10 Career-Killing Mistakes to Avoid With Your LinkedIn Photo

linkedin photo

Do you feel like your LinkedIn profile isn’t getting the traffic it should?

You have great credentials, stellar references and testimonials, and a killer resume. So, what gives?

Chances are, it’s your LinkedIn photo. We hate to break it to you, but future employers, like everyone else, do judge a book by its cover.

Now, we’re not saying you need to look like Kim Kardashian in your profile pic. But, you do need to make sure the photo you post to your LinkedIn page is professional, and that it says “I’m the one for the job!”

How do you do that, exactly?

Well, there are certain mistakes you need to avoid. Read on to learn the top 7 mistakes to avoid with your LinkedIn photo.

What Does Your Profile Photo Say About You?

Actual Photo Analysis Results:

Age: 35:
Ethnic: White_Caucasian
Attraction: 7.64 out of 10
Emotion: Happy 
Results: This would be a GOOD choice for a Dating Profile.


1. It’s Too Old

Do you have a favorite old photo of yourself that you love to post again and again?

Well, if it’s old enough where it would make someone do a doubletake and wonder if that’s really you, then it’s time to put that photo in your computer’s archive.

Updating your photo shows employers that you’re invested in your personal branding. And, it helps make you look “current.” No one wants to hire someone who looks like their mind and ideas are stuck 20 years in the past.

2. No Photo

This could be the biggest cardinal sin of LinkedIn profiles.

Not having any photo at all honestly gives people the skeeves. It makes you look like a scammer, or, it makes it look like you’re that old guy who hasn’t figured out how to use social media platforms yet.

It can also make it look like you don’t care enough about your LinkedIn profile to put up a picture.

It never looks good to potential employers when you don’t have a LinkedIn photo. So, even if you are planning to take a professional photo soon, just put a temporary one up in the meantime.

3. The Tough/Serious Guy

Many people think that a serious/tough looking LinkedIn photo helps portray that they are serious workers. But, unless you’re applying for a job as Justin Bieber’s bodyguard, there’s no need to look too serious.

So, if your photo is you in a tight shirt, showing off those biceps, and glaring into the camera, it’s time for a new look. The only thing you’re actually saying to employers with this photo is that you’re full of yourself, so take a new pic and don’t be afraid to flash a smile!

4. The Adventure Photo

That awesome photo of you swimming in the ocean with sharks or skiing down the Swiss Alps?

While these photos are great, they don’t belong on a LinkedIn profile. To be quite honest, when employers are seeking candidates, they’re not interested in what you did on vacation.

Also, when you post a photo of yourself engaging in some sort of activity, the instant assumption is that this activity has to do with your work. Therefore, many employers will end up passing you over simply based on your photo.

So, save the adventure photos for Instagram and Tinder, and stick with one that’s simple.

5. The Weekend Partier

Hey, we all love going out and having a good time on the weekends. But, there’s absolutely no need to put your weekend shenanigans on display for your future employers.

A photo of you with a drink in your hand, or even a photo of you out at a club or bar, has no place on LinkedIn.

We’re sure your future employers are fine with you partying, but it shouldn’t be their first impression of you.

6. The Bachelor/Bachelorette Contest

We don’t doubt that you’ve got some good angles.

But if your photo screams, “I’m looking for love and I enjoy long walks on the beach,” it’s time to swap it out.

A photo that looks like it could be used for an online dating app looks pretty ridiculous on a professional site like LinkedIn.

Sure, you may look great in it. But, you also need to look like you can get the job done. A photo of you staring off into the distance doesn’t display that.

7. The Selfie

If your selfie game is strong, you may be tempted to post a selfie as your LinkedIn photo. But, save these photos for the washroom. They look unprofessional and lazy on a LinkedIn profile.

And, by the way, no matter how far you extend your arm or what selfie stick you use, people can still tell it’s a selfie. You’re not fooling anybody.

8. The Pet Photo

Future employers have no problem with the fact that you love your furry little friend, but, displaying that love on LinkedIn isn’t the best idea.

Unless you’re a vet or work directly with animals in some capacity, save the photos of you and your pooch for your friends to “ooh and aww” over.

Trust us, your pet won’t get offended they didn’t make the cut.

9. The Crop

Another common mistake that happens with LinkedIn photos? People posting ones that have been obviously cropped.

A cropped photo looks super spammy, so even if it’s a great photo, if it doesn’t fill that little circle perfectly, it’s time for a new one.

10. Low Res/Shadow

Is that you in that photo?

If someone has to squint to make out your features due to low resolution or lighting that produces a shadow, it’s time to update your LinkedIn photo.

Take the time to take a photo in quality lighting, and then to crop it so it’s the right size. Zooming in and out will give it that pixilated look.

Lights, Camera, Action: You’re Ready for Your LinkedIn Photo

Now that you know about all these LinkedIn photo mistakes, it’s pretty clear what option is left for your LinkedIn photo: one that is professional, clear, simple, and welcoming.

If you don’t think you can achieve that image on your own, book with us. We can help you take the perfect LinkedIn photo to complete your profile.

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