We’ve all seen the really bad LinkedIn profile images and we kind of know what to avoid…. Or do we? Here is a list of seven pictures that must never be used on your LinkedIn profile:

1. Grainy or Pixelated:

A picture that is grainy in any way is not only annoying, it just looks bad. This happens when you don’t have enough light to take the picture, so it gives off kind of a dark unprofessional vibe. You want the image to be completely clear. Also, don’t crop an image of yourself out of a photo and resize it to the extent that it becomes pixilated. It is difficult for people to see what you actually look like and just looks like you don’t know how to resize a photo.

2. The Self Portrait:

There is nothing wrong with taking your own profile picture. Just don’t make it look like you did. Photos that are obviously taken from your laptop or by holding your arm out and snapping a picture look hasty and unprofessional. Hire a photographer or use a timed setting on your camera to stand against a wall and snap one.

3. Poorly Lit:

This goes back to not wanting to have a grainy or pixilated image. But even if the photo comes out well, you probably don’t want to have a dramatic or shadowy image to represent you professionally unless you work in the arts.

4. Inappropriate for Your Industry:

Think about what a potential employer would be looking to hire and try to present yourself in that way. It’s great to have a creative or wacky profile photo of you’re a creative professional. If you’re a lawyer or accountant, potential employers and clients may want to move on to someone who comes off as more trustworthy and solid.

5. Boring:

You definitely don’t want to be too flashy or crazy with your photo, but, at the same time, try to think of an image that is a little different from the common profile shot. Try using a lightly colored background or a physical location that speaks to your industry.

6. Black and White for No Reason:

Black and white photos make great profile pictures, if they were meant to be in black and white. Don’t try to take a regular photo and make it look more professional or distinguished by simply switching it to black and white.

7. Party Pic:

Using a picture of yourself in a social situation can be great. You will look relaxed, friendly and fun. However, make sure to choose wisely. Don’t use a photo of yourself with alcohol in hand or amidst a huge crowd of people.

Bonus: No Picture

The ultimate no-no is not uploading any kind of image to represent yourself! Any viewer to your page will most likely move along without a picture. Don’t you? So, if you don’t have a photo you like yet, use an image of anything, as long as it’s appropriate and follows the guidelines above.

And when you’re done with your picture, time to have a look at your professional email signature.

Author: This is a guest post by Kimberly Wilson.

Image credit Calamity Photography

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