Visual Social Marketing: How to Add, Change, and Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Image - dummies

Visual Social Marketing: How to Add, Change, and Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Image

By Krista Neher

Your profile picture is the most important personal social marketing image on your LinkedIn profile. It sets the tone for the entire profile and is displayed alongside your name across LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, adding a profile photo makes your profile seven times more likely to be viewed by others.

As you can see, a LinkedIn profile displays the user’s image at the top of the page.


Your LinkedIn image should be formatted as a GIF, JPG, or PNG file. The maximum file size is 4 megabytes. The image should measure from 200 x 200 pixels (the minimum) to 500 pixels by 500 pixels (the maximum).

To upload or change your profile photo on LinkedIn, follow these general steps:

  1. Navigate to edit the image.

    Hover over Profile in the top navigation menu, and then click on Edit Profile on the drop-down menu. Click this button, and then all components of your profile can be edited.

  2. Upload a new photo.

    After you click to edit the profile, a small camera icon is displayed on your profile page. Click the camera button, and you’re redirected to the Upload a Photo page. Click the Choose File button and choose the image to upload.


  3. Choose the portion of the photo to display.

    After clicking the Upload Photo button, you’re directed to a new screen that shows the image you uploaded. From there, you can crop the display of the photo to determine the square portion of the image that you want to display. When you’re satisfied with the way the profile image looks, click Save Photo to be redirected to the Upload a Photo page.

  4. Determine who can see your photo.

    You may choose to have your profile visible to your connections, to your network, or to everyone. If your goal is to use LinkedIn to expand your network, allow your profile photo to be viewed by everyone. Finally, click the Save Settings button to save the profile photo changes.

People are more likely to view your profile if they can see your image. If you choose to make your profile photo viewable only to those in your network, your profile will be less effective.

To optimize your LinkedIn profile image, follow these best practices:

  • Make the image square in shape. You can upload an image of any size, though you will have to crop it into a square shape. Uploading a square photo lets you control exactly what’s displayed in your profile photo.

  • Make your face visible. LinkedIn is about personal connections. Being able to see your face clearly in the photo helps to build a personal connection.

  • Remember that professionalism matters. LinkedIn is a professional social network, so put your best foot forward with a professional profile photo — in the quality of the image and the professionalism of your clothing.

  • Your photo should look like you. If you build your professional brand via LinkedIn, people who find your profile there should be able to get to know you. Don’t use a photo that’s more than ten years old or that doesn’t quite look like you. Instead, find one that looks like you so that when you connect with people in real life, they know what to expect.

  • Only you should appear in your photo. Your profile photo shouldn’t include other people — but don’t choose a photo that has other people cropped out.

  • Smile. A profile photo should make you appear friendly and approachable (unless you’re specifically trying to brand yourself in a different way). A smiling photo is more appealing to people.

Take the time to create a great-looking profile photo because it will likely be the first impression you’re creating.