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These Are the Industries With the Best and Worst LinkedIn Profile Pictures (Infographic)

Your profile picture can say a lot about you and your peers.
These Are the Industries With the Best and Worst LinkedIn Profile Pictures (Infographic)
Image credit: NurPhoto | Getty Images
3 min read

One of the best practices for having a pristine digital presence starts with your profile picture. That’s especially true when it comes to professional networking site LinkedIn.

Related: The Do's and Don'ts for Taking the Perfect LinkedIn Profile Picture

Whether you’re looking for a new job or pitching potential clients, LinkedIn is an amazing resource for professionals. That is, if you use it correctly. A recent study by employment screening service JDP analyzed the profile pictures of 2,000 LinkedIn members across 11 industries to uncover various trends, and who’s doing what right and what wrong. Factoring in elements such as framing, lighting, resolution, attire and facial expression, the study ranks various industries for their overall profile pic performance.

In some industries such as real estate, human resources and marketing and PR, an A-grade LinkedIn photo is extremely common. From recruiting new hires for a company to acting as the face of a brand and driving sales, it’s no wonder these client-facing industries scored highest compared to others. On the opposite end of the spectrum, education, government and retail professionals had the lowest overall scores for their LinkedIn pictures. Thirty-six percent of healthcare professionals, 32 percent of government employees and one-quarter of health, wellness and fitness workers had no photo at all.

Related: 3 Ways You Might Be Screwing Up Your LinkedIn Profile and How to Avoid Them

So what’s typical in a LinkedIn profile picture? For starters, your best smile. Over three-quarters of people have a “full smile” in their pictures, while 12 percent have a “tight-lipped” smile and another 12 percent don’t smile at all. When it comes to attire, a majority of people lean towards a business casual look (42 percent), while others choose a social look including evening attire (26 percent), a formal look such as a gown or suit (24 percent) or casual clothes including T-shirts and workout gear (8 percent). Overall, the most formally dressed industries are finance, banking and real estate, while the casual dressers tend to work in retail and health, wellness and fitness.

Related: 8 Types of Photos You Should Never Use on Your LinkedIn Profile

In addition to smiling and sporting business casual clothes, professionally shot photos are also highly popular among LinkedIn users -- 43 percent of profile pictures on LinkedIn are professionally shot. However, professional photos also vary by industry. For example, a whopping 70 percent of marketing, advertising and PR workers have professionally taken images on their pages, with finance (65 percent) and real estate pros (64 percent) following close behind. No time or resources for a professional picture? No need to worry -- plenty of people post images taken by friends or families. However, one pro tip: post selfies with caution and try not to choose a group photo where you have to crop everyone else out. Often, these can be a turn-off to other professionals looking to connect.

To learn more, check out JDP’s infographic below.

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