Should you include a photo on your LinkedIn profile?

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not you should include a photo of yourself on your LinkedIn profile. Most of us don’t include them in the resumes we send out, and recruiters scan online profiles as if they were scanning resumes.

If you include a photo, you are allowing yourself to be discriminated against, but if you don’t include one, people may wonder why there is no photo since the majority of profiles have one.

Miriam Salpeter of US News & World Report says not having a picture on your LinkedIn profile will make others assume you’re “really ugly” or “don’t know how to upload a picture.”

Most LinkedIn users think it’s beneficial for them to have a photo on their profile

In a study conducted by TheLadders, an eye-tracking heatmap, shows that recruiters spend 19% of the total time they spend on your profile looking at your photo. Next, your current position and education are reviewed, but you don’t spend as much time on your older skills, specialties, or work experience.

The “eye tacking” technique examined the eye movements of 30 professional recruiters over a 10-week period to “record and analyze where and how long someone is concentrating when digesting information or accomplishing of a task”.

LinkedIn heatmap

The scales

So should you include a photo on your LinkedIn profile? Mark Jaffe at CBS say “maybe”. The bottom line is that it’s meant to help propel your job search and career forward, not be a hindrance.

Jaffe writes:

The same goes for your mug. Can we see your face clearly? Is it strictly professional? Was the photo taken by a professional? Does it improve your qualifications? Finally… are you attractive enough to be judged on your looks alone? Because that’s what you invite people to do. And you can’t have it both ways, hoping to add some flair but pretending to be discriminated against if you end up getting rejected before the first date.

If it’s a solid asset, great, use it – as long as you’re absolutely sure it projects the soul of professionalism. But keep in mind that you can be disqualified from the exam, regardless of your credentials – which will probably never be examined – because you are bald, overweight, too young, too old, do not wear the good costume or, cruelest and most unreasonable of all, too good for your own good.

Now check out 16 heatmaps that reveal exactly where people are looking >

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