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The 6 Worst LinkedIn Profile Pictures

The most common types of LinkedIn photo don'ts.
linkedin worst profile pic

We’ve all seen them, and some of us might even have them–that “professional headshot” that’s far from professional. On LinkedIn, your headshot is likely the first element on your profile that anyone focuses on. To make sure you, and perhaps even your employees, are representing their personal and employer brands at their best, we put together a list of the six most common types of LinkedIn photo sins so you can avoid (or stop) committing them.


The One with the Cute Pet

Yes, your fluffy animal is adorable but we’re pretty sure that your dog is not the one looking to recruit employees. Unless you work at Petco, please don’t show Fido.

linkedin worst profile picThe One with the Bad Lighting

A dark, shadowy background does not make you look mysterious, it just means we can’t see your face.  Try to find some natural lighting, and stay away from fluorescents!  You’ll look your best if the lighting mimics sunlight.

The One with the Crop

Remember that one group picture that you just looked great in? Back away from the cropping tool! Take a solo picture, you’ll look better without half of your best friend’s face squished up next to yours.

linkedin worst profile picThe One with the Random Background

This is your chance to be the center of attention, so why would you stand in front of a distracting background? You are the star. Keep the background simple so your face and your personality are the focus.

linkedin worst profile picThe One who is All Business, No Pleasure

Smile! Just because you want to be taken seriously as a working professional doesn’t mean you can’t be seen with a grin.  A genuine smile will make you seem more approachable, so go ahead and show those pearly whites.

The One with the Business Action Shot

We’re glad you have the ability to multitask but you don’t need to take a picture of yourself doing the actual work.  It’s not cute, it’s not creative, and it’s not professional.  A profile picture from the neck up is really all you need.
Now you know the 6 Worst LinkedIn Profile Pictures. In short, it’s all about simplicity: Take a solo photo, with good lighting, a simple background, from the neck up.  If you want to go the extra mile you might want to consider hiring a professional photographer to come to your company and take profile pictures of your employees.  Employees’ LinkedIn profiles by association represent your brand, and a professional headshot communicates you’re the type of employer that pays attention to detail.


Audra Knight, Integration Specialist, CareerArc
Audra Knight, Integration Specialist, CareerArc

These tips were shared by our CareerArc Integration Specialist, Audra Knight, in our webinar, LinkedIn Recruiting 201: Beyond-the-Basics Techniques for the Modern Recruiter.
Next Read: 4 LinkedIn Recruiting Mistakes You’re Likely Making.

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