Here are some pointers to consider when selecting an image intended to promote you to the professional world:

1. Appear approachable.

It’s always smart to go with a professional headshot, but this doesn’t mean it has to be bland. Show some spark, so anyone viewing your photo sees someone professional, but also someone with whom they’d want to work. You don’t necessarily have to be attractive, either, to have an impact: recent research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, found average, typical faces to be the most trustworthy.

2. Remember, this is about YOU.

Make sure you are front and center, and the focus of the photo. If you opt for a more exciting shot in a specific locale, be wary of distracting backgrounds that may outshine you. Close-ups really are your best bet. The profile picture on LinkedIn is quite small. Having your head and shoulders fill the frame ensures those viewing your profile get a good look at your confident and approachable expression.

3. If your professional headshot is old enough to buy a drink in a bar, it’s time for a new one.

You may look fantastic in that old mug, but you don’t want a connection or a recruiter expecting someone entirely different, should you ever meet face to face.

4. Look the part.

Your clothes do matter. Consider whether your desired (future) job or position requires formal or informal attire. You know the old chestnut: dress for the job you want, not the one you have. This applies to pictures on a professional networking site as well. And since the appearance of health is so important for C-suite execs, you may also want to schedule a haircut or a spa treatment ahead of the shoot.

5. Skip the Facebook-eque photos.

It’s advisable to maintain a level of professionalism in all social media if you have a high-level job or are seeking one, so especially resist the urge to post arty shots, memes or cartoons and pictures of partners, kids or pets on LinkedIn.

6. No selfies allowed.

Even if you’re not in full-fledged duckface, it’s obvious when a photo is self-taken, and three problems are inherent. One, the stigma of the selfie is such that it’s not an acceptable method of photography for any professional endeavor. Two, self-taken shots tend to be of lower quality, since your ability to control for light, etc., is limited. And three, it’s lazy. Hand someone else the camera.

7. What works for Brad Pitt …

Yes, a moderate amount of Photoshop is allowed. Slight adjustments to tone and lighting and removal of blemishes can give your countenance the appearance of health and vitality. A sharp contrast in facial features, which can easily be softened, is also one of the cues people unconsciously use to decipher how old someone looks, notes psychology professor Richard Russell, who has been collaborating with researchers from a department of Chanel Research and Technology. Subtle Photoshopping also gives finished photos a more polished appearance overall.

These days, having an optimized LinkedIn profile is as important in the professional world as an up-to-date resume or CV — and it should be treated similarly. Just as you agonize over the design and details of that piece of paper and digital file that is the sum report of your professional qualifications, as much attention should be paid to the composition of your LinkedIn photo, that small square that, in an instant, seems to tell people so very much about you.

Read the full article here 7 Tips for a successful LinkedIn picture