How to Use Canva to Make a Perfectly Sized, Custom LinkedIn Background Photo

Every person who views your LinkedIn profile sees your background image. Wouldn’t you love to have a perfect LinkedIn background photo?

Do you want to use LI’s standard, teal-colored network graphic? Like 499 million other members? Or do you want to tell a personal story? 

A custom image lets you set yourself apart from the herd visually and amplify your narrative. This post will show you how to use Canva, a free site, to do just that! 

Canva Makes a Custom LinkedIn Background Photo Easy

Canva lets you:

  1. Generate a properly sized template for your background (1584 x 396 pixels).
  2. Upload, and expand or crop, a photo to the template size.
  3. Download the properly sized photo to your computer.
  4. Upload that image to LinkedIn.

All in as little as five minutes.

Watch the video to get a good feel for what you’ll be doing, then follow the written instructions to make and upload your image.

Both Canva and LinkedIn have made some changes since I recorded the video in September 2015. I’ve updated the written instructions to May 2017, but not the video or the screenshots below.

The LinkedIn Background Photo Video

Written Instructions

  1. Go to Canva and sign in.
  2. Click on “Use custom dimensions.”

Canva custom dimensions

3. Input 1584 x 396 (not the outdated 1400 x 425 shown below). 
4. Click “Design.”

LinkedIn Background Dimensions

Buy a photo from Canva (not an affiliate) or upload the image you want to use (see 10 smart, easy ideas here — horizontal orientations work best) by doing the following:

5. Click “Uploads.”
6. Click “Upload an image.”
7. Select your image and click “Open.” Canva will add your photo to your gallery.

How to Upload an Image to Canva

8. Drag the photo you want to use from the gallery into your template.
9. Resize the image to fit the template by pulling on a corner.
10. If you don’t like the image, click the trash icon and start again.

How to Use Canva to Make a Custom LinkedIn Background Image

11. Drag your re-sized image to where you want it to appear in the template.
12. Click “Download.”
13. Click “PNG, Recommended.” 

Size Your LinkedIn Background Image on Canva

Voila! You have a perfectly sized LinkedIn background photo.

How to Install Your LinkedIn Background Photo

  1. Go to LinkedIn.
  2. Click “Me” and “View Profile.”
  3. Click “Update Background Photo” in the background area.
  4. Click “Upload Photo.”
  5. Select your file and click “Open.”
  6. Drag your image to position it and click “Save.”

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

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

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

Updated May 2017

© 2015 – 2017, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

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Comments 6

  1. Donna, you have created another great blog post. Practical and useful as always. It’s really difficult to find a stock image on iStock or Getty Images or any other stock image provider that fits the LinkedIn background. It’s an odd size. And editing an existing image can be very difficult. You have given your readers a great tool (video and great instructions) to create and upload a LinkedIn background image that will make them stand out from the LinkedIn crowd.

    There’s no reason for anyone to leave the basic, boring blue in their LinkedIn background any longer.

    I would remind those involved in a job search and any professional who would like to be recruited for a higher paying job, to create a background image that will make it instantly apparent to potential employers what you have to offer. A beach scene is nice, but it doesn’t add to your personal brand.

    Career oriented words work well to brand you, e.g., IT, Manufacturing, Software Development, Nursing. A slogan or your short value proposition would be great. An image of you doing your work, like on a public speaking, in a lab, receiving an award, or leading a meeting would work well. Or images that represent what you do, like a manufacturing floor for a Supply Chain Manager, a classroom for a professor, or a building for an architect can also create a strong personal brand.

    Donna, Thank you. Donna

  2. Note: If you don’t like the resolution your Canva images shows on LinkedIn, here are two tips for improving it. The first comes from technical writer, Chris Morton. The second is from Canva.

    In using Canva (or InDesign, et al.) to create your own background, here’s a tip to get better screen resolution. In Canva, don’t download your file; in INDD (or other graphics tool), don’t export it as JPG/PNG. Instead, while maintaining its aspect ratio, display the image as large as you possibly can within the application (I use a 24″ monitor), take a screen capture and then save that as a JPG/PNG. Once that is uploaded to LinkedIn, the resulting JPG/PNG may have to be scaled down. This is a good thing, as it will actually enhance the resolution.

    1. Download your image as a .pdf from Canva.
    2. Go to this site: http://smallpdf.com/pdf-to-jpg.
    3. Upload your .pdf.
    4. Click “convert entire page.”
    5. Click “choose option.”
    6. Hover over the image of your converted file in the lower left corner of the screen.
    7. Click “download.”
    8. Voila, you have a high resolution .jpg!

  3. Hi Chris,

    You’re welcome. I always appreciate your expertise.

    Good luck with your presentation!

    Donna

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