Don’t Let Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Hurt Your Chances of Getting a Job!

By Donna Schilder, MCC, Career Coach & LinkedIn Expert

Your LinkedIn Profile Picture is the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager will see when they look at your LinkedIn Profile. In literally an instant, they will make a judgment about you. If you make any of the mistakes below, that judgment will be: “this is not a person I want to hire”

 1.       Don’t Dare to Be Un-Dead:


These days we’re bombarded with zombie and vampire movies, and I know it’s hip to be as pale as Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson, but don’t look like the “undead” in your LinkedIn Profile picture!  You could literally scare recruiters away!


2.       Asylum Escape:


While you’re making the effort to be human-colored, make sure you don’t look like you just escaped from a Mental Institution.  I can’t believe how many people make this mistake!  I’ve collected over 20 LinkedIn Profile Pictures that make the supposed business professional look like a lunatic!


3.       Show & Tell:


I know you’re excited about the trip you just took to the Grand Canyon, but LinkedIn is not Facebook.  Don’t use a vacation picture with a panoramic view or tourist attraction behind you as your LinkedIn photo.  It looks unprofessional.   And it doesn’t emphasize what you are selling with your LinkedIn Profile:  YOU!


4.       You Can’t Leave Your Hat On!:


I don’t care what Joe Cocker says, there is no circumstance in which you would wear a hat to an interview or in which you should wear a hat in your LinkedIn Profile Picture.  Well, maybe there’s one exception: if you’re auditioning to be the next Justin Timberlake.  I’ve seen this mistake made more than any other Profile picture mistake.  Just don’t do it! Don’t wear your baseball cap, batting helmet, beanie, bowler, or beret!


5.       Leave Fido & Fifi At Home:


Would you bring your cat or dog to work?  NO! Then don’t bring your pet to your LinkedIn Profile Photo Shoot!  LinkedIn is a business website for the purpose of doing business networking.  It is for professionals who are looking for a job, looking to hire someone, looking for services, or building their business network for the future!  So do your best to look like a professional.

And what I mean by looking professional is:

  • Wear a suit or nice dress in a simple solid color
  • Wear navy blue or black with maybe a splash of color from a tie or the shirt underneath
  • Smile Genuinely
  • Don’t have hair in your face
  • Don’t wear glasses, they hide your eyes
  • Use a simple, non-distracting background
  • Make the picture a close up that fills the LinkedIn image box

If you need an example, take a look at my profile picture:  And while you’re at it, send me a “Link Request.”  It doesn’t hurt to be connected to people that have a lot of connections themselves.

Also, if you want more LinkedIn Profile picture don’t’s, here are more article to read:


R4337Donna Schilder is a Master Certified Coach, certified through the International Coach Federation (ICF), is a Coach U Graduate, and CSULB Coaching & Mentoring Certificate holder  She obtained a Secondary Teaching Credential from Chapman College, has a Professional Designation in Total Quality Management from UCLA, and a Degree in English from UCLA.  Donna is a self taught LinkedIn expert, who began researching the uses and the functionality of LinkedIn after she saw the great interest in LinkedIn at her Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA District 7) meetings from HR Professionals, Recruiters, and the members who were engaged in a job search.  Donna can be contacted at,,, or (562)434-7822.  Feel free to send Donna a LinkedIn “Link Request” at:

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