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8 types of photos you should never use on your LinkedIn profile

Remember, potential employers, business partners, and investors might view your LinkedIn profile. Thus, be sure to use appropriate photos.
By Kim Lachance Shandrow |

12094786375_b91f537ec8.jpgLinkedIn doesn't play when it comes to professional profile pics and neither should you. If you upload a pic to your profile that isn't actually of you or isn't even a headshot, LinkedIn reserves the right to yank it. Seriously screw up your photo three times and--stee-rike!--you're out. You'll be banned from uploading your mug ever again. No joke.



Still, LinkedIn doesn't ax awful profile pics enough. Sloppy, cheesy, awkward snaps. Egregiously immature, unprofessional lemme-take-a-selfie-style pics that cut it no problem on Instagram or Facebook.


Related: 10 questions to ask when creating your LinkedIn company page


The 313 million-plus member  site is for professional networking, specifically with past and present colleagues, hiring managers, potential clients and investors, and other hopefully business-related contacts. That said, your headshot should be professional.


So, if you want to put your best professional game face forward on LinkedIn, don't be guilty of committing these common (and often comical) profile pic sins:


1. The selfie in the mirror pic.

Just please, save your smug, snapped-in-the-bathroom mirror head-to-toe selfies for Facebook. They make you look like an amateur on LinkedIn, even if you look like a boss in your hipster Hugo Boss slim fit suit, or so you think. Come on, by now you should know that selfies of any kind are way too casual for LinkedIn. #wrongplatform  



Related: 3 ways you might be screwing up your LinkedIn profile and how to avoid them


2. The freaky filter overkill pic.

Chill with the funky filters already. Actually, don't use them at all, not on LinkedIn. Potential business partners and clients want to size you up straight up, just as you are, not all uber-emo.


3. The 'I'm so serious I hate life' pic.

Never post a profile pic that makes you look incredibly intense, too serious or, worst of all, pissed off. There are enough mug shot-worthy frowner-downers littering LinkedIn already. Instead, post a happy (but not too I-just-won-the-lottery happy) headshot that shows off your "competitive advantage, "-- your smile. Go on; let your pearly whites shine.3462163990_74ce67ca58.jpg



Related: What you need to do on LinkedIn, even if you're not looking for a job (Infographic)


With a nice, relaxed smile on your face, you generally come off as more approachable and trustworthy, someone a potential investor or business partner might be more willing to give a chance. As Psychology Today  puts it, "there's magic in your smile." It's scientifically proven. Use it to your advantage.


4. The beyond blurry pic.

No one should have to squint to make you out. Familiarize yourself with how to use Photoshop's "Sharpening" tool. Or, if your headshot is too fuzzy or pixelated to fix, use a different, clearer pic. Focus, people. This is pretty basic stuff.


5. The full-body action pic.

Don't be that LinkedIn user in a baggy T-shirt and Spandex leggings, on a cracked cement driveway. Yep, like a cat-like Crossfit ninja warrior about to pounce...  just after this quick yoga pose, k? Granted you could be a black belt or a personal trainer, but squatting? On LinkedIn? Really? Just no.



8644290526_27f34bb230_z.jpgRelated: Personal branding doesn't mean just fixing your LinkedIn presence


Let's just stick with vanilla headshots, shall we? They're more appropriate for the venue. Full body shots, awkwardly posed or not, pack too much weird factor, a vibe you probably don't want to give off, at least not professionally. Not unless you're an actual ninja.  



6. The 'Say hello to my kitty' pic.

Here's an easy rule to remember: Unless you're a vet, please don't pose with your pet. As much as you adore your pet kitty, I'm sorry, he's not LinkedIn profile material. You are. Just you. Save your furball's whisker-licious glamor shots for Tag a Cat, the new Tinder for cats.


Related: Projecting a professional image on LinkedIn


7. The 'Oops, I cropped my shot' pic.

Technically, you're more than just a face. You're a person. A whole person with brains in your head, feet in your shoes and you can post any LinkedIn profile pic you choose. That is, we hope, except for one that oddly crops off the top of your head or the bottom of your chin. Or your ears. You get the full picture. Show your face, your whole face.


8. The default LinkedIn silhouette pic.


On top of looking a bit clueless -- and like someone who lacks the confidence to back their good name with their face -- you'll miss out on a bunch of profile views if you choose not to upload a photo at all. If you do post a pic of yourself, LinkedIn says people are seven times more likely to click on your profile. So do yourself a solid and just say no to LinkedIn's creepy two-tone, "male silhouette" default pic.


Related: 11 ways to use LinkedIn to boost franchise development


Copyright © 2015 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editor.


 Photos from (Enrique A Sanabria , Darla Hueske, and Dean Terry)

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