Level Up your LinkedIn Headshot

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

The image you share on LinkedIn should be professional and make you seem approachable and confident.

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? 

Check out our 4 top tips to get the camera ready:   

Get dressed

Think “meeting with a key client.” Aim for timeless rather than ultra-trendy. This will help your photo feel fresh instead of dated and out of style. Oh! And don’t worry about the shoeswe won’t see them. Focus on the shoulders up. 

When preparing for a professional photo, whether it’s for your LinkedIn profile or another professional platform, think of it as if you’re 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

Don’t hide behind your hair, prominent glasses, or a hat. Your face is uniquely yours, and it’s a helpful thing to be able to be spotted in the crowd (or coffee shop) based on your profile photo. 

When choosing a profile photo, it’s essential not to hide 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

Consider wearing solid colors instead of busy prints. Dark colors work best. Choose a subtle style approach that you’re confident and familiar with. Not sure if neon paisley bowties are your thing? This photo is not the way to find out.

When selecting your outfit for a professional photo, 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, as 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. Save the neon paisley bowties for more casual settings and showcase your confidence and competence through a polished and sophisticated appearance in your professional photo.

Keep it natural

Look at the camera and smile. That’s it. No tricky over-the-shoulder glances, and no duck lips, fish gapes, or sparrow face required. (Feel free to smize though.) Find the light and relax into a natural, confident pose. All you have to do is smile!

When taking your professional photo, 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 like duck lips, fish gapes, or sparrow faces. (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!

This post was updated on August 16, 2022.