Most people know not to use a selfie as their LinkedIn photo — but an analysis of 2,000 LinkedIn profiles found they're surprisingly common

Rachel Premack
Cat selfie

AP Images for Friskies


  • Recruiters say they can't stand selfies or cropped group shots for LinkedIn headshots.
  • A recent analysis of 2,000 LinkedIn profiles suggested they remain pretty common on the career networking website.
  • A good LinkedIn headshot doesn't demand a pricey professional photographer. Just make sure your face is clear and well-lit, and that you're in business casual attire. 

 

You have that perfectly professional photo for LinkedIn. It's well-lit, you're smiling, there's no spinach in your teeth. It all screams, "Hire me."

Just one problem: it's a selfie. Or you had to crop your aunt out of it. 

"Recruiters may be there to focus on experience and capability, but a photo that’s low quality or overly casual can be killer," career coach Marc Dickstein previously told Business Insider.

"If your LinkedIn profile is bare and your picture looks like it's cropped from a group photo from a family wedding, a recruiter will pass you up," career coach Evangelia Leclaire, who is also the founder and chief evangelist of Ready Set Rock Academy, also told Business Insider.

But while recruiters know that cropped photos and selfies are red flags, plenty of professionals still use them. An analysis of 2,000 LinkedIn profiles by employee screening firm JDP found that about 9% of profiles featured selfies and 15% of headshots were cropped from a group shot. 

Read more: 9 mistakes you're making on LinkedIn that are putting off recruiters and making it harder to find a job

JDP found other cringe-worthy headshot behaviors in their survey, which was originally reported by Quartz at Work. Car selfies, for example, were prominent amongst IT workers and computer science professionals, as well as those who work in wellness, fitness, and retail.

An ideal LinkedIn photo has good framing and lighting as well as high resolution, according to JDP. Good framing means it's symmetrical and fills the circular frame on LinkedIn. A well-lit photo doesn't have weird filters, and there's adequate contrast between the subject and background. And good resolution means the photo isn't blurry.

With all of that to keep in mind, it might be tempting to just hire a professional. But Dickstein said it's not necessary. 

Just make sure your head is visible, the background is simple, your face is shown clearly, and you're in casual business attire, he said. 

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