25 Sep 2014

13 Common Linkedin Profile Picture Mistakes

Linkedin Profile Picture Mistakes

TheLadders posted an excellent article on how your profile picture could be undermining your career search. You can find the article here. These same tips hold true for an even more important property, your Linkedin Profile. Having personally viewed far too many Linkedin Profiles in my search for sales superstars; I can testify to the importance of a professional and appealing photo.  It conveys that you are serious about your career and that you know how to sell yourself. In addition to the 9 mistakes listed in the article, I have 4 more Linkedin Profile pictures mistakes to share below. Failing to heed these lessons may ultimately cost you a dream sales job or a monster deal. These same lessons also apply to sales leaders trying to attract and hire superstar sales reps. Most of these potential hires will get their first impression of you from your Linkedin Profile. I’m not sure why, but many sales leaders go for a picture that screams mistake #6, the “too serious” photo.

My list of 4 picture mistakes begins with the far too casual photo.  It’s hard to take someone seriously when they are wearing a Hawaiian shirt.  Second is the sexually suggestive photo.  It might help you get an appointment with a certain subset of prospects but it definitely won’t convey the right message to me or any of my clients.   My third is a bit more nebulous.  Does your picture make you appear bright (as in IQ bright)? I think it goes without saying that the higher up the sales career ladder you go, the more employers and potential clients prize intelligence.  The fourth is a pet peeve of mine – the selfie.  The only way to make your selfie worse is to take it while sitting in your car.

Perhaps more important than avoiding Linkedin Profile picture mistakes is “getting” what an excellent Linkedin Profile picture should convey. The author of TheLadders article shared a few pictures of herself that I consider to be excellent examples of a profile picture done right. She comes across as “professional, likeable and approachable.” Our team here at Sales Talent hired a professional photographer to help us with our photos. As they say, you’ll never get a second chance at a first impression.


Chris Carlson

President and founder of Sales Talent Inc, a B2B sales recruiting firm. We place sales reps, sales engineers and sales leaders across North America. Employers can click here to learn more about our sales recruiting services. Candidates can view our current sales openings here.