Surely you've heard the expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” But if a cover isn’t compelling and inviting, most people aren’t going to look inside and find out more.
It’s human nature to make snap judgments based on appearances, such as picking up on body language and facial expressions. That’s why, when you’re looking for a job, it’s so important to have an updated, professional LinkedIn profile photo to let potential employers know that you’re trustworthy, intelligent, and perfect for the position.
You’ll be judged by your appearance
The first thing most recruiters or potential employers look at on a LinkedIn profile is the photo, so like it or not, the way you look matters. The right headshot can help you score your dream job, and an amateur or outdated headshot can actually cause you to miss out on opportunities.
Don’t believe it? A CareerBuilder survey actually found that the way you present yourself can not only affect your ability to get hired but can also impact your chances of getting a promotion.
That’s why it’s absolutely essential to have a quality, updated professional headshot on your LinkedIn profile. You want to encourage recruiters to keep looking and check out your skills and experience, instead of clicking away after just a few seconds.
You want to make a solid first impression
These days, most potential employers will look your up online before they ever contact you for a phone or in-person interview. That’s why you want to put a lot of thought and effort into how you present yourself on your LinkedIn profile. You want to show off your skills and experience, as well as give the impression of someone who’s intelligent, dedicated, and approachable.
That may sound like a lot to pull off, but as we’ve all heard, a picture is worth a thousand words, and your profile photo can help you give the right impression to recruiters. Your LinkedIn image can also serve as an introduction to other people in your field and potential clients, and you want to make sure that introduction is a positive one. A selfie or blurry amateur photo can give off the impression that you don’t care about presenting yourself professionally, which can be an immediate turnoff to potential employers.
You’ll get more engagement
Social media is a very visual medium, and LinkedIn is no different from Facebook or Instagram. Profiles with a photo get more engagement than those without—21 times more views and nine times more connection requests. Those additional views can make all the difference in getting an interview for the job you want.
When you choose a professional, sharp outfit for a job interview, you’re telling your interviewer that you’re serious about the position without even saying a word. The same is true for your LinkedIn profile photo. A quality, professional headshot can let recruiters know that you mean business and encourage more people to click on your profile and learn about your skills and expertise.
You’ll look more genuine
Having a quality profile picture lets anyone who looks at your profile know that you’re for real. Profiles without a photo tend to give off the impression that they’re fake or spam accounts, which is definitely not what you want potential employers to think when they see your profile.
Also, not having a photo might keep people from accepting your connection requests. People are a lot savvier about the internet these days and more likely to be suspicious of a profile without a picture. If you’re looking to build your network on LinkedIn, you definitely don’t want to give people a reason not to accept your connection.
You want to show off your personality
Interviewers love LinkedIn profiles because it allows them to put a face to the name before they meet the person. A photo also gives recruiters and potential employers an idea of what kind of person you are. For example, a selfie or cropped group photo may suggest that you don’t pay much attention to detail or aren’t very diligent in your work, while a professional headshot tells anyone who sees it that you are dedicated and on task.
Let recruiters, employers, and all your connections know that you mean business with a high-quality LinkedIn profile photo!