What does your LinkedIn profile photo tell your first-time visitor?

A great LinkedIn profile photo is important because it is the first thing that people see when they visit your profile. It is your chance to make a good first impression and show potential employers and clients who you are and what you're about.

Here are some tips for choosing a great LinkedIn profile photo:

  • Use a professional headshot. Your photo should be taken in a professional setting with good lighting. Avoid using selfies or photos of you with friends or family.
  • A friendly smile will make you look approachable and trustworthy.  It also offers credibility and can build trust in your brand.  If you were a military professional who had his or her photo placed in orderly rooms or other command entrances, it's time to really focus on the warmth needed for your profile photo.
  • Dress appropriately. Your attire should be appropriate for your industry and the type of job you're seeking.
  • Make eye contact. This will make you look confident and engaged.
  • Keep it simple. Your photo should be simple and uncluttered. Avoid using filters or other effects that will make you look unnatural.

By following these tips, you can choose a great LinkedIn profile photo that will help you make a positive first impression and increase your chances of success.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when choosing a LinkedIn profile photo:

  • Make sure the photo is recent. You don't want to use a photo that is more than a few years old.  Some male military professionals grow a beard while some women make significant changes to their hair color.  When this happens, it's time to update that photo.
  • Make sure the photo is high-quality. The photo should be clear and in focus.
  • Make sure the photo is appropriate for your industry.If you're in a conservative industry, you'll want to choose a more conservative photo.

Professional  photographers can range between $80 to $250 for one photo.  Military professionals in transition can work with the Portraits for Patriots” program.  College students can visit some college work advisory offices to not only get a photo but to borrow the appropriate attire.

If money is somewhat tight for college students or some military professionals, I would tell their grandmother or other friends that a gift certificate for a photo session would be appreciated.

How our team helps you


Our team works with professional photographers to help convey your story.   While we recognize that a good photo can costs a few dollars, think of this LinkedIn element as executive attire.  An investment to work with one will make an impressive impact on first-time viewers.   

It will also help you with recognition for a first time meeting.  Think if you will, an interview in a coffee shop or a conference.  Having an exceptional photo like the ones shown above will help you stand out in any situation.

Our team encourages clients to get a photo from a trusted colleague. This will serve as a suitable placeholder until they can get a professional photograph. Matt sat down for a YouTube video to share how to make the transition from a cell phone image into one that shows warmth and professionalism.

If you are looking for help with your profile photo, you can learn more about how our team can help you out.

Moving ahead, we will next discuss the importance of headlines.