Linkedin Profile Picture – How to Look Professional and Get the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile (With Examples)

8 mins

There’s a lot that goes into optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

One important part of it has to do with your profile picture.

That’s right.

That small, 400×400 px image (usually of your face) is important and it matters.

Why’s that?

Because people on LinkedIn connect with and buy from people they trust.

And this begins with your profile picture.

According to LinkedIn, people who have a picture receive 21x more engagement and 9x times more connection requests. It’s a small part of your overall LinkedIn brand, but the first thing people notice as it builds trust.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how to perfect your LinkedIn profile or what is there to talk about your profile picture, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll be covering just about everything you might need to know about your LinkedIn profile picture, and how to look professional to get the most out of the B2B channel.

We’ll cover:

  • 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile Picture
  • 5 Best LinkedIn Profile Picture Examples




5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Profile Picture

Your LinkedIn profile picture doesn’t have to be boring.

We’ll look at some creative profile picture examples below.

But until then, to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile picture, here are 5 tips to keep in mind when to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile picture:

  1. Use a high-resolution, clear image.
  2. Make sure your profile takes up at least 60% of the frame.
  3. Be the only person in the picture.
  4. Look approachable.
  5. Be yourself.

Some of these tips may sound obvious, but thankfully, getting your LinkedIn profile picture isn’t hard. Once you have it down, you can get ready to network on LinkedIn.

Let’s start from the top.

1. Use a high-resolution, clear image

Sounds obvious, right?

The ideal LinkedIn profile picture size is 400×400 px.

But larger file sizes are also fine (8MB is the max), as you can just crop and edit your picture directly on LinkedIn. You can also apply a filter and adjust the brightness, contrast, and more.

As a rule of thumb though, if your picture looks blurry when you upload it, it’s best to take a fresh one instead.

Goes without saying that your profile picture should be a fresh, recent one.

It might sound obvious, but your photo should give your network a clear idea of what you’d look like if you were to meet tomorrow.

Ideally, it should be up-to-date within the past few years and reflects how you look daily (consider your hair, if you wear glasses, so on.).

In short: Someone should be able to tell if it’s you if you were to meet tomorrow.

If you want to become an influencer on LinkedIn, you should put in the time to optimize each section of your profile on the channel according to your brand.

High-resolution images also work well because your background will be clearer too and ideally, your profile picture should match your LinkedIn banner image too.

2. Make sure your profile takes up at least 60% of the frame.

Using a picture of yourself standing against a clear, natural background works well for many social media platforms.

But not necessarily for LinkedIn.

For example, having a profile picture of yourself at a speaking conference works great and establishes yourself as an authority figure. By showing your work environment with a crowd, you’re saying and proving that people listen to your expertise.

But if the image is taken from so far away that your face is hardly visible, then the effect is gone.

Instead, aim to have your face filling up at least 60% of the frame. If it’s a professional headshot image, consider cropping it from your shoulders up.

Though having a professional headshot image as your profile is not the only way to approach LinkedIn, it’s a safe bet that will work for any industry.

If you’re having a professional picture taken, make sure you:

  • Look straight.
  • Have a single-color background.
  • Smile.
  • Look natural and wear something you’d wear in a business setting.

Wondering what are some other sections you should optimize in your LinkedIn profile?

Check out our full guide on tips to improve your LinkedIn profile with more examples for each section.

3. Be the only person in the picture

This is another obvious tip, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.

Maybe you’d love to show your collaborative nature and that you love your team and colleagues. Or possibly you want to show your business partner or a picture of you shaking hands with a famous influencer from the business world.

No matter the case, it’s always better to be the only person in the picture to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile picture.

You should leave candidates no doubt as to what you look like.

Choose a solo photo for your profile picture and if you want to include a team picture anyway, you can use it for your banner picture instead. In fact, that might work better.

Though you can crop yourself out from a group photo, someone else’s hand or shoulder might get into the frame anyway.

So, it’s much safer to simply be the only person in your LinkedIn profile picture.

4. Look approachable

This might sound vague, we’ll cover some examples below, but your profile picture mustn’t come across as stiff or awkward.

While it’s perfectly normal to use a single-color background for your profile picture, just make sure you look natural and approachable.

Sometimes, staring directly into the camera with a forced smile might come across as awkward.

Try to look genuine instead and not too serious.

If you find that a grey-color background image doesn’t work as well for your brand, try to use an image with a natural background instead.

Consider experimenting with different angles too as staring directly into the camera head-on might come across as too intense.


5. Be yourself

Last but not least, to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile picture, you should be yourself!

Meaning, think about what your brand conveys and select your profile picture accordingly.

For example, if your brand is all about standing out, you’ll want to use a quirky, fun LinkedIn photo. This could be through the use of contrasting colors, wearing something unusual, or simply having a drawing of yourself as your photo.

