. You want to get it right—if you screw it up three times, LinkedIn can block you from uploading your headshot.
- Consider a pro. If you’re serious about getting a good headshot for your profile, it might be time to find a local photographer. Sites like findaphotographer.org help you connect with a professional photographer in your area. You can also search for portrait studios in your neighborhood.
- Use light touchup. PicMonkey’s touch up tools (in the Touch Up tab) let you polish your photo as you see fit. Cut down on shine, make your teeth a little whiter, or apply a little bit of Eye Brighten to give yourself that glint of energy that’ll make your headshot stand out. Just be careful not to overdo it.
The technical requirements for your headshot
You can’t load up just any type of file to LinkedIn. If your file is too big, the website will reject it. If it’s too small, your face becomes a blurry mess. Fortunately, it’s really easy to get things right.
- It’s hip to be square. Your headshot needs to be square when you upload it. Find Crop in the Basic Edits tab, and select Square from the dropdown menu.
- A square peg in a round hole. Your photo may also show up as a circle on the LinkedIn site or mobile app. Don’t crop too tight, as you might end up losing a little bit around the outside edges.
- Which file format? You can create either JPEG or PNG files with PicMonkey. Both work just fine with LinkedIn. The PNG format works well with logos and graphics, but JPEG works best for portraits. You’ll get smaller file sizes and a great looking photo.
- Too big, too small, or just right. LinkedIn will reject your photo if it’s bigger than 20,000 pixels wide or tall, or has a file size over 10 megabytes. It also needs to be at least 400 x 400 pixels, which can be too tiny for some displays.
- When you click Save in PicMonkey, you’re in charge. The dimensions display under the three quality options—Roger, Pierce, and Sean—and you can adjust them to your exact specifications by clicking Change.
How to upload your LinkedIn profile photo
Now that you’ve got the perfect profile pic, let’s share it with the world. Uploading your profile picture to LinkedIn is pretty simple, and the site has a nice help article if you have trouble. Here’s the basic process:
1. Login to your LinkedIn account
2. Choose Profile > Edit Profile.
3. Hover your mouse over your photo and click Change photo.
4. To swap in a new photo, click the small Change photo hyperlink.
5. Select the file you want to upload from your computer.
6. Choose who should see your photo by clicking on the lock icon.
7. Click Save.
That’s it! Your great new headshot is ready for the world.
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