Why Your LinkedIn Photo Really Matters


Personal branding with your profile photo is key for your social network for work.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for work and business professionals, and it’s where people will go to check you out.

Your photo is your chance to develop and reinforce your personal branding in conjunction with the information in your profile. In an increasingly virtual business world, it might even be the only way your clients or coworkers will have to see you.

Is Linkedin Really Worth The Time

Here are a few things to understand about LinkedIn photos:

People like to connect a face with your name.

It was 2007 when LinkedIn added the option for a profile photo because users wanted to see what other members look like. There are ways to set your privacy so that only certain people can see your photo but if you are networking, having no photo makes it look like you’re either behind the times or have something to hide.

A picture really is worth a thousand words.

You could have a long thousand-word profile but it’s unlikely someone will scroll down and read it all. Your photo is what people see first and most prominently, and where they begin to make up their mind about you.

A photo can instantly reinforce your personal branding.

People who want to do business with you or consider you for a job will check out your profile and look at your photo first. The right photo instantly conveys your style and attitude before they  read a word about you.

A great LinkedIn photo adds credibility.

When you have a strong profile with a confident and likeable photo, people are reassured that you are who you say you are and have nothing to hide. No matter what your profession, a good public image helps if you want people to believe you.

People with photos get seven times more profile views.

LinkedIn reports that profiles with photos average seven times more views than profiles without. That’s seven times the opportunity to make a good impression. Why would you pass that up?

The right photo will appeal to the people you want to impress.

If you’re looking for a job at a design company, a creative or funny photo might be just the ticket, but if you sell corporate services to big law firms, you need to look conservative and approachable. Choose an image that conveys your style and attitude and relates to your target market.

Use a smiling headshot only.

Forget that favorite photo with your partner, your spouse, your kids, your dog or your pony. Your LinkedIn photo should be just you, cropped to a headshot, looking at the camera and smiling. Choose a photo that makes it easy for people to like you.

Never use a logo or graphic instead of a photo.

While you might be proud of your company logo, it is against LinkedIn’s terms of use for you to use it for your profile image. Faces only, please. That’s what people want to see anyway.

You don’t avoid discrimination by hiding what you look like.

Unless you plan to go into the interview with a bag over your head, at some point the hiring managers will see what you look like. Stop worrying about being unfairly discriminated against and focus on finding a photo that makes the kind of fantastic first impression that will tip things in your favor.

You don’t need a professional portrait.

Some people may opt to have a professional photo done, but they often look stiff and old-fashioned. A simple camera photo can be fine. Just watch the lighting and crop for the best look. And again, smile!

That picture is work a thousand words, so if you’ve been resisting putting up a good LinkedIn photo, it’s time to get over it. Use LinkedIn to create your business and personal branding as someone who’s confident, experienced and who looks like a great person to talk with and to work with.