Level Up your LinkedIn Headshot

Think of your LinkedIn profile photo like meeting an important business contact face-to-face for the first time. You want to offer a firm handshake, a genuine smile, a self-assured stance…    

And the fish you caught last summer dangling from your other hand? Or the half-cropped-out torsos from friends hovering beside you?



Your LinkedIn image should be professional, making you appear approachable and confident. (And, ideally, doesn’t have lingering ghosts of a social event past.)

It’s important to strike a balance between somber passport photo and carefree late-night selfie to achieve that “I’m-a-pro-and-you-should-work-with-me” first impression.  

Ready for Your Close-Up? 

Of course you are! Here are our top four tips for getting yourself camera-ready:   

Get dressed

Choose an outfit you’d wear if you’re preparing for a meeting with a key client. Aim for a timeless look rather than an ultra-trendy one. This approach ensures that your photo feels fresh and relevant over time, rather than quickly becoming dated and out of style.

Keep in mind that the focus of the photo is typically from the shoulders up, so you don’t need to worry too much about your clothing below that point. Concentrate on projecting a confident, professional, and approachable image in your headshot. A classic and well-groomed appearance will make a positive impression on viewers, helping you present yourself as a credible and reliable professional.

Show your face

When choosing a profile photo, it’s essential to avoid hiding behind your hair, prominent glasses, or a hat. Your face is uniquely yours, and your profile photo should allow you to be easily recognized in a crowd or a coffee shop.

A clear and unobstructed view of your face helps others connect with you on a personal level, even in a digital context. It fosters familiarity and makes it easier for colleagues, clients, and professional contacts to remember and identify you. So, opt for a photo where your face is well-lit, visible, and easily distinguishable, enabling you to make a lasting and memorable impression.

Keep it simple

When selecting your outfit, consider wearing solid colors rather than busy prints. Dark colors, such as navy or charcoal, tend to work well and convey a sense of professionalism and confidence. It’s essential to choose a style approach that you are comfortable and familiar with. Your photo is not the time to experiment with bold or unusual fashion choices.

While it’s fun to express your personal style, it’s advisable to keep your profile photo more conservative and classic. Opting for a timeless and understated look ensures that your image remains professional and appropriate for various contexts, whether it’s for business networking or job searching.

Keep it natural

Simplicity often works best. Look directly at the camera and give a warm, genuine smile. There’s no need for tricky over-the-shoulder glances or trendy facial expressions. (Although, feel free to smize, or smile with your eyes, if that comes naturally to you.)

Find good lighting that flatters your face and relax into a natural and confident pose. The key is to present yourself authentically and approachable. A sincere smile can convey friendliness and professionalism, making a positive impression on anyone who views your profile. So, keep it simple and let your genuine smile shine through!



Ready to Make a Move?

Smart, Savvy + Associates is a boutique recruitment agency that specializes in helping companies find and hire the marketing, communications and creative professionals they need. From coordinators to C-suite, Smart Savvy is here to simplify the recruitment process and provide best-in-class candidates for their clients in (and around) Vancouver, BC.

Looking for your next opportunity? Visit our job board to apply for one of our open roles or join our ever-growing talent network.

This post was updated in May 2024.