Three LinkedIn Profile Picture Tips

The 3 Best LinkedIn Profile Picture Tips

Photofeeler, a Boulder, Colorado startup, researches LinkedIn and other social media profile pictures. Because of this, they’re a fountain of evidence-based LinkedIn profile picture tips. 

Beyond that, they have created a system that lets you quickly assess your profile picture’s effectiveness by collecting information from live viewers.

Feedback on Profile Pictures

As a result, you can use Photofeeler to get feedback on three essential career factors:

1. Likeability.

2. Competence.

3. Influence.

LinkedIn Profile Picture Tips

Ann Pierce, the Co-Founder & CEO of Photofeeler, and I teamed up to produce an infographic (see below) that shares PhotoFeeler’s research-proven best practices for LinkedIn profile pictures.

Three Factors That Make the Most Effective LinkedIn 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 (see the video at the bottom of this section).

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 highest rankings ever on Photofeeler. If you have already looked at them (below), 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, then:

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

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

Could it be easier?

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

From Visually.

Footnote: One of my clients used this advice and sent me a copy of her Photofeeler rankings. She outperformed the people in the infographic!

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Featured by: Entrepreneur
Image Courtesy of Lesley B. Juarez

Updated December 2020

© 2015 – 2022, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 4

  1. 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.

  2. Hi Jenna,

    Your points are well taken. Thank you for sharing them.

    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. 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!

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