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LinkedIn Profile Photo: What is a Head Shot?

July 31, 2018

We always hear that LinkedIn profile photos should be professional, but what does that mean? 

The photo you use on LinkedIn is important because it will set the tone and initial impression for your profile. Check out these numbers and statistics that back up my advice. According to, you can get up to 21 times more profile views than members without a photo.  As important as having a profile picture is, having the right picture means using a head shot. 

You might ask, “What is a head shot?” My first response is that a head shot is most certainly not a selfie. Sorry.

In fact, in my career I have been surprised by the number of professionals who ask the same question: “What is a head shot?” The head shot for LinkedIn should be from your shoulders up and have a solid background. I recommend having a professional photographer take your photo, especially if you plan on using the photo for business cards, your professional website, brochures and any additional personal branding. A professional will also ensure your photo is low resolution which will create a pristine look for your web content. If you cannot afford a professional or have decided you do not need one, then make sure you have an additional set of eyes to review your chosen picture. 


What to wear for women



Women should wear a solid color shirt (and optional blazer) — blue is a great color palette, followed by black, a white black combo or deep purple or emerald green. I advise against pastels as these colors tend to washout. The same with red, brown and orange. And stay away from bold prints and polka dots. For jewelry, wear stud earrings and possibly a necklace; nothing too flashy.


What to wear for men 


 Men should wear a solid color shirt (and optional tie and blazer). Again, blue is a great color palette, followed by black or a white black combo. And while red is typically seen as a power color, I advise against using this color scheme in your picture. And once again, stay away from bold patterns and prints. If you sport a beard or goatee, make sure you are freshly groomed. 


The last tip I can offer is smile. You want to look approachable. 

Until Next Tuesday…


Here is the link from LinkedIn to walk you through adding and editing your profile photo:


Comment Below: What is one thing you could do to improve your status on LinkedIn?


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