Through outreach initiatives and recruiting projects, I look at hundreds of profiles every day. Oh my goodness. The number of nonprofessional and to be quite honest, unflattering profile photos may be contributing to my fleeting sanity. When I see a bad photo or a photo with multiple people or a photo of you demonstrating your hobbies, I am less inclined to save you as a lead or share your profile with a hiring manager. You may be missing out on a great opportunity because of a bad photo.
Please help me, help you.
I understand if you are a recent graduate or still in college but please don’t use a picture from last Saturday’s party that you think looks fabulous. I’ll give you some slack, but please update your photo as soon as possible.
On the other hand, there are the photos of professionals who have been working for a while. There has to be at least one professional photo of you. Please, please, please upload that photo. Your family is cute, and I’m sure that fish you are attempting to reel in is a record size, but this is not Facebook. LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Let’s be professional.
Now that we’ve covered the family and hobby-related pictures let’s briefly talk about the out-dated professional picture. First, thank you for the professional photo. But have you ever thought about the person you might be interviewing with who is expecting the younger version of you when you enter the room? Hopefully they can control their facial expression and the thought “Oh wow, that is so not what I expected” or “Wow, they do not look like their photo on LinkedIn” stays to themselves.
May you be thinking I am exaggerating. Do people pay that close attention to LinkedIn profile photos? Yes, they do. So please help me help you.
By the way, not having a photo on your profile is, in my humble opinion, worse.
How can I help you? Here are some suggestions:
- Find a photographer and get a professional headshot. Need a recommendation? We know many awesome photographers, just ask us.
- All good photographers will provide lighting that will make a definite difference.
Don’t think you photograph well? Nonsense, a good photographer will provide a selection of photos that will look professional. Ask a friend or colleague to help you select the best one.
- Before your headshot, treat yourself to a new haircut (maybe a new color and new makeup, if needed.)
- Try on multiple outfits beforehand and bring a few extra options to the actual headshot. When I had my photo shoot, the photographer told me to try the jacket on outfit one with the shirt from outfit two (which I hadn’t tried and was skeptical about) and that combination turned out great. They see things we might not.
Thank you in advance for tossing out your family, fishing, hobby related, and old photos! I guarantee you will increase the odds that a new opportunity may come your way.