How to Choose Your LinkedIn Cover Photo

Feb 24, 2021 | LinkedIn

How to choose your linkedin cover photo

Many job seekers neglect the LinkedIn cover photo, but that’s a mistake. Here’s how to choose an image that will give your profile stand out. 

By: Ryan Thornton  | Blog Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma

You’ve polished all the important sections of your LinkedIn profile and done everything we’ve suggested to attract recruiters, but have you taken a moment to consider that big dull rectangle at the top?

If you’re like most LinkedIn users, probably not. Here’s what to do about it.

Archives

Want more job search tips? Sign up for our newsletter!

But Do I Really Need a Cover Image?

First of all, know that you’re not alone if you just don’t see the point in having a cover photo. The majority of LinkedIn users have underutilized or left this space empty. That’s great news for you, though. It means your profile will instantly stand out once you select your cover photo!

It’s true that your skills, not your cover photo, are going to land you that dream job. However, you should take advantage of anything that helps keep positive attention on your profile. With an interesting picture at the top of your page, you have an even better chance of employers sticking around long enough to be stunned by your relevant work experience and outstanding qualifications.

As a plus, a good cover photo makes your profile look complete, which shows employers that you’re the kind of person who crosses your t’s and dots your i’s in everything you do.

Choose Your Own Adventure

The wonderful thing about a cover photo is that it doesn’t need to amaze anybody. Neither does it need to be the “perfect” photo. In fact, just about any photo will look better than nothing at all. The only thing left is for you to choose yours!

So if you’re starting from scratch like most people, here are some great options.

 

Custom graphic

One of the best options for a cover photo is to design your own branded image. These can vary greatly, but depending on your line of work, you may want the design to reflect an industrious vitality or a sleek aesthetic. You can make your own from scratch, or you can use online tools like Canva’s LinkedIn banner templates to have a professional looking cover photo within minutes. No design chops needed!

Photo courtesy of London Camel

Business card

A variation of the custom graphic is to use the space to provide information about yourself in a super fancy way, like a digital business card. Whatever you put in here will be visible to anyone who can see your profile though, so you may want to keep that in mind when sharing personal information such as your phone number or email address.

Tatiana Ivy Moise Cover Photo

Industry-related inspirational pic

Another great option is to find or take an inspiring photo related to the work you do or would like to be doing. The cover photo to the right appeals to the romance of working for the flight industry and lends the profile an uplifting quality. This strategy can easily be adapted to other industries. For example, you may snap a photo of a grand hospital facade if you’re entering the health care sector. Those heading into artistic professions like interior or graphic design could even use the space to showcase some of their favorite personal work.

Valerie Battard LI Cover Photo

Action shot or demonstration

Consider using use a snapshot of you in your element that demonstrates your work, personality, or hobby in action like canoeing, paragliding, or playing piano. You can also show an example of what you create, like LEG team member and professional chef Alexis does.

Alexis Sicklick

Group shot

If you usually sit in a cubicle all day, you could also look for a photo of a moment when you led a group presentation or took your work out of the office. You can also easily say that you are a team player if it’s a group photo of you smiling with peers or colleagues. If you really want to show off your virtues, you might search your files for recent pictures of group volunteer work or other laudable activities.

Photo courtesy of Andre Escaleira

Landscape

You can’t go wrong with a nice landscape or city skyline photo (it can even include you). Skyline shots are an elegant option for those who live and work in urban areas, but this can be adapted to any setting. If you live and work by the beach, you might replace the towers with sailboats and seagulls. If you find great pleasure in traveling, a photo of your favorite recent destination may do the trick! 

(Example photo to the right by Rachel Leonard)

Photo courtesy of Tori Sicklick

Stock image or industry graphic

Visual thinkers may also want to look for images that reflect their work or their industry in a nice, clean design. You can find a wide variety of stock cover photos here and here (and as an added bonus, they’ve already been sized to the correct dimensions!).

Photo from tandsgo.com

Final Touches

Once you’ve got the right picture, now you’ll just want to make sure it looks sharp and fits the right dimensions for the page layout. For this you can use your own software or head over to Canva’s free online photo editor to finish the job. If you upload to Canva, crop your photo to the dimensions of 1128 (w) x 191 (h) pixels, then scroll the photo up or down to capture the part of the picture you want to be displayed.

That’s all there is to it! Now you can rest easy knowing that your extraordinary accomplishments will look even more distinguished beneath a handsome cover photo.

Want more job search tips sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter here: