Your LinkedIn profile photo represents YOU. It tells the world who you are. Take a good, hard, long look at your current photo. Are you happy with it? I hope so.
But if you're not, you better do something about it.
Now. With 94% of recruiters screening candidates on LinkedIn, it's your one and only chance to make a first impression. Read on for my round-up of the best LinkedIn photo tips to get the perfect pic.
1. Snappr photo analyser
Of all the LinkedIn photo tips this is the most important: If you want to know how good your LinkedIn profile photo is ... don't ask your friends. You're unlikely to get an honest opinion and while yes, it might spare your feelings, it won't get you closer to the perfect profile photo.
Check out Snappr Photo Analyser which uses the latest research, combined with image recognition and machine learning technologies, to determine how well your photo will perform.
It automatically scans your LinkedIn photo and provides a score (see mine below) based on:
- Face. Smile, jawline, squinch
- Composition. Zoom, Rule of Thirds, background
- Editing. Brightness, contrast, sharpness, saturation, colour temperature
2. Get feedback from PhotoFeeler
Make the best online impression you can. PhotoFeeler is an outstanding tool to share and receive opinions on your profile photos from unbiased strangers.
Spare your friends the burden of honest feedback.
Instead, join PhotoFeeler and receive insights from respectful voters of the gender and age range you choose.
Photofeeler has separate categories for Business, Dating, and Social photos and 9 traits you can test for.
Voters also leave notes on your photo with specific insights about how you’re coming across and advice for improving your impression.
What's more you share the love by voting on other photos. Not only are you helping others, but you can get some great Linkedin profile picture examples to inspire your own.
3. Take a professional selfie
We don’t all have the luxury of hiring a great photographer to capture our essence. Sometimes it’s just you and a phone. Enter: the professional selfie.
Taking self-portraits is awesome:
- You're not imposing on your friends
- You don't feel self-conscious
- No planning required. Just grab your camera or phone and go
- You can take thousands of photos in your quest for perfection
What you may lack in expertise you can certainly make up for in stamina and patience. With some practice, I assure you there'll be a winning shot among your efforts.
- Find the right background. If you're unsure, go for a neutral white background. Or experiment with backdrops - just drape a piece of fabric over a door.
- Face the light. Find a light source, like a window. Hang in a translucent shower curtain over it to soften the light (removes harsh shadows).
- Choose the right clothes. You want this picture to last a while, so go for classic business attire and neutral colours.
- Use a tripod. You'll get crisper images and also better results without your arm in the way. You can grab a 3-in-1 selfie-stick, tripod and Bluetooth remote for around $30. You can also prop you're phone up on top of a bunch of books against a wall. I should be at a 90-degree angle and roughly eye level.
- Use the rear facing camera. It's higher quality. Take some practice shots so you get the framing right. I prefer to sit on a chair that way I know I'm always going to be in the right place.
- Use a timer and burst mode. If you don't have a remote, you use the timer and continuous shot bursts to help you get the best photo. Your phone might even have the ability to use hand signals or voice commands to activate the timer.
4. It's all about the 'squinch'
Squinching is New York-based photographer Peter Hurley's top tip for looking photogenic in your Linkedin photo.
Squinting your eyes can help ooze confidence and self-assuredness, as opposed to staring wide-eyed which projects fear and uncertainty.
Don't believe me? Check out the video tutorial below and perfect your squinch!
5. Ensure your LinkedIn photo is helping, not hurting, your prospects
Your LinkedIn profile should represent how you want to appear to the world in a professional context. Here are some photos you should never use:
- Selfie mirror pic. Might be OK for Instagram, but you'll look like an amateur on LinkedIn.
- Weird filters. Keep the snapchat filters for your friends. Some simple filters that improve your image are fine, otherwise skip them.
- Too serious. Always smile in your photos. Otherwise you look angry, sad, annoyed or a kill-joy.
- Full body shots. Stick to headshots, cropped around the top of the shoulders.
- Group shots. Don't crop a headshot of yourself from a group shot. Yes you might look amazing, but the surrounding arms, heads of your friends are distracting and doesn't scream professional.
- Old photos. You don't want to catfish your network. Keep your photos recent so they represent who you are today. I change mine every 6 months.
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6. Profile Pic Maker
OK. This is amazing. Profile Pic Maker uses artificial intelligence to create a professional-looking profile picture and a matching background cover.
Just upload your photo and the background will be automatically removed and it generates dozens of creative and professional options. You can also customize the background color and shadows.
Did I mention it's free?
7. LinkedIn photo filters
LinkedIn has basic photo-editing capabilities in their mobile app, including six photo filters. These are simple, easy to use tools to give your LinkedIn profile photo a boost.
My favourites are Spotlight, which brightens and improves contrast and Classic, which gives you a nice black and white look.
You can also crop and edit as well as adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation and vignette of your LinkedIn profile photo.
This is a super-quick, easy way to improve your profile photo.
8. Free online photo editors
If you want more control than you can get from your favourite photo app, there are plenty of powerful – and free – online photo editors available.
Here are the ones I use:
- Adobe Express. Fast free editing for images, videos and documents. Also has quick actions to remove backgrounds, crop images, convert to different formats and lots of creative templates designed specifically for profile pictures.
- Google Photo Editor. Basic but gets the job done when you just want to crop or add filters to your photos and you use Google Drive. Works well on mobile or desktop.
- SNOW. This is the app I use to take photos on my phone. It's a beauty and makeup app with lots of over the top filters. I don't use those. But I find the default setting for photos really helps even out skin tones, and you can always apply some subtle tweaks after with the inbuilt editor. Available for Android and iOS.
- Snapseed. A complete and professional photo editor for your phone. I've been using this app for years. It has 30+ editing tools plus filters and lots of other goodies. It's developed by Google and available on Android and iOS.
LinkedIn Made Simple: Fat Strategies in a Thin Book
To be successful on LinkedIn, you need the box with the picture to understand how the puzzle pieces fit together. LinkedIn Made Simple is the box with the image. With over 100 identified strategies, LinkedIn Made Simple provides you with a structured, step-by-step method to get the most out of LinkedIn to impact your business or career.