Taking a Good Linkedin Profile Picture

Taking a Good Linkedin Profile Picture

EDIT – MARCH 2013 – I’ve blogged several times about LinkedIn since this article – check the side bar for a link to them

EDIT – FEBRUARY 2011 – this blog now has a sequal (click here) which relates to further changes to do with LinkedIn Profile Photo’s – worth reading both blogs!

With the new format for Linkedin Groups your profile picture has become even more important than it ever was. So here’s a quick guide to help you shine like a movie star:


You know those pictures of movie stars – Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise where they look really good? Well they posed. And had a team of photographers using multiple light sources, reflectors and probably a little photo editing afterwards.

Now I suspect you don’t have the time for that but at least get someone with a decent camera (even a good camera phone will be sufficient) to help and think about

  • Location – specifically what’s behind you (because it’s going to show up in the photo)
  • What you are wearing – does it portray the image you want it to?
  • Close up – a head shot is perfectly fine – the picture on Linkedin is really small after all
  • Take several shots – great photographers take lots of pictures of the same object and pick the best to display; you should follow their example
  • Lighting – the best photographs are taken outside or under studio lighting (office lighting plays havoc with photos)
  • Enough light – Ensure there is enough light for you to be seen clearly
  • Artistic or not – there is something to be said for creative and artistic photos but always remember that Linkedin is for business professionals – pictures of people drinking, people in clearly social gatherings or doing social activities should probably be saved for Facebook ~ you can always play with a professional looking photo if you are looking to be creative ~ observe

Left to Right: Normal Colour :              Greyscale :                     Increased Contrast :                  Just Plain Silly

Both Windows and Mac systems come with software to enable you to do things like the above.


A little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to digital photographs and online profile pictures. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Edit then upload – Linkedin doesn’t provide any editing tools other than a resize option so make sure your picture looks like you want it to before you upload it
  • Square or square – Linkedin only displays square profile images so bear that in mind
  • Size matters – Linkedin displays your profile picture at a size of 80×80 pixels; quite handily when you try to upload a picture that is larger Linkedin displays your picture along with what the result will be ~ as you can see below ~ you then have the option to move and resize the yellow square to get what you want; and if you can’t then click CANCEL and upload a different picture

PS The above is an okay but not great example of a profile picture. I shouldn’t be wearing sunglasses for a profile picture and I was also squinting due to the bright sun. It’s details like that which are worth considering.


Most people feel like complete idiots posing for pictures but consider that this is a picture that will represent you to a very large business community. It pays to take time to get a good shot.

Put your self-awareness to one side, treat it like a business challenge and get posing!

And of course if you want to have it done really well then convince your company to hire a photographer to come in and take corporate profile pictures of everyone.

It’s for the company’s benefit as well after all!

EDIT – FEBRUARY 2011 – this blog now has a sequal (click here) which relates to further changes to do with LinkedIn Profile Photo’s – worth reading both blogs!

Until next time; be successful.

Stephen Hart

Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com

Again Jaymie is the face of Linkedin for the purposes of this blog (she’s the lady in the first pictures) and thanks as always to the very talented team at Tigg-stock for use of their photographs. Their stock gallery is viewable here


26 comments on “Taking a Good Linkedin Profile Picture

  1. Amelia says:

    But Stephen , your update picture was mowing …

    • edenchanges says:

      Indeed and I hope people realise that it simply isn’t what it should be – less than 24 hours after receiving it someone sent me an email saying – “Take the glasses off!” just as you said in your email to me. So a new picture will be forthcoming shortly.

  2. Alesia Morgan says:

    Thanks Stephen. I will treat my profile picture like a business challenge and take a professional photo over the weekend! Again, very useful advice.

  3. […] Taking a Good Linkedin Profile Picture « Edenchanges […]

  4. Great idea, but will this work over the long run?

    • edenchanges says:

      Having a good profile picture is presenting a professional AND personable image. That can never go out of fashion. And if your question was with regards to Linkedin then yes such detail does make a difference over the long term. In fact the best results come over a period of time from Linkedin.

  5. Robin says:

    roulette strategy’s comment makes no sense because it was posted by a spam bot. There are many that just go around posting “Great post” on blogs, including a link to their website for advertisement. If you hover over the name, you’ll see it links to a gambling website.

