5 Bad LinkedIn Profile Pictures - a woman covers her mouth in shock as she looks at bad profile pictures on her laptop

5 Bad LinkedIn Profile Pictures You Should Avoid in 2022

Joel Mason

5 Bad LinkedIn Profile Pictures You Should Avoid in 2022

Joel Mason • May 10, 2022

Are You Making Any of These LinkedIn Profile Pic Mistakes?

There's much to be said about choosing the perfect LinkedIn profile picture.

In this article I'm simply going to give you five examples of LinkedIn profile pictures that you should avoid.

If you find that you have one of these on your LinkedIn profile right now, don't feel bad, it just takes a few seconds to change your LinkedIn profile picture!

First impressions count

In business and in job searching, first impressions are important, and your LinkedIn profile picture is one of the main ways that you make a first impression when job hunting in 2022.

5 bad LinkedIn profile pictures

So let's jump right in and look at five common (unfortunately) LinkedIn profile picture mistakes.

The distant LinkedIn profile picture

Your LinkedIn profile picture is designed to give the viewer a great first impression of you.

It therefore needs to engage them in a split second and give them a sense of your personality and personal brand.

We've all seen a great headshot or portrait, it instantly draws us in, the eyes tell a story and it can actually be quite captivating.

If you are too far away you simply won't achieve what you set out to achieve. Instead, use a picture where your face takes up around 60% of the frame.

Add a smile (even if it's just a small one) to make sure that you come across as likable, friendly and approachable.

After all, your LinkedIn profile is designed to serve a purpose which is typically to help land you better career opportunities, grow your personal brand and following or bring in more business opportunities.

The selfie LinkedIn profile picture

It's so tempting to take a quick selfie and put it onto your LinkedIn profile, esspecially as LinkedIn allows you to take a shot as you upload a new picture.

But no matter how advanced your selfie taking skills have become, this isn't the right kind of image to use for LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a professional platform and your profile picture should reflect that you take it seriously and understand what the platform is all about.

Nothing wrong with a great selfie, but just not on LinkedIn.

There are actually lots of reasons that selfies are less than ideal, this article on the Profiled website explains why.

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The ID LinkedIn profile picture

In my opinion this is the worst of all, sorry!

Again, it's easy to whip out your phone and snap a quick shot of your passport photo, but why bother? If you're going to do this you may as well at least take a selfie.

Using your ID photo makes your profile look outdated, unattractive and makes you look out of touch.

As a recruiter I rarely clicked on a profile that had an ID photo, so avoid this one at all costs, it's bad, really bad!

The social LinkedIn profile picture

Whist this kind of shot is great for Instagram or Facebook, it's not great for LinkedIn and it's particularly important to avoid it if you are looking for a new job.

When people come across your LinkedIn profile, whether in a search or from one of your posts, you want them to get a sense of what you are like in a professional capacity.

A picture of you on a night out or in any social setting isn't really going to do the job.

Instead consider a picture where you are wearing work attire, one that compliments your personal brand and assures the viewer that you are a professional that they can depend upon.

The group LinkedIn profile picture

Cropping yourself out of a group photo is a lazy approach to finding a LinkedIn profile picture.

Think about what this says about your approach to work and your attitude.

I know that sounds a little extreme, however, it's the details that really do matter.

When you are building your LinkedIn profile you should subject each section to the same scrutiny and ask 'what does this say about me?' 'does this position me in the best possible light?' 'does this strengthen or detract from my brand?'

A well optimised LinkedIn profile can have a huge impact on your job search or business so it really is worth taking a lot of time over it.

Don't forget to size it correctly

A little bonus tip, if your chosen LinkedIn profile picture is too big, over 8MB, it won't upload.

Conversely, if it's too small it will look blurry. You should avoid both by choosing the correct size for your LinkedIn pic.

Use the correct LinkedIn profile picture size for 2022


It don't take a lot to get a great LinkedIn profile picture and rewards are well worth the effort!

Whist avoiding the bad, you should also think about what makes a great LinkedIn profile picture:

• Make sure your face takes up 60% of the frame

• Ideally dress in the clothes that you would wear to the office or in a client meeting

• Smile, make sure your expression gives the right first impression

• A plain or uncrowded background works well and won't distract from the main event - you

• Good lighting makes all the difference, try taking the shot outside or by a window with lots of natural light

Learn more

If you want to read more about what makes the perfect LinkedIn profile picture, click here