If you don’t have a profile photo up on LinkedIn, you should get one as soon as possible! LinkedIn studies have shown that having a profile photo can increase profile views up to 21 times, and connections 9 times. You shouldn’t miss out on those opportunities, so it’s time to upload a photo! Today we have all the advice you need to take the perfect photo for your LinkedIn profile!

Before talking about the technical decisions to be made when taking the photo, it’s important to realize the purpose of the photo. On LinkedIn, your profile photo influences whether people decide to connect with you or not. A profile photo should convey trust, likability, and professionalism. That way other professionals will be more likely to connect. When you take your photo, keep those three traits in mind. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few photos and then choose from them later!

Setting the Photo Scene

  • Find a simple backdrop.

It may feel like overkill to stage your photo, but it will make a difference with the quality of the final results. To begin, you should find an area without a distracting background to take it. Ideally the background will be blurred when you take it, but it’s not always doable. Either way, having a simple background will keep the focus on you.

  • Dress like you were going to work.

Second, you should wear work-appropriate clothes. Since this photo is going on LinkedIn and not Facebook, business attire is key. This will help to convey a sense of professionalism.

  • Only take a photo of yourself.

Although this may seem obvious, don’t use a photo with anyone else in it. This can easily confuse anyone looking at your profile. As such, you shouldn’t use your dog, your kids, or a TV show character as your photo either. This will avoid any confusion, especially if you were to meet a connection in person.

  • Square yourself up.

Distance is also a big factor. Since the photos is somewhat small on LinkedIn, it should be fairly close up. The best LinkedIn photos are usually taken from the shoulders up. This shows your face and attire without being too far away. Stay away from full-body shots, or extreme close-ups.

  • Don’t wear sunglasses.

Unless you are a Ray-Ban model, you should stay away from sunglasses in your profile picture. Studies have shown that blocking eyes in a photo can make the subject seem insincere and untrustworthy. Look at the camera and keep your eyes visible.

  • Get someone else to take the photo.

The best possible photo you can have taken will be by someone else. Ideally, you would have a professional take it, but if not, a friend, colleague, or family member can help. This will help the photo look more natural. If you have to take a selfie, set a timer and then pose, or use a selfie stick.

  • Smile, but not too much.

When you smile, you should find a balance between a belly laugh smile, and a grin. People respond best to smiles that show teeth, as it makes the person appear genuine. Don’t be afraid to take a few photos to get your smile just right! If someone is taking your photo, have them talk with you and tell a joke or two to get you comfortable in front of the camera.

Editing & Uploading

Once you’ve taken the photo, it’s time to edit it and/or upload it. Some people prefer to touch up the photo, but there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

  • Don’t change it to black and white.

Black and white portraits are trendy, but when it comes to LinkedIn, they can hurt your chances of connecting with others. If you want to use a black and white version of the photo, keep it on Facebook or Instagram.

  • Don’t over-saturate the photo.

If you’re unhappy with the vibrancy of the colors, it’s okay to slightly increase the saturation. If you go overboard, however, your professional portrait can wind up looking cheap and tacky. Avoid heavy filters and keep it close to its original tone.

  • Optimize your photo for upload.

LinkedIn’s minimum size for a photo upload is 400 x 400, and the max is 2000 x 2000. You should at least meet the 400 x 400 minimum, and you may want to consider a slightly large upload 600 x 600 for anyone who may click on your photo.

We hope this information helps you take the perfect LinkedIn photo! It may seem like a lot of steps to take, but it will ensure that you’re happy with the end result. A photo alone plays a huge role in your overall LinkedIn page, so everyone should have one!