They say a picture is worth a thousand words…what words does your LinkedIn profile photo shout?
Having a profile photo results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests (LinkedIn)
19% of recruiters’ time is spent looking at your photo on LinkedIn. (TheLadders 2014)
While we can complain and say that’s discriminatory, the facts are the facts. It may go all the way back to how our brains work. Subconsciously, humans looked at faces to determine whether the individual is a friend or foe. Blame it on DNA.
Many of the job seekers I’ve spoken with believe that including a picture will encourage age discrimination. Sad and maybe true. But each person needs to think about this and make the appropriate choice for themselves, rather than using a blanket-excuse.
What message are you sending by NOT having a picture?
With the majority of profiles today having pictures, NOT having one can almost work against you. Is this what you want to say:
- I do not have a picture and am too lazy/cheap to have one taken.
- I am old/ugly and don’t want people to see me.
- I do not know how to upload a photo (interpreted by those looking at your profile as “his/her technical skills are outdated”) Learn how to upload your picture here!
I’ve also heard another excuse for not having a photo…
I am a very private person and don’t want to make my photo public.
Seriously? What are you hiding? Have you googled your name and seen what images/photos come up already, without your permission? People hire people, not faceless avatars.
Here’s more advice on adding a photo to your LinkedIn profile: Does My LinkedIn Profile Really Need a Photo from Meg Guiseppi of Executive Career Branding.
How old do you really look?
Do you look old? Is it the grey hair you are worried about or is it the out-of-date glasses and hairstyle? The easy solutions would be to remove the glasses and dye the hair IF these are really your concerns. What are you really afraid of?
Hire a Professional
With the magic of Photoshop and other editing tools, your photo doesn’t have to harm your chances. If you need to hire a professional photographer or editor, it’s a worthwhile investment.
The Bigger Picture (pun intended!)
And my final words are about managing your career!
LinkedIn isn’t just a job search tool! Many professionals use it to develop new business, solve problems and interact with others.
If you look at the long term investment (bigger picture), having a picture helps people “see” you. It helps establish trust through transparency. It is about being authentic and real!
Other words of wisdom…use your profile photo consistently across the different social mediums. It makes it easier for others to recognize you! (It’s called personal branding!)
For more help modernizing your LinkedIn profile, check out these posts:
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.