3 Reasons To Add A Photo To Your LinkedIn Profile

In: career| networking

9 Mar 2010

LinkedIn has been around for about eight years now and has grown to become a valuable networking and job search tool. Though it is technically a social network, there are still too many people who treat it differently, almost as if it were just a resume database. This is evidenced by how many people still haven’t uploaded a photo to their profile.

There are various excuses as to why people haven’t included a photo. The most common seems to be that it could become a point of discrimination for a recruiter, as it reveals your ethnicity and approximate age. Since these would all be obviously revealed when they meet you in person, it shouldn’t be much of a concern.

There are many reasons to make sure you include an appropriate headshot with your profile. This could be a long list, so I’ll focus on just three reasons.

1. You will instantly stand out from the crowd.
LinkedIn includes the profile photo in all searches, messages, and job inquiries. About 40% of LinkedIn profiles don’t have a photo on their profile. So by adding one, your profile would already stand out above nearly half of all other users.

2. It adds personality and authenticity to your profile.
Giving users too much creative control over profiles can lead to disaster (MySpace, anyone?), so most popular social networking sites use a standardized look and feel for all user profiles. This means that your photo is the only opportunity you have to visually differentiate your profile from others. A photo-less profile looks cold and sterile. And though it sounds obvious, a photo shows that your profile represents a real person.

3. It creates a sense of visual recognition.
People react more openly to familiar faces than unknown ones. It is hardwired in our brains, a remnant from a time when recognizing faces was an important part of survival. When a recruiter, potential employer, or professional contact sees your photo on LinkedIn, their brain will consider you “familiar” when they meet you in person, causing them to drop their guard a bit.

LinkedIn considers adding a photo a requirement for your profile to be considered 100% complete. There is a reason for this: It makes your profile more effective.

If you don’t have one, go find a professional-looking headshot of yourself and update your profile now.

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Mark Webster

About Mark Webster

One of the Co-Founders of SideTour, former TechStar (NYC Summer 2011), ex-NBA'er, and past TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Winner.