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  • Writer's pictureMarie Miller

The Importance of a Professional Headshot for LinkedIn

Updated: Mar 3

By: Marie Miller - Chicago Professional Headshot Photographer.

LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for professionals to connect and network with potential employers, clients, and colleagues. A strong personal brand on LinkedIn is crucial to make a lasting impression and standing out in a sea of profiles. One of the essential elements of a solid personal brand on LinkedIn is a professional headshot. In this article, we'll explore the importance of headshots for LinkedIn and how they can help you create a strong personal brand that attracts the right opportunities.

Why are Headshots for LinkedIn Important?

Make a Strong First Impression

Your LinkedIn profile picture is often the first thing potential employers or connections will see. First impressions are critical; your headshot can make or break your chances of being remembered or contacted. In addition, a professional headshot that showcases your personality and professionalism can help you stand out in a crowded digital space.

Convey Professionalism and Competence

A professional headshot for LinkedIn communicates that you take your career seriously and are committed to presenting yourself in the best light possible. A polished headshot demonstrates that you are experienced, competent, and trustworthy. It can instill confidence in potential employers or connections that you are the right fit for the job or collaboration.

Increase Profile Views and Engagement

According to LinkedIn's data, profiles with a photo receive up to 21 times more profile views and 36 times more messages. A high-quality, eye-catching, and engaging headshot can increase your profile views and encourage more people to connect with you. Ensuring your headshot is optimized for LinkedIn's platform and stands out from the competition is essential.

Help People Remember You

A distinctive and memorable headshot can help you stand out in a sea of profiles. It can help people remember you and make it easier for them to find you in the future. Your headshot should reflect your unique personality and professional brand and create a lasting impression on those who view it.

Attract the Right Opportunities

A professional headshot can attract the right opportunities by showcasing professionalism, personality, and approachability. It can attract potential employers, clients, and connections aligned with your values and goals. A strong personal brand on LinkedIn can lead to exciting new opportunities and career growth.

What Makes a Good Headshot for LinkedIn?

Focus on Your Face

Your face should be the focal point of your headshot, with your eyes being the most important feature. Your eyes should be in focus, and you should make direct eye contact with the camera. In addition, your facial expression should be approachable and convey your personality and professionalism.

Smile and Make Eye Contact

Smiling is essential for creating an approachable and friendly headshot. A natural smile that reaches your eyes is best, as it can help create a connection with those viewing your headshot. Making eye contact is also critical, it creates a sense of trust and confidence.

Keep the Background Simple

A simple background is essential to ensure that the focus remains on you and your face. Avoid busy or distracting backgrounds that can take away from the impact of your headshot. A solid-colored or neutral background works best, such as a white or gray wall or a plain backdrop. If you take your headshot outdoors, ensure the background is not too busy and does not clash with your outfit or skin tone. A simple, natural backdrop such as trees or a brick wall can work well. Just be sure to avoid anything competing with your face for attention.

Crop the Image Correctly

Another critical aspect of a good headshot for LinkedIn is proper cropping. Your headshot should show your face clearly and with your head and shoulders centered. Avoid cropping too much of your body or leaving too much space around your head, as this can make your photo appear unbalanced or unprofessional. If you need help cropping your photo correctly, consider using a professional photo editor or following LinkedIn's recommended dimensions of 400x400 pixels.

How to Prepare for a Headshot for LinkedIn?

Now that you know what makes a good headshot for LinkedIn, it's time to prepare for your photoshoot. Here are tips to help you look your best and feel confident in front of the camera.

Choose the Right Outfit

Your outfit is crucial in creating a professional and polished look for your headshot. Avoid wearing anything too flashy, revealing, or casual, and opt for something that complements your style and industry. For example, if you work in a creative industry, opt for something stylish and trendy. If you work in finance, you may want to wear a classic suit or blazer. Most importantly, make sure your outfit is clean, wrinkle-free, and fits well.

Get a Good Night's Sleep

A good night's sleep can do wonders for your appearance and energy level. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before your photo shoot to reduce puffiness, dark circles, and fatigue. If you have trouble sleeping, try avoiding caffeine and electronic devices before bed and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

Hydrate and Moisturize

Drinking water and moisturizing your skin can help you look refreshed and radiant in your headshot. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily and moisturize your face and neck with a non-greasy moisturizer before your photoshoot. Also, you may want to avoid using new skincare products or treatments that may cause redness, irritation, or breakouts.

