great linkedin profile picture

Why You Need A Great Profile Picture If You Want To Get More Exposure And Grow Your Network Via LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn profile picture can instantly convey trust, warmth and professionalism or scare away people that land on your profile.

Unfortunately, there are many people on LinkedIn that don’t really understand how important this is or seem to take this part of their profile seriously. They don’t realise that with a poor profile picture, they’re actually costing themselves opportunities for growth and more exposure via LinkedIn. As Liz Ryan, writing for Forbes points out, it’s one of many bad mistakes many people make on LinkedIn.

In this post, we’re going to explain why a LinkedIn profile is incredibly important and give you some tips for making sure that you have a great profile picture that creates a great first impression.

Why Does A Good LinkedIn Profile Picture Matter?

There is one reason why this matters – creating a great first impression.

And the reason creating a great first impression matters is because on any social network especially one like LinkedIn, more often than not, your profile will actually be your first point of reference for someone. When you have a terrible profile picture, you’re creating a bad first impression and actually scaring people away from you.

LinkedIn is the social network for professionals with a reported 1 in 3 professionals now having a LinkedIn profile. In the professional world, impressions play a big role in daily life. If you’re going to work at your office everyday then you need to make sure you look the part. Your shoes need to be nice, your hair needs to be styled and neat, and your clothes need to reflect the level of professionalism you carry.

LinkedIn is exactly the same.

If your profile picture looks tacky and sub-standard then you’re not going to create a great first impression. You won’t be perceived as a professional that takes pride in their work.

The easiest way we can make this clear for you is that it would be like as if you walked into your office with holes in your pants and black leather shoes that had patches of dirt all over them. Imagine the impression this would create.

Hardly one that is professional but if you had a LinkedIn profile picture with a tacky image then it has the same negative effect.

Having a great profile picture is a core fundamental you must get right with LinkedIn if you actually want to maximise the impact your profile can create.

In the next section, we’ll explore some of the differences between a good and bad profile picture so you’ll at least know where to start.

The Difference Between A Good And Bad Profile Picture

There are a few key differences between good and bad profile pictures.

The following are generally characteristics of a good profile picture:

  • A warm and friendly smile
  • A good sized head shot that includes the top of the shoulders and the entire person’s head
  • Dressed in business attire or at least semi-formal business attire
  • A neutral background that contrasts well with the headshot
  • The photo has been professionally taken in the last two years

Characteristics of a bad profile picture:

  • A selfie taken in the mirror
  • Too much filter and other artificial effects
  • No smile and looking generally too serious
  • A picture that is blurry
  • A picture that is too bright
  • Wearing attire you’d wear when you’re sitting at home relaxing
  • Poor headshot that doesn’t capture your entire head
  • Not having a picture at all

If you’d like a few more tips about taking a great LinkedIn profile picture then this article by Eugene Kim will point you in the right direction.


Without a great LinkedIn profile picture, you limit network growth opportunities with other professionals. And it affects your ability to use LinkedIn as a tool to promote your business and get more leads.

A great LinkedIn profile in general is a core fundamental that drives all LinkedIn marketing success. However, the profile picture is a core fundamental within that you must get right.

If you have any of the characteristics of a bad LinkedIn profile picture mentioned above then we recommend you book a free LinkedIn Profile Analysis with us. Not only will you get free advice about whether or not your profile picture is good or not, you’ll get specific recommendations for improving all the other core areas of your profile in general.

Click here to book your LinkedIn Profile Analysis.