Is Your Photo LinkedIn?

Immediate-Past President Steven Roll considers the pros and cons of including a photo on LinkedIn and seeks your opinion on the issue.

Facebook seems to be all about pictures. “Friend” someone on the social media website and be prepared to see a never ending stream of photos of pets, kids, and extended relatives having a good time at the wedding they attended last week.

LinkedIn, which has assumed the role of Facebook’s more button-down counterpart, features fewer images. In many cases, people don’t even include a photo of themselves on their profile.

But is it smart to go faceless on the world’s biggest career oriented social media website?

A spirited LinkedIn discussion on this issue looked at the costs and benefits of adding a headshot to your LinkedIn profile:

  • your photo is part of your personal brand or image,
  • LinkedIn is a form of social media and your photo helps “humanize” your interactions,
  • self disclosure (e.g., sharing your image) helps to build trust,
  • not including a photo might give the impression that you have not fully embraced social media.

Those who advocated against including their photo on LinkedIn said:

  • photos are often misleading,
  • people routinely judge resumes without seeing a person’s picture,
  • including your photo heightens the risk of identity theft or other types of fraud, and
  • photos tell little about a person’s character or qualifications.

Where do you stand on this issue? Are you pro or con LinkedIn photo?

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One thought on “Is Your Photo LinkedIn?

  1. I debated this question when I was setting up my LI account. I ultimately decided to include a photo of me standing behind a podium speaking at an event. I wanted to convey that although I am a writer, I also get “out and about” and participate. Also, I prefer seeing “action shots” of people rather than static, formal portraits, so (my reasoning went) why not practice it?

    That being said, I don’t know whether it has had a positive or negative effect on how my profile is received. People who have mentioned that they’ve seen my profile haven’t specifically mentioned the photo.

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