Dear Super Recruiter,
I saw your post on attracting IT recruiters to your LinkedIn profile and I don’t like your advice on adding a photo (I’m camera shy!). Do I REALLY need a photo on my LinkedIn profile? — Erica, Edison, NJ
In a word — yes! If you’re trying to attract attention to your profile, a photo is essential. I understand camera shyness and concerns about discrimination, but LinkedIn is a social network after all, and part of being social is being seen. A good IT recruiter is going to contact you based on your skills and experience, not what you look like. A profile with a photo signals you’re A) a real person, B) active on LinkedIn, and C) likely to respond if I reach out to you with an opportunity.
Not convinced? According to a recent study by The Ladders, which tracked 30 recruiters over 10 weeks, your photo is the very first place recruiters look on your profile. And, according to the study, “recruiters fixated an average 19% of the total time spent on profile pictures, instead of examining other vital candidate information.” Check out this eye tracking heat map:
Here are our tips from a few weeks ago on how to pick the perfect LinkedIn photo:
- It has to be a real and current photo of you and only you – no pets, children, spouses or props. Never use a cartoon or logo.
- Crop it to a head and shoulders view, but don’t zoom in too much or you risk looking crazy.
- Don’t overthink your pose – a natural smile is all you need to look approachable.
- Wear clothing that fits in with the work environment you’re looking for.
For better or worse, a LinkedIn photo is necessary to attract attention. Break out your point-and-shoot, put on your professional best and snap away!