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Tips for CV and LinkedIn photos

mobile phone photo

Modern CVs do not require photographs – they provide potential for bias by the recruiter and detracts from the person’s skills.  There are some exceptions to the rule though.  Some recruiters for customer-facing roles want to assess your appearance in addition to your skills and experience, e.g. cabin crew on airlines, models and actors.

If networking over LinkedIn, a photo can be more appealing to potential business contacts, so the advice is to add a photo if you can.

Here are some tips to help you get the best results:

Essential points for the subject

  • Never stand square on to the camera
  • Always turn away, about 10 degrees, and then look back at the camera with a turn of the head (this provides a bit of dynamic and keeps you away from the “mugshot” pose)
  • Keep your chin down (double chins can appear where none exist before)
  • Smile (wins every time)
  • Wear something red like a scarf, tie or blouse (particularly if you are wearing otherwise dark business attire)
  • Wear clothes appropriate to the job you want; ditch the Mickey Mouse t-shirt and put on a smart outfit for a business role

Essential points for (non-professional) photographers

  • Ensure that your subject is standing well away from any wall to avoid hard shadow lines when using a flash
  • Use flash in bright sunshine to fill in hard shadow areas
  • Keep the camera at the subject’s eye level
  • Use a contrasting background – fair hair against a darker background, light hair against dark
  • Backgrounds like hedges can be flattering to most skin tones, but otherwise keep it relatively simple and uncluttered

LinkedIn’s guidelines for the profile photo

The maximum file size for the personal photo is 8MB and the file type must be PNG or JPG (they don’t support GIFs).

Pixel size is between 400 (w) x 400 (h) pixels and 7680 (w) x 4320 (h) pixels.

Click here to read LinkedIn’s has produced a guide to help you upload or edit your photos.