LinkedIn Profile Images You Shouldn’t Use

January 22, 2015

Avoid These Types of Images on Your LinkedIn Profile

On most social media networks, one not-so-great photo doesn’t really make a difference – there’s usually plenty more that people can take a look at!

LinkedIn is slightly different. Your profile photo on LinkedIn is your chance to portray yourself as a business professional who people want to work with. Getting this photo wrong my lose you potential chances of doing business with somebody.

Unfortunately, most of us judge a book by it’s cover. Avoiding these mistakes can help encourage people to connect with you and therefore build your business relationships.

9 Types of Images You’ll Want to Avoid

1. No Profile Photo

Your profile photo represents you to people who look at your page. It invites people to click on your profile and encourages them to connect with you.

If you don’t use a profile picture the chances are people will not take any action on your page.

A profile photo helps people recognise you; it gives your business, and job, a human face while also giving people an idea about you as a person. A profile photo can also help people remember you from events, work or previous education who may want to connect with you.

2. Poor Quality

Make sure your photo is of the same quality that you are promising your work to be. Your profile photo should be clear and represent the work you do.

Ensure that you have enough light when taking the picture; a dark photo may be grainy or unclear and look unprofessional.

If you have to resize the image, make sure you do it properly so that it stays in focus and doesn’t become pixelated. If your profile photo is blurry, out of focus or cropped people may doubt how professional your work is.

3. Selfies

You may not have the budget to hire a professional photographer to take your photo – that’s okay!

Taking a photo of yourself can still look nice and portray you as a professional if you do it right. We’d recommend avoiding making it obvious that you have taken the photograph yourself.

Use a timed setting on your camera or phone to take the image; this way you won’t see your arm in the frame and it will improve the quality of your photo.

4. Inappropriate

It’s important to consider what you’re actually doing in your profile photo – would you do that at work? Similar to what you’re wearing – would you wear that outfit to work?

If you wouldn’t want your boss to see you in that manner, it’s likely you wouldn’t want a social media platform full of business professionals to see you like that either. LinkedIn is a great platform for building business relationships and furthering your business or career.

Consider the nature of your job; if you’re in a creative job role a quirky profile photo would be perfect. However, if you’re a solicitor potential employers or clients may not take you seriously.

5. Just Plain Boring

Would you want to do business with, or hire, someone that looks bored, dull or unenthusiastic? Make sure your profile photo portrays you in the best light.

Having a crazy, over-the-top image may not be the most appropriate, but there’s nothing stopping you experimenting with different backgrounds. For example, you cold try various colours or place yourself in surroundings your viewers will relate to.

A photo of yourself in a social situation where you appear natural and relaxed could also work well, just make sure you choose wisely.

6. Not Too Close, Not Too Far Away

If your profile photo on shows one eye, your nose and part of your mouth then you’re a bit too close!

Take a photo where people can see your whole face and could recognise you if you were to meet in person.

You should also make sure that you aren’t too far away from the camera. The image itself isn’t very big so you need to make sure people could recognise your face.

7. Logos

It’s actually against LinkedIn’s terms and conditions to use a company logo as your profile photo.

If you want to advertise your company, create and use a company LinkedIn page and use the logo as the profile photo on that.

Your personal LinkedIn should represent you.

8. Over-Crowding

If there is more than one person in your profile photo, it is overcrowded.

Again, your personal LinkedIn should represent you. Your profile photo is there to display you, to promote the work you do and to see yourself to potential employers or clients.

If you have more than just yourself in the photo, how is someone going to know who you are and decide whether they’d like to work with you?

9. ‘Cutesy’ Pictures

Your holiday to Florida looks great, your cat is absolutely adorable and that pretty landscape is very nice… but they shouldn’t feature as your LinkedIn profile photo.

Save these types of images for other social media sites, such as Facebook, to share with your friends and family.

Using these types of images doesn’t really give anyone an idea about who you are as a business professional and they also go against LinkedIn’s terms and conditions.

You only have one profile photo, use it wisely! Show people that you are someone they want to connect and work with.


If you found this interesting, take a read of our other blog using images on social media to increase engagements.

We hope you found this blog post useful. If you have any questions about images and video content on social media, please feel free to get in touch!

Written by Jo Ginger

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