The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The Importance of a LinkedIn Photo
LinkedIn is a social network tool designed to display professional information about anyone and everyone. LinkedIn has transformed the resume industry, becoming like an online resume and portfolio itself, eliminating the need to print out resume after resume, especially when looking for employment.
LinkedIn has become the primary place for people looking for employment and for recruiters looking for new employees. While there should be concerns about the exposure of one’s entire career span, most people design their profiles online, which may take a minimum of about an hour or more to complete, depending on what you add to your profile, how fancy you make it, and how much time you spend on it. No thought is ever given to how much privacy about our personal lives is exposed when placed on a LinkedIn profile, but a professional can easily assume the “work identity” of someone and begin from there. Fortunately, there has not been too many reports of people having such issues, and therefore, the majority do feel safe placing this information on LinkedIn.
There are several ways to be found on LinkedIn, specifically filling out options of what you, as a member of LinkedIn, are looking for, whether it be job recruitment, networking, etc. Adding your photo often makes it easier to be found. The majority of recruiters and hiring managers most likely do not bother looking at profiles without photos because it is a photo that says a lot about you, giving them insight into how you dress, how you carry yourself, and what you look like. This makes you more personal and allows them to quickly decide whether you are a right fit into the company culture based on just your appearance.
This also goes the opposite way. If someone you did not really know well requested for you to add them on LinkedIn and they did not have a profile photo, would you still allow yourself to network with them? Recently, there has been a surge in my own LinkedIn requests of recruiters and people looking to network, but the issue is, they are without profile photos. As with your own photo, we are living in a tech-savvy world with almost every mobile phone or tablet that includes a camera, a computer with a small photo camera, known as a webcam, and cameras, which are cheap and affordable nowadays, that can easily be plugged into any computer and photos transferred in mere minutes.
There is no excuse for anyone not to have a profile and for those that do not have a profile on LinkedIn, yet use it actively, there is great suspicion about what you are doing on LinkedIn. People are more likely to trust those with profile photos than they are with no images at all. Whether you are a user of LinkedIn looking to show off your portfolio, resume, or you are looking for a job, you need to display a professional photograph of yourself.
If you are the CEO of a company, a recruiter, or a hiring manager, you also need to ensure that you have a professional photograph of yourself uploaded to compliment your profile. There is no excuse not to have one and if you refuse to upload one, you are one of the many suspicious people on LinkedIn that will have a much harder time accomplishing your goals, especially if it involves networking with other people.
Matthew Gates is a freelance web developer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.