How to take a LinkedIn Profile Photo
If you’re going to have a LinkedIn profile, you will definitely need a photo. Just like people buy from people they like, know and trust, people strongly hesitate to offer an interview to / do business with / connect with someone off of a LinkedIn profile (no matter how amazing your record may be) with no photo. The best option is to get a clean, crisp photo done by a real professional photographer. However, if you can’t go for a professional photo right now, here are some tips (for what it’s worth) to get a decent / acceptable photo for your profile in the meantime:
(1) Get someone else to take it: avoid selfies on LinkedIn.
(2) Mind the lighting: make sure your light source is angling towards your face, not directly on top of your head or from behind you which will create dark shadows and ultimately make it hard to see you or an important element of you (like your eyes).
(3) Mind the background: make sure what’s behind you is pretty, clean and organized – no clutter or mess. No wine glasses, party elements, etc. Don’t use photos with your kids and other people (spouses, parents, etc). This profile is about you and you only.
(4) Make your photo a headshot: full body shots aren’t necessary or preferred.
(5) Consider your attire and hair: don’t wear hats, shades, etc.; non-busy, plain, clean clothing works nicely (think interview but not over the top); keep make-up and hair conservative and professional; avoid ball gown / cocktail attire photos ladies (especially strapless dresses or plunging necklines). Avoid earrings (for men), jersey’s, t-shirts, etc.
(6) Body positioning matters: this isn’t glamour shots nor is the goal to look “sexy”; try a straight forward look at the camera with a natural and friendly smile (especially you guys: don’t “mean mug”). If you must angle yourself, make sure your head is facing the content of your LinkedIn page – it sends a weird subtle message to be facing away from the content of your page.
From there, just follow the steps LinkedIn gives you to make your profile as complete as possible. The most robust profiles are the best to look at and speaks to your experience and professionalism. Good luck!