Tips on taking a good LinkedIn photo

A picture can tell a thousand words, so they say. Looking your very best contributes to your professional profile, especially when job hunting.

Taking a professional photograph of yourself for your LinkedIn profile is an important step. If you can’t make it to the LinkedIn photobooth sessions held by the Careers Service this July/August, here are a few tips and tricks to taking that perfect LinkedIn photo.

The Headshot

The headshot is the best kind of framing you can choose for LinkedIn. Before you go out and get selfie-mad trying to get that perfect picture, there are a few things to keep in mind about what makes a good headshot.

  • The photo is framed from the chest up, so includes your shoulders and your head.
  • It captures you looking directly at the camera. Eye contact is crucial for effective headshots.
  • Good lighting and no odd shadows.
  • Show personality. If you are a really happy outgoing person, show that in the photo.
  • Easy to see even if the photo is small.

How to take the photo

  1. Find a friend to help – Get someone to help you, so they can do all the hard work getting the best picture. Skilled friends may be able to help edit the photo too.
  2. Choose a suitable location – inside with a plain background behind you works best, and lookout for the best lighting. If you want an outdoor shot, look for somewhere away from direct sunlight, because looking into the sun can be a real challenge. Look for backgrounds that make you look like you are in a professional studio, and if you are inside, try to use some artificial lighting.
  3. Have a look at some photography apps such as GorillaCam (free for iOS) and Open Camera (free for Android).

What to Wear

  1. Look like yourself on a really good day. Don’t go overboard with the makeup or accessories, facial hair should look tidy or be clean-shaven and always check that you’re happy with your ‘do.
  2. A couple of pro-tips include: avoid overly bright colours or busy textures but don’t feel as if you have to stick to all black or all white either. Don’t wear anything with a logo on it to stay neutral and don’t wear any accessories that you wouldn’t wear daily.
  3. Have a few clothing options to choose from to see what works best for you.

Taking the photo

At first, you may find that you feel a bit stiff. The best photos are when you feel and look comfortable, so to help you relax, try moving about and get your blood flowing or put some music on.

Be as natural as you can, while still looking at the camera of course. This will show your true colours and personality, what employers want to see.

Once you have found your location, its time to get the lighting right. If you’re outside, find that open shade I spoke of earlier, so in the shade but towards the light. If you are inside, set up artificial light about 60cm away from your face but not directly in front of your face, slightly above is best. It is about getting the right amount of shadow.

Additionally, make sure you don’t face squarely in front of the camera. Turning your body about 30 degrees away in either direction, while turning your head to face the camera is best. Finally, make sure you look right down the lens. Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of the whole headshot.

Editing the photo

Once you are done with your photoshoot, pick your favourites and go through to see which one is the best. Ask a friend to have a look as well to see what they think.

The final step is cropping. For LinkedIn, crop your photo to 400 pixels wide to 400 pixels tall.

Then, after all of that, you are done and can upload it onto LinkedIn for the world to see.

However, if you think this is too much work, remember to come down to the LinkedIn photobooth presented by the Careers Service to have it all done for you.

Photobooths will be on Bathurst, Orange, Wagga, Albury, Dubbo and Port Macquarie campuses for one day only this July/August.