LinkedIn Profile Pictures: The Good. The Bad. And The Ugly.

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LinkedIn Talent Blog “Your profile picture can be one of the most important elements of your LinkedIn presence. Our research shows that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others”

Your profile picture, on any social network, is the first impression someone gets of you. So do you know what really grinds my gears?  Bad LinkedIn profile pictures. Why? Because it’s not hard to get a great one.

The aim of this article is to show how I got my profile picture wrong (for a long time), and how you can learn from my mistakes.

The Ugly. My first ever profile picture. And yes that is me in a field with a can of Carlsberg. I had just graduated from university and thought that as long as my picture is of high quality, then that will be OK. Wrong. A high quality picture is just one factor of many. Ask yourself, does that look professional? No, it doesn’t (unless my profession was selling Carlsberg in fields).


While we’re on the topic of alcohol, I’ve seen so many profile pics of people clearly at a bar or club, beer/cocktail/shot in hand with a booze-induced grin. To top it off it’s usually a grainy, cropped pic taken from a phone. Think about it, what message does this send? Does it look like you take your professional appearance seriously?

The Bad. My second profile picture. Meh, it’s OK but it doesn’t show who I am. I rarely wear a suit and rarer still am I clean shaven. This picture no longer portrays who I am or what I look like at work. There’s also too much going on in the background and it’s not close enough to my face.


LinkedIn has a great 53 second video to help users snap the right photo for your profile. In the video, it quite rightly mentions that we all have different versions of ourselves i.e. we dress and act differently when jogging, meeting friends, at work etc. On LinkedIn, you want the ‘at work’ version of yourself to shine through because LinkedIn is a professional networking site. So you may not have the same pic for Facebook, Twitter or Tinder…

The Good (said as humbly as possible). My current profile pic. About 9 months ago I asked my girlfriend, with the help of her DSLR camera, to help get me a new profile pic. I trimmed the beard, had a haircut, ironed a shirt and stood in front of a brick wall. It took a while but I feel I now have a picture that, well, looks like me! And the me I want everyone else to see online. Being a Recruiter, I spend every day on LinkedIn and introduce myself to new people, over LinkedIn, all the time. Whether you like it or not, people form opinions on your appearance. What do you want your profile picture to say about you?


I hope this article has been useful! If you ever want further LinkedIn advice, feel free to connect and message me.

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