See what other industry leaders are doing in your niche, and do the opposite of that if you want to stand out!

Meanwhile, if your brand is all about being professional, you can’t go wrong with formal clothing and business background.

You should be able to look at your profile picture, use your intuition, and decide if it looks and feels natural to you.

Once your LinkedIn profile picture is ready, consider these 7 other essential outreach rules to keep in mind.

Now, let’s take a look at some LinkedIn profile picture examples and what works for people working in different industries and niches.

Keep in mind, depending on where you work and what your target audience is like, you can get away with having different-style profile pictures.

And once you have a clear idea of who your target audience is, you can also write your LinkedIn summary so that it also matches your overall profile branding.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at some different types of examples below.

5 Best LinkedIn Profile Picture Examples

Depending on your goal and branding, your profile pictures might look different.

But that’s fine.

The examples below are all different styles and bring something unique to the table.

1. Sharon van Donkelaar – Chief Marketing Officer

Sharon is the CMO over at Expandi and knows a thing or two about branding.

There are a couple of things she does exceptionally well with her profile picture:

  • Energetic, natural smile.
  • Contrasting colors and background that stand out.
  • Yellow tint around the profile picture that also stands out when looking at a list of different profiles on LinkedIn (you can spot it in a crowd).
  • Matching colors with the banner image.

Don’t be afraid to use contrasting colors and other colorful elements in your profile branding if you work in marketing or insimilar creative industry.

2. Ilya Azovtsev LinkedIn Expert (from 0 to 1mln views in 4 months)


Ilya is a LinkedIn expert and the head of growth at Lemlist.

Though this is another example of a marketing-based LinkedIn profile, many elements from his profile can also be used in any industry or niche. Such as:

  • Friendly, personality-based profile picture with a natural background.
  • Group-based, collaborative banner image (combination of at a conference, and with colleagues).
  • Shows his values at a glance: Approachable, fun, and also an authority figure.

Let’s take a look at some more profile picture examples below.

3. Nick Kozmin – Helping SaaS and Online Service Companies Scale to $10M at record speeds. Case studies:


Nick Kozmin is the founder of – a sales accelerator that helps SaaS and online businesses scale up.

And the impression from his LinkedIn profile picture matches his branding:

  • Professional, formal attire.
  • Natural background, with the focus being on him.
  • Banner image that further reinforces his expertise and authority in the industry.

4. Ian Naylor – CEO & Founder | Serial Entrepreneur | Maker | Soapbox Racer


Ian Naylor is a CEO, entrepreneur, advisor at Hyperise, among many other things.

But in his LinkedIn profile, the focus is all about himself, his values and hobby (soapbox racing).

This is an interesting approach to being yourself that pays off. Simply by showing his personal side, Ian manages to come across as friendly and approachable through his LinkedIn profile picture alone.

Remember, just because LinkedIn is a B2B and a networking channel, it doesn’t mean you have to be fully serious all the time.

5. Andrei Zinkevich – Fullfunnel Co-Founder


Andrei is the co-founder of, ROIPlan, and many other marketing projects.

With a fully optimized LinkedIn profile, Andrei uses a simple profile picture with some ideal lighting so that his face is fully visible and clear.

In combination with a custom banner image and a relevant tagline, it’s easy to see why he has so many Linkedin connections.

And as a fellow LinkedIn expert, Andrei knows his way around the platform to get the most out of it. Check out our LinkedIn best practices to see some of his other suggestions and tips on standing out on LinkedIn.


So, to recap, your LinkedIn profile picture is an important part of your overall optimized profile and other sections.

Here are some other questions to keep in mind when it comes to your LinkedIn profile.

  • What is a good profile picture for LinkedIn?

The ideal LinkedIn profile picture is 400×400 pixels, high-quality, with a clear background. Consider what you’re trying to communicate with your brand and adjust your profile picture accordingly to get the most out of it.

  • Does my LinkedIn photo have to be professional?

You’ll want to appear professional. But also approachable and friendly. If you’re not sure how to maintain that balance, look at some of the examples above and consider what being professional means in your niche.

  • How important is a profile picture on LinkedIn?

According to LinkedIn, people with a profile picture receive 21x more engagement and 9x times more connection requests. It’s a small part of your overall LinkedIn profile, but the first thing people look at as it builds trust.

  • Can my LinkedIn profile picture be a selfie?

Use caution. If it’s a high-quality photo and you look natural, you can use a selfie. But if your hand is still in the frame and you look awkward, it’s better to have someone take your picture instead.

So, hopefully, you now know how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile now.


And if you’re then ready to start networking, you can sign up and get started with Expandi’s free 7-day trial. This way, you’ll be able to launch automated, networking and outreach campaigns on autopilot without you having to engage each of your prospects manually.

Need some more pointers on networking and doing outreach on LinkedIn?

Also, check out:


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