Linkedin Profile Picture

3 no-nos when choosing a LinkedIn profile picture

Are you active on LinkedIn? If you’re looking for a job, you should be! Your LinkedIn profile picture is often the very first look a potential employer has on you. So, why doesn’t everyone have a sparkly-new LinkedIn profile picture? We think there are two major obstacles to changing your profile picture. Deciding on a new profile picture is stressful! And, let’s face it, our innate laziness is also keeping us from a picture that represents our best selves.

We’re here to help you maximize your potential in the job search. Now is the time to give your LinkedIn profile picture an upgrade! But be warned, not every good picture of you is right for LinkedIn. If it is inappropriate – you’re off on the wrong foot with the recruiter. There are three big no-nos when you pick out your next LinkedIn profile picture.

  • Don’t look unprofessional
  • Don’t share the spotlight
  • Don’t use an old photo

1. Don’t look unprofessional

If you take one thing away from this article – keep your picture professional! Common profile picture mistakes will lower your chances of landing your dream job. We see far too many LinkedIn profile pictures of people at parties, bars, or very clearly on vacation. Just because your partner thinks you look cute in that photo doesn’t mean the recruiter will! If you take a new LinkedIn profile photo, you can throw on a nice outfit, find a pleasant spot, and take a picture like you’re getting ready for prom. That being said… it is way easier to pick a photo that you’ve already taken than go through the trouble of taking a new one.

People tend to get themselves into trouble when they update their LinkedIn profile picture with a picture that they’ve already taken. Do not pick a picture that almost works. When you are looking for a new LinkedIn profile picture in your photo album, cross off any pictures that aren’t professional. Think of business casual or above as the cutoff for these pics.

  • Beachwear is, alas, not professional

2. Don’t share the spotlight with anyone else

This is your profile and you are the star. Make sure it is a clean shot, close but not too close, and there’s no one else in the photo. Your Linkedin profile picture is an important part of your profile. Recruiters only spend a few seconds looking at your profile before deciding whether or not you make their shortlist. You gotta make those seconds count! Scrap any pictures of you with a friend or you in a group, even if you are a prominent figure.


3. Don’t use an old photo

Yes, yes, we know that the greatest photo you’ve ever taken was in college when you were dressed to the nines. Unfortunately, it’s time to set that aside. Looking like you’re still in high school is not likely to convey that you’re ready to work. Your LinkedIn profile picture should accurately reflect what you look like today! Well, close enough that recruiters and interviewers won’t do a double take when they see you in person for the first time.

Now, the question of the hour – do you have an appropriate LinkedIn profile picture? One that’s professional, features you and you alone and is recent enough that it looks like you. If you don’t have one handy it’s time to take some fresh new pics! Throw on your sharpest attire, grab a friend, and take the photoshoot of all photoshoots. If you’ve gotta take a new LinkedIn photo, then you better do it right.

Your LinkedIn profile picture is, unfortunately, only one step toward finding your dream job. If you are looking for a boost in your job search, try Pathrise! Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with job seekers 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job. On average, Pathrise increases interview scores by 200%, triples application responses, and lands our fellows jobs in three to five months. We’ve helped thousands of fellows find their dream job. Interested?

Apply today.

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Alex MacPherson

Hi I'm Alex! Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, I have worked on the growth team for Pathrise helping job seekers hone their skills to land their dream role through curated content on interview prep, resume building and more.

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