    • edenchanges says:

      Hi Robin; maybe a bot… I moderate all the comments left, and I do get a fair bit of spam from bots (which I delete). With this one I took the view that it might have come from a person and it could be interpreted as an interesting question. So I replied. Regards Stephen

  6. Hi Stephen,
    Thanks for your post! I saw it only after I wrote a post on the importance of having a LinkedIn photo, so I included a link to your post in an update: http://thesocialhost.com/?p=239
    Thanks again!
    Stefanie Hostetter

    • edenchanges says:

      Hi Stefanie,

      Well it was really lovely to be highlighted in your article. This blog is one of the most popular I wrote. I’ve some more in draft format relating to LinkedIn so watch this space!



  7. […] has a very good blog post with suggestions for how to take a good LinkedIn profile picture. LinkedIn will permit you to resize a photo, but you won’t be able to do any editing. So […]

  8. […] color or grayscales. There is a really good article on this over at edenchanges which you can view here.Use the LinkedIn apps, this is a really good way to keep up to date and helps you while you are on […]

  9. […] confident head and shoulders photo, with a practiced smile.  I recommend this as your only option for a LinkedIn profile.  You are saying “This is who I am, like it or… well, just please […]

  10. John O'Dowd says:

    As LinkedIn group manager can I use a different photo to the one I use on my profile page?

    • edenchanges says:

      Hi John,

      Good question. For you as an individual, even as a group manager, you are stuck with the same profile picture that you have used on your actual profile. The information simply feeds from your profile so when you change that picture the picture on the group page will change. The group naturally can have a different image as it’s logo.

      Personally being able to have only one picture helps build brand awareness about you. If you had different pictures it could create the impression of different people to the casual viewer.

      Hope that helps.



  11. Daniel Morris says:

    Sequel is spelt… Alternatively, for a more professional look either paste text into a word processor with a spelling checker or use a browser (such as Firefox) with the spelling checker enabled ;-)

    • edenchanges says:

      Worse than that a) I usually write in word and spell check as I go along and b) WordPress spell checks for you – it took a miracle for that one to slip through! Thanks for pointing it out!

  12. Conficio says:

    Hmm, the links ot the sequel page are broken

  13. […] Use a professional photo that represents what you do. Make sure you’re face is big enough that people can see it clearly, and keep the background distractions to a minimum. Here’s a great article on how to create “A Good LinkedIn Profile Picture“ […]

  14. […] has a very good blog post with suggestions for how to take a good LinkedIn profile picture. LinkedIn will permit you to resize a photo, but you won’t be able to do any editing. So choose […]

  15. Thanks for posting these very helpful tips, I need to get to work on changing my LinkedIn profile right away!

  16. Frank Neuperger says:

    Is it OK to digitally alter a Linkedin profile picture. i.e. remove freckles , blemishes etc. Keeping in mind that their use of linked in (as a school assignment ) is as a resume and the profile photo is one of the elements of this. It is the a hot ethics topic of debate with a couple students that I am mentoring. I won’t reveal my opinion till I have heard some feedback.

    • edenchanges says:

      Very interesting question. My advice to people is to use a picture that is a good representation of themselves.

      Breaking that down I mean ‘good’ in two ways. First as in ‘accurate’ representation of themselves. For example my picture is about two years out of date and I think my face has changed a little (age takes no prisoners!) I will be retaking my picture to update it in the new year.

      I wouldn’t ever want someone meeting me and being ‘surprised’ by how I didn’t look like my profile image.

      Secondly, and potentially this clashes with the first, I say ‘good’ as in handsome, attractive, appealing etc

      To that end it might be necessary to take many pictures, use different lighting or wear different attire.

      Now, and here is the issue, what about light editing? If it doesnt fundamentally change the persons appearance I am okay with that.

      Clearing a temporary blemish say a cold sore or bruise seems fine. Changing a permanent mark such as a scar seems to break the first condition that I think the picture should meet I.e. representational.

      So great question Frank and I am very interested to learn your position on it and that of your students.

      Regards … and Merry Christmas!


  17. […] confident head and shoulders photo, with a practiced smile.  I recommend this as your only option for a LinkedIn profile.  You are saying “This is who I am, like it or… well, just please […]

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