The Best Pose for Your LinkedIn Profile Picture

LinkedIn Picture Pose

by Donna Svei on May 13, 2014

You can improve your LinkedIn profile picture by looking directly into the camera and smiling as though you’re greeting your best friend. Like this:

The people in these photos look warm, friendly, and trustworthy, like people you would want as colleagues. That’s because they’re smiling with teeth and enough eye squinch to make their smiles look genuine, not forced. That’s the best profile photo pose for most of us.

One caveat, dress in business attire. Most of these people are wearing casual clothing. Research has shown that a picture taken in business attire gives a better impression of influence, competence, and likeability than a shot taken in casual clothing. Follow the link in the first paragraph of this post to see the research data. The link will also give you the research findings on the importance of your smile.

8 More Common Mistakes in LinkedIn Profile Pictures

If you want to learn about other common mistakes in LinkedIn pictures, and how to get them fixed on the cheap, then check out my popular companion piece to this post (on LinkedIn Pulse) here.

What should you avoid?

1. Busy backgrounds.

2. Facial shadows.

3. Poses that add wrinkles.

4. Overexposures.

5. Uneven skin tones.

6. Group shots.

7. Lack of contrast between you and your picture’s background.

8. Bad cropping.

The Pulse post highlights those photo faux pas, presents some fun examples, and shows you how to get them fixed for a tiny investment.

For wrinkles, see this post for a brilliant tip (it works!) on how to avoid adding ten to 20 years to your jawline.


Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here. My email address is The more I know about my readers, the more relevant I can make my blog.

I’m an executive resume writer (LinkedIn profiles too) and interview coach. Save time. Get hired. Email me at or call me at (208) 721-0131.

Image:  © Rawpixel –


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Donna Svei April 22, 2015

Interesting Blake. Have you used it? Donna

2 Donna Svei April 22, 2015

3/15/15 update: David, I think you will like this post: Your Profile Photo: Research Reveals the Ultimate Hack – INFOGRAPHIC Donna

3 Donna Svei April 22, 2015

It’s always good to hear a variety of perspectives. Thank you David. Donna

4 Donna Svei April 22, 2015

Thank you Julie. I’m smiling at the image. :) Donna

5 julie bishop May 26, 2014

Hi Donna …It’s amazing how so many people get it so wrong! The wedding shots always amaze me or the ones with someone else’s head cut off which was resting on their shoulder.

6 David Moloney May 25, 2014

The vast majority of the photos shown in your post are ‘mugshots’ and look unnatural – like someone’s been dragged infront of the camera. Don’t stand and look front on to the camera. Instead, have your body infront, but slightly turn your head while looking at the camera.

In your examples, only the two men with glasses have a decent camera pose.

7 Blake Sellers May 24, 2014

I’m surprised you haven’t found

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