How To: LinkedIn Profile Picture and Banner

Why: You are 11 times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a profile picture.[i] It validates who you are, because there may be others who share your same name. LinkedIn conducted an eye-tracking study and the #1 place that people look on your profile is your photo.[ii]


Having an attractive social media profile picture is advantageous for both personal and professional reasons. In my interview with #1 Best Selling Author Guy Kawasaki, he calls this a “duh-ism.” The duh is we all know we need an attractive profile picture. Yet, many fail to have one!

“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” ~ Connie Stevens 

Kawasaki indicates an attractive profile picture supports the narrative that you are likeable, competent and trustworthy. But how do we produce a photo that attracts people, job recruiters and new business?

According to Kawasaki, the science to producing your best headshot or profile picture is based on four key factors:

  1. Focus on your face: There’s no room for your family, dogs or company logo.
  2. Go asymmetrical: Symmetry makes a photo less interesting. Don’t put your face in the middle. Use vertical lines to divide your photo into thirds and place your eyes on one of the dividing lines (see Kawasaki’s profile picture below).
  3. Face the light: The source of light should come from in front of you.

7-profile-pictureThink big: Upload a photo that is at least 600 pixels wide. People will most often scan your posts and will see the postage size image. However, when they click on your posts or double-click

Banner Images

Top selling author and LinkedIn Expert Viveka von Rosen recommends uploading a header or background image on your personal profile (current LinkedIn size is 1400 x 425). This is one of the easiest ways to distinguish your profile on LinkedIn. For example, if you work for a company or represent a product, incorporate (with permission) the branding including colors, fonts, logos, workplace photos, etc. into your header image. We also recommend adding your contact information within the graphic.

Find more tips on how to complete your LinkedIn in Erik Qualman’s new book, How to Sell on LinkedIn

[i] LinkedIn. “Top 10 Actionable Sales Tips.” Top 10 Sales Tips and Tricks. Accessed June 27, 2016.

[ii] Dave Howe, “The Social Selling FAQs Series: The Ideal LinkedIn Profile,” The Social Selling FAQ Series, November 2014,


About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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