Your profile photo on LinkedIn is very important. Did you know that profiles with pictures attract 50-70% more inquiries than profiles without pictures? Some recruiters won’t even look at a person’s LinkedIn profile if they don’t have a picture. And posting a picture of you taken at a wedding with a weird look on your face, well that makes a recruiter or other visitors to your LinkedIn profile wonder about a person who would post such a picture.

Here are some tips to help you enhance your professional image on LinkedIn:

  1. Use an updated photo. There are few things worse than meeting someone for the first time and not recognizing them because the picture on their LinkedIn profile is from 10 years ago (or longer)!
  1. Use a photo of YOU in your profile — don’t use a photo of an object or an avatar.
  1. At a minimum, your photo should include your head and shoulders, not just a close-up of your face.
  1. Smile! Radiate warmth and approachability in your photo.
  1. Photos should be professionally done, if possible (but not Glamour Shots).
  1. Wear your most complementary color. Bright colors can attract attention, but avoid patterns.
  1. Don’t have other people in your photos (and don’t crop other people out of your shot — there should not be any errant body parts in your LinkedIn photo!).
  1. Make sure the background in the photo is simple, professional, and isn’t distracting.
  1. Relax. Look directly at the camera.
  1. Take multiple shots and ask people their opinion on which one makes you seem most “approachable.”
  1. Tips for Men: Wear a dress shirt, preferably with color – not white unless you wear a suit coat. No t-shirts or Hawaiian shirts. No busy or crazy patterns.
  1. Tips for Women: Wear something you feel comfortable in. No t-shirts. No big or busy patterns. Soft, dark colors look great. Black always works; avoid white. Hair and makeup should look professional, no ponytails.