LinkedIn is all business when it comes to profile photos and I don’t mean that in a clever-yet-cheesy slogan kind of way, either. If you don’t have your crap together when uploading your profile pic, LinkedIn reserves the right to boot you straight to the curb after three strikes.

That’s why if you’re going to be on a professional social network like LinkedIn, you need to be serious about etiquette. Sloppy, awkward or immature profile photos have no place within LinkedIn’s digital walls. So if you want to put your best professional face forward, don’t be the guy or gal that gets caught with one of these awful snapshots: 

1. The Substitute

 This is one that can get you yanked like a bad weave and yet you’ve seen it a thousand times. We get it. Your kids are cute. Your dog loves Starbucks and your new Honda Civic looks so badass with those spinner rims from Canadian Tire. A LinkedIn account is supposed to be used for professionalism and as such, should have a business appropriate headshot. That is of course, unless you are indeed Lassie, Michelle Tanner, or Optimus Prime.

I must admit though that Lassie, Tanner & Prime is a pretty cool name for a law firm.

2. The Jersey Shore

Nothing says the opposite of professional like shirtless dudes slugging a Corona in front of their bathroom mirror or women pouting into their boobs on ladies night. Do you really need to duckface up that LinkedIn profile? Do you really want the other parents of your kid’s peewee team knowing how many cases of Michelob Ultra their coach pounded before heading to the rink at 6am? Your pics may get you some attention alright, but most definitely not the attention you were hoping for.

3. The Mystery Crop

Sometimes you see a group photo with you in it and realize that it would make such a great profile photo if only all those others losers would take a hike. Like the sociopath that you are, you whip out the old cropping tool and chop your besties out of that bad boy so you can own the spotlight. You may see yourself as the star of the show, but what everyone else sees is that gangrenous hand creeping around your shoulder. Who is this mystery person, and why are you enjoying being felt up by that disembodied Addams family limb?

 

It’s actually my new scarf. The wool/ homeless kid blend really brings out my cheekbones.

Remember that LinkedIn is about professionalism. Even if you aren’t able to take a professional shot for your profile pic, take five minutes and set something up that looks better than a screenshot from Chatroulette.

4. The Dr. Default

Come on, give us something. Why bother with a LinkedIn profile if you can’t even be bothered to add a profile photo? It’s the very first thing they ask you to do, before even asking for your qualifications. I’m serious. Besides appearing like you have no idea what you’re doing and someone who lacks confidence in their personal image, you’ll be missing out on profile views if you choose not to upload a photo at all. LinkedIn even says that people are seven times more likely to click on your profile if you have a profile photo.

5. This Logo Will Do

This is another personal profile no-no straight from LinkedIn’s own guidelines, but a logo is definitely okay for a company page. What’s not cool though is just throwing up any old jpeg you had lying around. If you’re going to use a corporate logo for your company page, be aware that their size guideline is 200px by 200px. This means that if your logo is not squared, it could be cut short like the Sopranos finale.

Don’t treat your LinkedIn profile the same way you would a Facebook page. It’s meant to be a platform for professional networking, so keep those pics business appropriate.

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