19 reasons your LinkedIn headshot may be an epic fail

You don’t want to be too sexy, too stern, too blurry; go for well-lighted, not half-lit. Best bet: Pony up a little cash and invest in a professional, yet moderately casual portrait.

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What is that you say? You hate how you look in photos? Welcome to the club. But fear not—anyone can look great, especially in a LinkedIn photo. You just need a little help. (I’ll talk more about that at the end of this post.)

After carefully combing through several hundred LinkedIn photos (offered via the page that says “People I May Know”), I have come up with these 19 personal epic fail photo categories.

Names are not listed to protect the guilty—but you might know who you are from the descriptions.

1. Just straight-up blurry. (Hello, I’m Digital Photography 101. How have we not met before?)

2. Terrible lighting. (Are you the Dark Knight rising? I can barely make you out from all those shadows.)

3. The “Sears portrait” background. (Your 1981 yearbook called… )

4. Random or odd background images. (My man, nice shot of the waiter behind you carrying a wine bottle under his arm. You are such a bon vivant.)

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