Style Your Hair and Makeup

Your hairstyle and makeup can also significantly create a polished and professional look for your headshot. Avoid experimenting with new hairstyles or dramatic makeup looks, and stick to something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. If you need help deciding, consider hiring a professional stylist or makeup artist to help you.

Practice Your Pose and Facial Expressions

Finally, practice your pose and facial expressions before your photoshoot to ensure you look natural and approachable in your headshot. Experiment with different poses and angles in front of a mirror and practice smiling and making eye contact with the camera. Additionally, try to relax and be yourself during the photo shoot, as this will help you look and feel confident in your headshot.

Should You Hire a Professional Photographer for Headshots for LinkedIn?

While taking your own headshot for LinkedIn is possible, hiring a professional photographer can help you create a high-quality and visually appealing photo that stands out from the competition. Here are some pros of hiring a professional photographer for headshots for LinkedIn.

Pros of Hiring a Professional Headshot Photographer

Professional equipment

A professional photographer will have high-quality cameras, lighting equipment, and editing software that can help you create a visually stunning headshot.

Expertise and experience

A professional photographer will have the expertise and experience to help you choose the best poses, angles, and expressions for your headshot and provide guidance on styling, wardrobe, and makeup.


Professional photographers have the expertise and equipment to create photographs that stand out. They know how to use natural and artificial light to make a positive image and can retouch your photo to remove imperfections.


A professional headshot can help you create a cohesive personal brand across all your social media profiles. In addition, a professional photographer can help you create a consistent look that conveys your professionalism and competence.


As mentioned earlier, hiring a professional photographer can save you time and effort. Instead of worrying about taking the perfect photo, you can focus on preparing for your shoot and let the photographer handle the technical aspects.

How to Choose a Professional Photographer for Headshots for LinkedIn

Experience: Look for a photographer with experience shooting headshots for LinkedIn or other professional platforms. They should understand the specific requirements and know how to create an image that stands out.

Portfolio: Check their portfolio to see if their style matches your vision. Look for consistent quality and a range of images to ensure they are versatile and adapt to your needs.

Reviews: Read reviews from previous clients to understand their professionalism, communication skills, and overall satisfaction.

Cost: Consider your budget when choosing a photographer, but remember that quality should be your primary consideration. A low-cost photographer may need more experience or equipment to create a high-quality headshot.

Common Headshot Mistakes to Avoid for LinkedIn

  • using an outdated or poor-quality photo

  • using a selfie or group photo

  • wearing inappropriate clothing or accessories

  • overdoing makeup or hairstyle

  • ignoring the background or cropping

These are some of the common headshot mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn. Your headshot is the first impression potential employers or clients will have of you, so it's essential to make it count.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Headshots for LinkedIn

How often should I update my headshot on LinkedIn?

It's good to update your headshot every two years or whenever your appearance changes significantly.

Should I use the same headshot on all my social media profiles?

Yes. Using the same headshot on all your social media profiles can help create a cohesive personal brand.

Can I use a casual photo for LinkedIn?

There are better choices than using a casual photo for a LinkedIn profile. Instead, use a professional headshot that conveys your competence and approachability.

What if I don't like how I look in my headshot?

If you don't like your headshot, consider retaking it with a different photographer or practicing your pose and facial expressions before your next shoot.

How much should I spend on professional headshots for LinkedIn?

The cost of a professional headshot can vary depending on the photographer's experience, location, and other factors. However, it's important to remember that quality is your primary consideration, so be prepared to invest in a high-quality headshot representing your best self.


In conclusion, having a professional headshot on LinkedIn is essential for creating a strong personal brand that attracts the right opportunities. Whether you take your own headshot or hire a professional photographer, ensure it conveys professionalism, competence, and approachability.

By following the tips and avoiding common mistakes; you can create a headshot that represents your best self and makes a solid first impression on LinkedIn. A professional headshot is an investment in your brand that can pay off in the long run by helping you attract the right opportunities and make a lasting impression on potential employers and connections.


Marie Miller is a Chicago Headshot Photographer who uses a custom and highly detailed approach when working with clients, ensuring their personalities shine in the best light and giving them the edge to create a memorable, striking first impression. Marie has worked with Executives, Actors, Models, Entrepreneurs, Musicians, and more individuals or groups, on upgrading their professional and social profiles. Get in touch today if you'd like to chat about how Marie Miller can help represent your unique brand and character with some new professional headshots in Chicago and the Chicago Suburbs.

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