Your Profile Picture: Research Reveals the Ultimate Hack – Infographic

You know how important your LinkedIn profile picture is to your career. Or, if you don’t, read this story of how a new picture turned around a faltering job search.

Luckily, Photofeeler, a Boulder startup, conducts research on profile pictures and has developed a system that lets you assess your profile picture’s effectiveness.

Feedback on Profile Pictures

You can use Photofeeler to get feedback on three essential career factors:

1. Likeability.

2. Competence.

3. Influence.

What We Did

Ann Pierce, the Co-Founder and CEO of Photofeeler, and I teamed up to produce an infographic (see below) that gives you research-proven priorities for making your profile picture killer effective.

3 Factors That Make the Most Effective Profile Pictures

To make the best impression possible:

1. Don’t obstruct your eyes.

2. Smile with your teeth showing — and throw in a little squinch.

3. Dress formally.

I pressed Ann on her formal dress advice because many companies don’t require it. She said that regardless of the company or industry, formal dress scores better in pictures. Period. So guys, get your ties on!

The Profile Picture Hack

Ann recommends going to a professional photographer to get a good picture, but that’s not the hack.

The hack:

Ann shared the four pictures that have scored the top rankings ever on Photofeeler. If you have already looked at them (below), then you probably noticed that all four are remarkably similar.

Each picture was styled and taken by professionals for stock photo sites. Their Photofeeler rankings show you the advantage you gain from working with professionals and, because of their similarity, what to do with your own picture.

Study the infographic below, and then:

1. Mimic the dress and grooming in one of the two pictures on the right.

2. Give your photographer the infographic and ask him/her to pose and frame you just like the woman on the right (because she has the best scores of all).

Could it be easier?

Let Us Know

After you’re done, run your old and new pictures through Photofeeler (it’s free) and let us know how your scores changed.


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!


Top 3 Factors for a Winning LinkedIn Profile Photo, According to Science


I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at for more information.

Featured by: Entrepreneur

Updated September 2016

Comments 4

  1. I wasn’t aware of PhotoFeeler so I’m glad you shared this, Donna. I didn’t realize I missed this, so I’m sorry to see that’s the case.

    The importance of a LI profile picture cannot be overstated: it’s good for 11x profile views.

    That’s more than an order of magnitude!

  2. Hi Jenna,

    Your points are well taken. Thank you for sharing them. You might like this post: Career Myth: Always Put a Photo on Your LinkedIn Profile

    However, I’m also happy to report that one of my clients just ran two pictures through PhotoFeeler to decide which one to use on her LinkedIn profile. She’s not Caucasian and she is over 40. Her best picture scored two 95’s and a 94, better than the best photo above!


  3. Those people all look like models and appear to be caucasian. Most of us don’t look like a model. Having a photo on LinkeIn just gives advantage to white, young, attractive people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *