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Career and job search help for creative professionals.

Career and job search help for creative professionals.

Blue Sky Resumes is a small team of professional writers and job search experts. We offer one-of-a-kind resumes, smart career advice and fantastic customer service. This is our blog.


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Why You Must Post a Photo on LinkedIn (and Which One to Choose)


Many people resist including their photo on LinkedIn and there are legitimate concerns about this. Perhaps you worry about discrimination. Perhaps you don’t like the photos you have available.

But the truth is that your LinkedIn photo is vital. Profiles without photos are far less effective than those that include one. There’s something about seeing that faceless icon in a long strong of search results that makes it much more unlikely a recruiter will click on your profile to read more.

Not having a LinkedIn photo also makes it less likely that people will accept your requests to connect and this is a key benefit of using LinkedIn.

Adding a photo to LinkedIn is easy, but the question is what type of photo should you use?

  • First, I recommend having some pictures taken professionally if you can afford it. If not, have a friend or family member take your picture but choose professional clothing and a neutral setting.
  • The photo should be a head shot for the simple reason that LinkedIn photos are very small. If you use a full body shot, no one will be able to see your face and this is almost as bad as not having a picture at all.
  • The picture must be well-lit and in focus.
  • My preferred look for a LinkedIn photo is business casual, by which I mean, look smart but approachable. Don’t choose one of those very traditional corporate headshots because it can make you look unapproachable. If possible, you should be smiling in your shot as this makes people much more likely to connect with you.
  • Your photo should be as close to a square as possible. This is because once you upload it to LinkedIn, the site will force you to crop the photo to a square shape and if the original picture is an oblong, you may find that parts of your face are cut off.

In short, your LinkedIn photo should make the same impression on people as if you were greeting them personally. Make it friendly, warm, approachable, and professional. Good luck!

Read more about LinkedIn, Online Presence.

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About the Author

Louise Fletcher

Louise co-founded Blue Sky in 2002 after a career as an HR executive. Her industry experience includes music, video games, fashion and advertising. She lived and worked in the US for many years, but moved back to her native UK in 2012, where she now lives in the Yorkshire countryside. In addition to her full-time role with Blue Sky, she's a professional artist, so you can imagine why she couldn't answer the 'what do you do with your free time' question! Contact Louise by email.

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11 comments on “Why You Must Post a Photo on LinkedIn (and Which One to Choose)”

  1. Suzanne says:

    Very good information. First impressions can be so powerful. Without a photo you miss the opportunity to “connect” with the viewer. A photo that positions one as friendly and approachable is key as you say. I’ve seen too many photos that make the persona appear stiff and rigid.

  2. That’s good advice … practical and timely as more and more people go to LinkedIn for professional netwroking.

    I’d like to add that, if you get a professional photo; ask the photographer to give you a small size, square jpeg for posting on the web. This little bit of info helps them make a better pic to suit your needs. Best Wishes, -f

  3. Kathy says:

    I wholeheartedly agree on the “smart and approachable” concept. I nag some of my clientele repeatedly about the photo and provide the same guidelines included in this article. Now I have someting to send to those who still resist as my backup!

  4. Steve Sonn says:

    This is a great recommendation. I find that people are not using LinkedIn to its fullest potential, and posting a quality photo is certainly very important. A relatively recent photo is key as well so that the person is easily recognizable. If others took the time to build out and maintain their presence on LinkedIn, I think they would derive much more value from the platform. Thanks for this helpful post!

  5. Kirk Baumann says:

    Great article. A profile photo helps people connect on a deeper level.

  6. Madeline says:

    There are many people that don’t have pictures of themselves and theya get noticed. Whether I will or not, is to be seen. Once my typing business and computer literacy business has finally taken off, of course a picture will be included on my Linkin profile.

    1. Madeline, that’s my point. If you don’t have a picture, you need to get one. You state that there are many people without pictures who get noticed, but I’m not sure where you get that from. It’s simply a fact that LinkedIn profiles with photos are viewed more often than those without.

      Good point Steve on the fact that the photo should be recent. Also good point from Francis that you can ask your photographer for a square photo.

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Louise.. this is great advice. I always try and encourage others – especially young people – to keep their online profile “professional” and watch who to “friend” on Facebook. As someone who’s run their own business in the past, I’ve had to hire a lot of young people, and some of them, online.

    Though I doubt many would admit to it, if there are two, equally qualified candidates, but one appears more professional in their picture, my guess is the professional-looking one has the edge.

    And young people, please.. spell correctly and don’t post pictures of you drinking, flashing or in any other way, being irresponsible.

  8. Good points about professionalism Karen. I totally agree.

  9. LinkedIn is not just a place just for your social resume, but a database to include yourself in and ensure that you are strategically found. A photo is required for a complete profile and LinkedIn’s own help documentation says that profiles that are complete are 40% more likely to be found in searches. If you are in a competitive industry, you’re not even going to show up on the first few pages of search results if you are missing a photo, never mind get clicked on!

  10. My name is Bernadette Kenny, and I have years experience as a career change advisor and career consultant. I specialize in coaching executive women. A photo must present the professional image that is suitable for the sophisticated customer, in other words, how do you wish to present yourself to a potential customer? And the successful photo that produces results will showcase a woman with enhanced makeup and hair.

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