Help Your Client Pick the Right Headshot Photo for LinkedIn & Social Media

Sharon Graham Best Headshot Photo LinkedIn Social Media
Michelle Precourt Best Headshot Photo LinkedIn Social Media

Engaging Career Coach and Yoga & Meditation Teacher – CPC Member Michelle Precourt LinkedIn Profile Photo Headshot

Have you assessed your client’s headshot photo on social media sites like LinkedIn? You should. If you are a career professional, you can help your client pick the best headshot photo to maximize results.

It’s said that LinkedIn members with a photo receive 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests. Your client will benefit just by adding a professional headshot on LinkedIn and you can help your client’s chance of getting viewed and selected by an employer or recruiter even further.

The profile picture is the first impression that a person makes on social media and it’s an important one. According to a study by Photofeeler, different photos of the same person create wildly different first impressions, so the image that your client selects will make a huge difference to career development and the job search process.

The most impactful characteristic your client can have on their profile is a smile. studied 800 profile pictures and found that a smile with teeth visible showed competence, likability, and influence.

Social Media Headshot Photo Basics

Charismatic Training & Career Development Education Leader – CPC Member Felisha Ali LinkedIn Profile Photo Headshot

Likely your clients know the basic principles of taking a simple headshot:

  • Pick a photo that looks like you so that your networking connections are not taken aback when they see you in person. You want to be authentic to who you really are.
  • Be the only person in the picture and avoid distracting backgrounds, so that nothing takes the attention away from you.
  • Avoid funny faces or gestures. Smile, but don’t over-smile. It helps to make eye contact with the camera as well so that you can engage people who view your profile.
  • Wear appropriate attire for the business setting. Simply, wear what you would normally wear to an interview.
  • Sit or stand up straight. As strong power pose with soft natural lighting will help you get noticed in a good way.
  • Don’t take a “selfie” unless you really know what you are doing. Instead, have someone take a high resolution image for you. The ideal size for your LinkedIn profile picture is 400 x 400 pixels.

What’s most important is that your client understands the profession or field being targeted. The employer will likely have norms and standards when it comes to how they want their employees to present themselves.

J. P. Michel Best Headshot Photo LinkedIn Social Media

Energetic Youth Oriented Career Professional – CPC Member J.P. Michel LinkedIn Profile Photo Headshot

Advise your client to start researching profile pictures by searching LinkedIn for people with a similar job title to the one being targeted. Analyze the profile photos of the people that come up. Which ones feel appropriate and professional? Why?

Have your client determine the traits that he or she wants to portray. Employers and recruiters are likely to prefer someone who appears to be focused on the job rather than peripheral interests. For example, for many roles, it’s more important to appear competent and capable than carefree and fun.

In addition to looking at the employer’s preferences, your client should also consider the job description, level, authority, and autonomy that the position requires. All of this will help in deciding the “look-and-feel” that your client wants to portray in the headshot.

Test LinkedIn Headshot Photos for FREE

Go to and test your headshot photo for free.

Maureen Farmer Best Headshot Photo LinkedIn Social Media

Expert Executive Branding Strategist – CPC Member Maureen Farmer LinkedIn Profile Photo Headshot

Here are some other tips and tricks from Photofeeler (with lots of headshot samples) that will help your client pick the best photo for LinkedIn and social media:

Professional Headshots for Personal Branding

Daisy Wright Best Headshot Photo LinkedIn Social Media

Professional Career Management Strategist and Executive Coach – CPC Member Daisy Wright LinkedIn Profile Photo Headshot

Headshot photos appear on online profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. Your client might choose to present a consistent image across all social media with one picture or a series of pictures that have a similar theme. Consistency in the images helps create an authentic personal brand.

When it comes to career development and job search, your client should consider reaching out to a professional photographer. A professional can help create a personal brand for social media with a professional series of headshots.

Here are some links to headshots done by Canadian photographers that might give you some more inspiration:

CPC offers many resources to help career professionals become better at what they do. Get to know us by exploring some of our FREE resources!

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SharonCPCFounder and executive director of Career Professionals of Canada, multiple award winner, and top-selling author, Sharon Graham displays exceptional foresight and leadership in the Canadian career development sector. A firm believer in advancing the field, she is committed to setting the standard for excellence in the career development profession. Through CPC, Sharon delivers cutting-edge innovations and strategies to support and promote career practitioners working in the government, academic, not-for-profit, and private sectors.

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