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6 Ideas for Picking a LinkedIn Cover Photo

Design a LinkedIn profile that stands out

Megan Hageman
Contributor

Woman choosing a LinkedIn cover photo

When potential employers or connections land on your page, a personalized and creative cover photo could be the catalyst that makes your profile memorable. 

LinkedIn cover photo requirements 

Let’s start with the basics: LinkedIn’s cover photo requirements.

Your photo should: 

  • Be in JPG, PNG, or GIF format

  • Not exceed 8MB (although an image closer to the max will appear more clear) 

  • Be around 1584x396 pixels, a 4:1 ratio

  • Transfer well to both desktop and mobile views 

Where to find a photo

Be sure to use a photo you have the rights to use.  Photos like this can be obtained on sites like Unsplash or StockSnap.io. There’s also a myriad of free photo editing sites, like Canva, available to resize or customize your image. 

6 ideas for picking a LinkedIn cover photo

1. Define a purpose for your LinkedIn profile 

Your LinkedIn profile should have a goal, like job searching, looking for new clients and customers, or simply building your professional network. 

Take a minute to determine your objective, and as you pick a photo, view it through the lens of your target audience.

Read More: How to Build a LinkedIn Profile That Demands Attention

2. Use a photo that directly relates to your career or industry

Because LinkedIn is a network of professionals, it makes perfect sense to select a cover photo directly related to your line of work or specialty. 

For example: 

  • A writer might choose a photo of a bookshelf or journal or of the subject matter they write about

  • Those in real estate might choose a picture of a well-designed house

  • Developers might find a picture of a computer screen full of code 

If your profession doesn’t exactly lend itself to a photo opportunity, you might choose a photo of a recent professional accomplishment—a conference you spoke at, a product you worked on. 

3. Show off a personal accomplishment

Your LinkedIn cover photo could also represent recent individual achievement or a personal interest outside the work realm. 

Use the picture of you finishing a marathon, a shot from your most recent travels, or a stack of books currently on your reading list.

...But not too personal 

While it’s okay to incorporate pieces from your private life, there are limits. LinkedIn is not the appropriate platform to share details like family pictures, shots of your new car, or a favorite meme. 

Save the pictures of dogs and kids for Facebook or Instagram. 

Read more: How to Get Positive Responses to Cold Outreach Messages on LinkedIn

4. Show your company pride

Including images or specific branding from your company is another avenue for your cover photo. This can show your alignment with your organization’s goals while also promoting your place of work. 

Show your affiliation by using the view from your office or city skyline where you’re located, adding in the company logo, or incorporating company colors. 

Note: If you’re actively seeking new job opportunities, skip the employer branding.

5. Or your city pride

A high-quality photo of the city where you live is also a neutral way to adorn your LinkedIn profile. 

Or if you’re seeking opportunities in a new city, dress your cover photo for the job you want and use a photo of your goal city. 

6. Go easy on the text

If you any kind of text, make it minimal and meaningful. You might add a quote that speaks to you, a company mission statement, or a couple of words related to your career goals. 

Do one final check and adjust

So, you’ve finally created the picture-perfect image to show off your area of expertise. Now to double and triple check your work: 

  • Make sure the picture is clear 

  • Ensure nothing is cut off or covered up by your headshot, especially text 

  • Check out your new cover photo on desktop and mobile 

  • Remember your purpose and ask yourself if this cover photo aligns with it

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