First of all, be sure that you have a photo and that it can be viewed by people outside of your network. A lot of people think they can get away with having a LinkedIn profile without a picture while still gaining “All-Star” status. If you don’t want to show your picture you might as well not have a LinkedIn profile. Nothing on your profile should be so private that you don’t want certain people to see it, especially potential employers. LinkedIn profiles with a picture have a lot more success than those that don’t.
Your profile picture should be a professional head-shot, meaning that your head and shoulders are the only things in the frame . You don’t need to go out and spend $200 on a professional photographer, but it needs to at least look like you tried to produce a quality photograph. Your face should be easy to see and the background should be light colored, like a light blue or white. Be sure that you are dressed in interview attire if you are looking for a job or looking to connect with professionals in your field. Of course, your attire should be appropriate for your industry, but keep it professional regardless.
Employers use your profile to see if you look like someone who could represent their organization. You communicate how much you care about your profile, image, and reputation by how you present yourself in your profile picture. If you don’t take your picture seriously, an employer would be hard-pressed to believe you’d take their business seriously. Be sure to project a friendly appearance; smile, be well groomed, and project good posture.
If you’re doing it yourself, don’t upload a cropped picture. It shows that you’re not a savvy job seeker and that you don’t care much about uploading a quality image. Taking a picture in good lighting is half the battle. Try to take your photograph outside during the day or indoors with a lot of sunlight shining through.
Be sure to look into the camera. You wouldn't believe how many profiles I see where people are looking away or are postured away from the camera. If you’re goal is to disconnect yourself from the people viewing your profile, by all means, look away. But if you want to connect with the people viewing your profile, be sure to maintain good eye contact by looking into the camera.
No selfies. Selfies aren't professional. Even if you have a selfie stick, you won’t be doing your profile any justice if you can’t get someone else to take the picture for you. No one else should be in shown in your picture. Your LinkedIn profile is all about you, don’t allow anyone to steal your shine. I recently got a request from a gentleman whose profile picture included himself, presumably, and a woman. I’m not sure what look he was going for, but it rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't look at him as a consummate professional, but I looked at him as an amateur. I can only assume why he included another person in the profile, and I probably assumed the worst. I didn't give him the benefit of doubt and neither will employers. Put your best face forward by uploading a photo that showcases your awesomeness in its entirety.