10 LinkedIn Profile Photos Every Professional Needs to Avoid


Have you ever seen a LinkedIn profile picture that made you want to talk to your computer screen? You know what I mean. There you are, checking LinkedIn for new connections like you do every few weeks, when all of a sudden, bingo-bango, you’ve got a few connection requests waiting for you—500+ connections here you come!

You quickly scan the profile avatars to see your latest six-degrees-connectors and then you see it. You’re not sure exactly what this person was thinking, but you’re pretty sure it’s not the kind of “professional headshot” LinkedIn had in mind.

Where Facebook can be slightly more forgiving when it comes to profile pictures due to the personal nature of its take on social networking, LinkedIn definitely is not.


So how do you keep your LinkedIn Profile picture looking picture perfect? You can start by avoiding these 10 LinkedIn Profile Picture faux pas complete with shameless examples from our editor, Adrianna:

10 LinkedIn Profile Photos Every Professional Needs to Avoid

10 LinkedIn Profile Pictures Every Professional Needs to Avoid

1. Duck lips of any kind shot

I don’t really think this needs an explanation.

Linkedin Duck lips
Ya. I know. I am horrible at duck lips. #SorryNotSorry


2. Sexy, come hither smolder shot

I do NOT want to feel like your profile picture is undressing me with your eyes or worse, indicates that you’re willing to bare it all for your next career move.

Linked In Smolder
Okay, so maybe not smolder. Maybe more “I’ve got a secret.”


3. The mugshot

Will a smile hurt you? Are you trying to look like a serial killer? Also, what’s with the dead eyes? You probably need a lesson on smizing ala Tyra Banks.

Linked In Mug shot
Nothing says “hire me” like the expression of a serial killer.


4. The crop out shot

Why are there extra arms or ears in your picture? I’m just trying to connect with you, not the entire cast of Friends.

My daughter’s arm…she couldn’t figure out why I wanted to take a picture of just her arm.

5. The glamour shot

I. Can’t. Even. Just no. And why is there always a prop?  Also see #6.

Linked In Glamour Shot
Always the hand on chin. Always the random prop.

6. Fountain of Youth shot

Who do you think you’re fooling when your resume spans 20+ years?

Okay, nobody is using baby pictures, but you get the point.

7. The casual Friday shot

Unless you work in a tech startup where every day is casual Friday, and even then, shoot for business casual.

Fun Friday
Despite the fact that working at home is like casual Friday every day, it doesn’t work for LinkedIn.

8. The adult beverage shot

Are you a sommelier? No? Step away from the bar.

Alcoholic beverage and linkedin
I know…not wine. I was out. Give me a break.

9. The not-a-picture-of-you shot

Yeah, I don’t care about your dog, cat, kids, or stunning landscape photography.

Cute, but why?

10. The blank avatar shot

How do I even know you’re real? Is this the kind of effort I can expect from you? If so, next please.

Yep. That looks just like you.

The Bottom Line on LinkedIn Profile Pictures

Adrianna Lupher Head Shot Square
My profile pic across social media. Go ahead, find me!

Your LinkedIn profile picture might not make or break your career, but it is an important tool to have at the ready when you need it. With more and more people taking real-life engagement online, you want to make sure that your social profiles clearly reflect who you are as a person and as a professional. Think of your profile picture as your brand logo.

Pro Tip: Make sure your profile picture reflects how you look in real life. Don’t go overboard with make-up, hair, and wardrobe if that’s not your norm!

What do you want your LinkedIn profile picture to say about you? Tell us in the comments section. 



  1. You’re so the real deal. I completely clicked over and didn’t pay attention to where I was or who wrote this and there were your duck lips. 😉

    Truth here, my friend. Preach it.


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