Photo…good idea? Bad idea?

I was volunteering in an orientation session the other day for newly released job seekers. The benefits of LinkedIn are always a part of these orientation sessions.  On this particular day, a person asked if it was a good idea to include a photograph on LinkedIn.  I hear this question from time to time.  Someone is too young or too old…too pretty or too ugly (I have heard both)…the wrong race (and that can be any race…everyone has concerns)…too fat or thin….the list goes on.

My two cents are as follows:

Put your picture on LinkedIn in most cases.  There may be some instances where  you would not want to…for example, you may want to get away from someone who wants to do you harm…a stalker, an ex, an old friend from a previous life style.  In those cases, maybe a picture is not a good idea.  But in all other cases, use a good picture.  Not your high school senior picture unless you are under 21 years old.  Not a cell phone picture taken in a dimly lit room.  Not a washed out picture that makes you look like a corpse.  Maybe a glamor shot is OK if it is not too over the top.  Make it a decent picture that shows you at your best.  It is just a tiny little photograph on LinkedIn, but I want to see who you are when I look at your profile.  Also, if you want to LinkIn with me, it is a much easier decision if I can at least see your photograph.  I like to link in with people I’ve met.   If I’ve meet you and can recognize you from your photograph, I will probably Linkin with you.

By the way, for what it is worth, recruiters who use LinkedIn to find people have a special option which does not show them the photograph from your LinkedIn profile.  This gives them some protection from Equal Opportunity legal issues.  That eliminates one concern I hear people express.

To not have a photograph just raises questions and creates barriers that do not need to be created.

For tips on your LinkedIn picture, I suggest this blog by EdenChanges.

James Snider
Global Business Development and Social Media Marketing
Anyone can give you social media.  I make sure it’s marketing.

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About jamessnider

James Snider is the Vice President of Business Development for Engstrom Trading, LLC. Engstrom imports products from Scandinavian countries and builds a market for them in the USA and Canada. View all posts by jamessnider

3 responses to “Photo…good idea? Bad idea?

  • renaissanceexecutive

    If you are an avid traditional networker, it is a great idea to put your picture on Linkedin. It is traditional at networking events and professional events for people to exchange business cards. Pictures are a great way for jogging someone’s memory of when and where someone met you.

    Tracy Levine, President, Advantage Talent, Inc.

  • Michael Ho-Lung

    If someone really wants to associate a face to a name, it wouldn’t take much searching to find a photo (online) to match. Almost everything about us is public knowledge already. So, go ahead and leave a picture, it probably do more harm than good.

    Michael Ho-Lung, former TI’er

  • Mark Calvin Howell

    It is said, “The eyes are the window to the soul.”

    Using your photo “avatar” enables you to set yourself apart from others (who share your name) and control your online branding image. In addition to appearing professional, your photo should represent who you are now. No longer sporting the porkchop sideburns and mustache? Get an updated photo. You don’t want to give the impression you have misrepresented yourself.

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