Image from TechRadar in an article by Jeff Meyer.


You’ve finished your resume and cover letter. Practiced networking and interviewing. What next?


Well, now you want to actually create a network. And that means creating a LinkedIn. One of the easiest ways to increase your profile views is to include a profile picture (according to LinkedIn, “members with profile photos receive 14 times more profile views than those without”). However, there are certain guidelines when posting a professional photo in a professional setting.


  1. Attire/Scope
    1. Headshots are a very safe way to go; full body shots are generally not. It is recommended to cut the picture off at or above the waist, but below the neck/shoulders.
      1. Use portrait orientation!
      2. YOU should take up the majority of the photo (try for about 60-75%); crop the photo until this is true (and it is in portrait orientation)
    2. Appearance
      1. Go for a clean, classic look. Simple hairstyle, trimmed facial hair, simple and minimal makeup. Avoid anything distracting like elaborate or too-bright hairstyles/jewelry (statement pieces are okay).
    3. Business (casual or formal okay)
      1. Avoid distracting patterns; you want the attention to go straight to your face, not to your clothes. Be very careful with grid patterns, which can have moire pattern-like effects in pictures. Bright colors are okay. Dress as you would for an interview: solid colors, long sleeves; button-ups and suits and blazers are great as well.
    4. For more tips, see this link(
  2. Background
    1. Again, you don’t want to distract from yourself; so, don’t have a busy background. You don’t want what’s behind you to be more interesting than you. Solid color backdrops are the safest way to go, but not required.
      1. If your background is taking the focus away from you, but you really like the picture, consider editing the photo and *slightly* blurring out the background(see the last section)
    2. Some aesthetic backgrounds commonly used by Cal students include:
  • the Campanile
  • Doe Library entrance
  • HMMB (front door and inside the main entrance)
  • Hearst Mining Circle Fountain
  1. Editing
    1. PhotoShop is your friend! All current Berkeley students can download Creative Cloud applications for free; utilize these apps.
    2. Do not drastically alter your photo; however, minor edits are fine.
      1. Play with lighting, brightness, and contrast, and maybe even out your skin tone and clean up flyaway hairs.
    3. If you want, blur out the background slightly to keep the focus on you.
    4. Look up simple tutorials online for help. If you don’t know how to use PhotoShop, ask a friend; if in doubt, don’t do it! Overdoing the editing can look fake and odd, much worse than the original photo.
  2. Check your email for RCSA newsletters, which have information for upcoming workshops for LinkedIn, Excel, Resumes, Cover letters, Interviews, Photoshop, and more
    1. Additionally, various campus orgs have similar events year round, so keep an eye out and ask your friends!