Should You Have a Photo on Your LinkedIn Profile?

13 January 2017

Whether you're setting up a LinkedIn profile for the first time, dusting off an old profile due to a job search, or you are a regular LinkedIn user, you have probably asked yourself whether you need to profile picture on your profile. Here are some reasons why you should put a photo on your LinkedIn, and what makes an effective photo:

You'll get increased clicks if you do so: According to LinkedIn's statistics, having a professional photo in your profile makes it 14 times more likely that somebody will view your profile. If you're in the job hunt, that type of number is a very important one to pay attention to.

You will seem more human: You know the saying about stories about people's lives putting a human face on problems? Well, that goes for LinkedIn as well. Using a photo will make you seem like the real human being you are, and not a collection of dates and job tasks.

But what about discrimination?: Some people don't want a photo on their profile because they worry about racial or age discrimination. It's an understandable concern. However, if somebody is going to reject you because of your photo, they will also reject you after you come in for a job interview and see what you look like.

People may already know what you look like: If you want to keep some anonymity, social media isn't the place to do it. Not even LinkedIn. The fact is that the explosion of social media in recent years has meant that strangers can know an awful lot about your life just by typing your name in Google. That includes knowing what you look like. And wouldn't you rather they see a professional-looking headshot of you over vacation photos of you drinking tequila in Cabo San Lucas?

Put your best face forward: Speaking of which, it astonishes us how many times we see someone post a group shot as their profile photo on Facebook (how are we supposed to know which person is you?) or use a photo where it's clear it was a picture taken with somebody else. This is 2017. It's not that complicated to get a headshot (note: not a full-body shot; this isn't a modeling gig) taken of yourself. You don't even have to go to a professional photographer for this. Just get a friend with a camera, and a neutral background, wear appropriate business attire, smile and say cheese, and you're good to go.