The better question is what shouldn’t your LinkedIn photo look like!

Your LinkedIn photo shouldn’t look like a mug shot.

It shouldn’t be scary.

Your LinkedIn photo should be friendly and inviting.

Tips to a better LinkedIn Photo

  1. Dress for Success Think about what you are wearing. It doesn’t have to be a suit but looks presentable. Corporate casual is OK. Sweaters are OK.
  2. Check your lighting. When I scan through LinkedIn photos (Tip: check your People you should know the area) I find photos with people who look green, yellow or are almost blacked out. Your lighting should create a nice atmosphere or ambiance not make you look sick. Avoid direct sunlight or overhead light sources.
  3. Smile. People respond to smiles. You don’t have to go overboard or show a lot of teeth. Just smile naturally.
  4. What’s in the background? Look around you. Make sure the background works for the shot. You want to stand out. Unless you are a pro, don’t try to fade the background or try to crop.
  5. Make eye contact. Look friendly. Smile with your eyes. Don’t look too serious.

Should I hire a professional photographer?

Professional photographers are skilled in getting the right shot. They know by instinct how to make you look better. Emily Voss from Voss Studios took my most recent headshot. I hate having my photo taken but Emily made it fun.

about_julie-150x150 What should your LinkedIn photo look like?

I had the privilege of writing Emily’s resume a few years ago when she sought an internship with Annie Leibovitz in New York. Of course, she landed the internship. Emily’s got talent!

If you hire a pro, check out their website to make sure that they shoot the types of photos you want. Many of them will do location shots or have studios set up with creative backgrounds.

Only you can decide if that investment is right for you. However, remember compared to your senior photos or even your wedding, your LinkedIn photo can be seen by thousands of people.

It also has the power to influence whether you are hired. Sounds like a good investment to me!