You don’t have to pay a professional photographer to do your profile picture for LinkedIn, but if you are serious about your career, why wouldn’t you? For less than the price of one work outfit you can have an expert corporate photographer take your portrait providing you with at least three different shots to choose from so you can even refresh your image throughout the year at no additional cost. If you monetize and factor in the time it would take you to take your own photo, edit it so you look your best and then post it to your profile, the cost of having it professionally done for you is a wash.
But hey, maybe even knowing all that, one of your goals this year is to be as frugal as possible and you think you can do as good a job as a pro on your own. If so, you need to at least make sure you do a few things right – and a cropped shot of you from your beach vacation in Cancun isn’t appropriate in case you were wondering. What might look great on your Facebook profile page viewed by friends and family isn’t necessarily what is appropriate for the more professional “Facebook for adults” environment that LinkedIn represents.
While having a profile picture is not mandatory on LinkedIn, would you trust someone online who didn’t want to show a true likeness of themselves, particularly in a professional networking context? Did you know, for example, that “LinkedIn can remove your profile image if it is not your likeness or a headshot photo and that if LinkedIn removes your “photo 3 times, you will not be able to upload a photo to your profile again.”
With that in mind, you need to also make sure your photo is in the following formats (taken from LinkedIn’s photo settings recommendations page):
- You can upload JPG, GIF or PNG files
- File size – 4MB maximum.
- Pixel size: 200 x 200 minimum and 500 x 500 maximum
I would recommend using the maximum pixel sized image to take full advantage of the space allotted to the profile photo. Try to show yourself in the best light possible, ideally looking straight on into the camera with your shoulders at a slight angle to ensure you don’t look like you are posing for a mug shot. Have your hair done as best you can, apply a small amount of glare reducing makeup and even though this is a professional site, you don’t have to look like a stern prison warden (unless of course, that’s the kind of career you are pursuing).