The Dos And Don'ts Of Linkedin Profile Photos

LinkedIn may be a social network, but it should definitely not reflect your social life. As the largest B2B network, you should use it to generate high-quality business leads, build relationships and identify new opportunities.

This means that your presence on the network must also reflect the goals of others using it: no organizing your next house party here. Personal branding is absolutely essential in the internet age, especially when looking to develop your business, generate leads and build relationships.

It takes only a few seconds for people to get a first impression of you through your profile, so if you want to make that first impression a good one, then your profile photo is the best place to start. Your photo may hold the key to your future: potential connections want to be able to quickly judge you and establish a common interest.


Use a recent photo. Keep your profile updated. Not so much that you’re changing your photo every week, but just enough to keep it reflective of you. Think about what personality traits are reflected through how often, or not, you update.


By constantly changing your photo, you’ll appear to be a perfectionist. Just doing it once in a while will show you’re thinking about your personal branding and wanting to keep things fresh without appearing obsessive. Moderation is everything.


This goes without saying, but don’t use a photo of you on holiday or at a party. Anything less than a professional setting is less than acceptable. Features of photos including alcohol, swimwear, or cropped-out friends are also huge no-gos.

Your next potential connection doesn’t care about your last crazy weekend.


Keep it simple. Use a head and shoulders shot with minimal background noise. This allows you to be the central focus of the photo but means those viewing your profile can actually see your face rather than it being far away, for example

Simple and professional doesn’t mean dull, though. You should appear personable and approachable; perhaps to add a bit more character you can relate the picture to your work setting. Action shots are great for this.

Your photo should also be high quality as this reflects the level of care that you are putting into your personal branding. Which, I’m sure you’ve guessed, also means no Instagram or Snapchat-style filters - your aim is to look great to do business with.


Don’t include pets and children. Although yes, sometimes a young child or new puppy can make someone look family orientated, which may be great for a tough CEO, this is not the case for the regular exec or mid-level salesperson.

Simply enough, LinkedIn is a professional domain, not a family photo album. As a rule, your profile should reflect your work setting. The same goes for pictures of your pets: this is not Facebook. No cat memes here, please. Feel free to send them directly to us at

cat meme radial path

There are many dos and don’ts of LinkedIn profile photos but this should really be instinctive. Don’t post what you’d post on Facebook, for a start. Look at some of your network’s profiles and model yours after the CTO of your favorite company. By following these simple guidelines and scouting out your competition, you’re guaranteed to pick the right picture in no time!

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