Today’s employers are technically savvy and using social media to “meet” job candidates before actually interviewing them. Gone are the days when the interview was the first time that an employer had the opportunity to put a face to a name, now their first impression of you is your LinkedIn profile picture. Did you know that according to research conducted by LinkedIn, your profile is 14 times as likely to be viewed by others by simply having a profile picture?  Imagine how many views you would get if that profile picture stood out as professional and approachable!

Don’t let your profile picture, or lack thereof, be the reason that an employer passes you by. Instead, get them engaged and invested in you as a candidate by drawing them in with a profile picture that stands out. Here are a few pointers if you are struggling to find the right LinkedIn profile picture.


Dress for success: When it comes to profile pictures, what you wear does matter. Since the interview is no longer the first time employers will be seeing you, your profile picture should reflect the attire that you would wear to meet a potential employer for the first time. So ditch that picture of you on vacation in a fedora and sunglasses, and find a picture that accurately represents you as a professional job candidate.

Flash those pearly whites: Don’t underestimate the power of a genuine smile. While you want to be taken seriously, resisting a smile can come off as unapproachable; however, you also want to avoid a goofy smile that can give the impression that you aren’t a serious candidate. The best smile for a profile picture is one that makes you look authentic and approachable.

Don’t be afraid to stand alone: Simply put, your profile picture is the opportunity to show a future employer who YOU are. Selecting a profile picture that has more than one person only confuses the people looking at your profile; therefore, limit the guess work by taking a picture solo. This can feel uncomfortable if you are not accustomed to taking pictures by yourself, but just remember that your profile picture is your opportunity to show others who you are. After all, chances are that an employer isn’t interested in hiring you and your friends.

Update your picture periodically: Should you get a call for an in person interview, your profile picture should be an accurate representation of what you look like today (not 10 years ago). Think of yourself as a brand. Brands often have to rebrand and use different marketing techniques to stay current in their field.  Similarly, having a recent photo demonstrates that you are current in your field and active in your social media presence.

Make your face the focal point: While I am sure that potential employers would be interested to find out about your love of the outdoors, your profile picture should not depict a distant photo of you on a mountain.  Instead, you face should be the star of the show by framing your photo close to your face with a neutral background.

Hire a professional: If you find yourself lacking the above traits of a LinkedIn profile picture resist the urge to snap a quick selfie. Instead, consider contacting a professional to help you to get the perfect picture for your LinkedIn profile. If you do go the professional route, make sure that you are investing in a photographer who is skilled with professional headshots (not beauty portraits).


There are several benefits to having a professional yet relatable profile picture, especially if you are currently looking for new employment. Having the right profile picture can make or break a job opportunity so don’t miss the chance to market yourself to potential employers and use these tips to ensure that your profile picture makes a good first impression.