This is a guide covering 15 LinkedIn headshot tips you should use and keep in mind when getting a headshot for your profile.
We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):
Table of Contents
What is a LinkedIn Headshot?
LinkedIn headshots are profile pictures used for business. They are essentially regular headshots just with a more professional feel.
LinkedIn headshots are similar to business headshots.
LinkedIn has about 810 million members and LinkedIn status messages and updates can be permanently attached to your photo, so choose wisely!
Every company wants to hire people with an attractive resume and likable personality. Your LinkedIn headshot should convey a professional or friendly attitude.
How Does a LinkedIn Headshot Differ From a Regular Headshot?
While a LinkedIn headshot is similar to a regular headshot, it differs in the way that your picture represents you as a professional.
LinkedIn headshots should be more on the formal side, compared to casual social media photos.
When uploading a photo for your LinkedIn account, make sure it reflects how you look and present yourself at work.
How Long Does it Take to Create a LinkedIn Headshot?
Creating your LinkedIn headshot should take about an hour. Once you have chosen what photo you want to use, edit it accordingly.
Make sure that everything in the picture looks professional and that there are no distractions. Then just choose the right background, crop your image properly, and you’re all done!
Why is Having a Good LinkedIn Headshot Important?
A LinkedIn headshot, or at least a good one, is important because it represents how you look and act in your professional life.
A great headshot should reflect your personality, while also portraying the right kind of attitude for your chosen career path.
15 Tips for Your LinkedIn Headshot
1. You Can Keep it Natural
Keep it simple with natural light. Take your headshot in front of a window or use natural lighting instead of professional lighting equipment, like flash photography. T
his will keep the photo looking more natural rather than staged. Although there is nothing wrong with wanting a studio style headshot, it just isn’t 100% necessary for LinkedIn.
2. Plain Background
A plain background is best for LinkedIn photos. You want to make sure that your photo is the focus, which means that you should remove any distractions.
Take the photo against a simple white or light-colored wall; this will help keep the focus on you rather than objects around you.
3. Edit Out Imperfections
Edit out imperfections. Make sure to remove blemishes like acne and scars, or anything else that could make your picture look less flattering.
4. Look Natural and Relaxed
Keep it cool as the kids say.
Look natural and relaxed. You don’t want to try too hard, nor do you want to be too serious for the wrong job!
5. Watch the Glasses
If you wear glasses 24/7, then wear glasses in your photo. If you only wear glasses sometimes, then don’t wear glasses in your photo.
While they can reflect part of your personality, they often distract from your face.
But the biggest problem with glasses is the glare it can create in the image.
If you have an experience headshot photographer, they can remedy this glare, but it’d be better overall just to avoid wearing glasses if you don’t wear them 24/7.
6. Ditch the Selfie
Ditch the selfie. While selfies can be great for social media sites like Instagram, don’t use one for LinkedIn headshots.
When taking a headshot yourself, make sure that it is free of shadows and bright enough for others to see your face clearly.
If you don’t have anyone else to take the photo, use an app with a timer option so that you can adjust all of the settings yourself.
7. Avoid Blurry and Low-Quality
Don’t choose a blurry or low-quality picture. People will be able to see every flaw and mistake, and it may make you look less professional.
8. Keep Eyes Open and Lively
Keep your eyes open, and look lively. Maybe you have experienced this — but if you are sleepy it is easy for our eyes to feel “droopy.”
You don’t want this in your profile photo. Also, a photo of you with your eyes closed or looking away from the camera will not look good so remember to keep them open (obviously) and try to look lively.
If you are feeling sleepy before the shoot, drink some coffee or maybe splash some cold water on your face!
9. Smile Naturally
Make sure to choose a picture where you are smiling naturally rather than tilting your head to the side or opening your mouth wide.
10. Avoid Props
Keep it simple with no props. While you can have small, subtle objects in the background for visual interest, avoid any large or distracting items that would take away from your face.
11. Avoid Sunglasses
Avoid sunglasses unless they are part of a costume or accessory, like a graduation gown.
12. One For All
Since you are getting your headshot taken, take one headshot that you would be happy with using for all of your online profiles as well as social media sites.
Just remember though, you can often use your LinkedIn headshot for social media sites, but you may not be able to use the headshot you have on Instagram for your LinkedIn profile unless it is professional looking.
13. Keep Photo Up to Date
As your image changes over time, these changes should be reflected in your professional photos.
Make sure to keep your headshot up-to-date by either getting a new one taken every few years.
This can also help if you are looking to change careers or have your photo taken for a completely different purpose, like an article or event.
14. Avoid Bright Colors and Flashy Logos
Stay away from bright colors and flashy logos.
Your LinkedIn headshot should not be too distracting because people will want to focus on you and what you look like rather than the background (unless it is part of your job).
15. Avoid Too Much Editing and Retouching
Avoid too much editing and skin retouching . While you can remove blemishes and red eye, avoid making your photo look too airbrushed or artificial.
People are looking for a professional headshot, not something that looks too fake or Photoshopped.
LinkedIn photos should be high-quality pictures of professionals who are interesting to look at, so make sure to take the time to find the perfect shot for your page.
Nate Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer and writes mostly on those topics. Nate used to run his own professional photography business called Nate Joaquin Photography but has since focused on the marketing and business aspect of photography although he still enjoys taking photos. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. He is also a photography speaker and author on Photofocus.com.