LinkedIn Profile Picture – Does it Matter??

As headshot photographers many of our clients visit us is to have a new LinkedIn Profile Picture.  We wanted to find out how important LinkedIn profile pictures are and do people form opinions about someone based on their LinkedIn photo alone. Who better to ask than recruiters and HR consultants. Whether they are an internal recruiter looking for their own company, or a consultant looking for a client, they are always actively networking and sourcing potential candidates often through LinkedIn itself.

LinkedIn Profile Picture

Our LinkedIn Profile Picture Poll produced very interesting results!

We contacted recruitment professionals and asked them three simple questions. This was a hidden ‘invite only’ poll that we proactively asked just recruiters to answer. We had 124 people answer the questions and they were really interested in what the results would be. We have to say the results surprised even us! If you are on LinkedIn and people are looking at your profile, this may make interesting reading!

These are the questions we asked:

“Do you search for candidates (job seekers) profiles on LinkedIn prior to contacting or meeting them?”

‘Do you form an opinion about a candidate based on their profile picture on LinkedIn?”

“Would you have second thoughts about a candidate that looks great on paper who has a bad headshot on LinkedIn?“

So why should we care about our LinkedIn profile picture?

Some of us take our LinkedIn profile picture more seriously than others. A quick scroll down any search will show you a big selection of professional shots mixed with holiday snaps. People are by their very nature curious. When preparing for a meeting with clients, new suppliers and potential employees we felt that lots of people did look up who they were meeting and consciously or unconsciously make judgements about them. But were we right?

The Results!!

Question 1 : “Do you search for candidates (job seekers) profiles on LinkedIn prior to contacting or meeting them?”

Do you find people on LinkedIn before meeting them?

93% of recruiters will look at your LinkedIn profile picture before contacting you!!

93% of recruiters say that they look you up online before they meet or even contact you! We knew it would be high but this is an extraordinary percentage! We will explore this more with later questions but that means that 93% of possible contacts are forming opinions based on what the see and read about you before they even speak with you! This poll was just amongst recruiters but our suspicion is that this is pretty much on par for any business contact. We all love to look up prospective contacts online first. Everyone is so accessible with LinkedIn and other social medias that it has become normal to check contacts out before meeting.

Question 2 : ‘Do you form an opinion about a candidate based on their profile picture on LinkedIn?”  

Making assumptions about someone based on their LinkedIn Profile Picture

Almost 70% of new contacts will judge you simply on your LinkedIn profile picture!!

68% of people you have never met are forming an opinion of you based on your LinkedIn profile picture alone! Good or bad, this is not something to be ignored. No matter what you do in your career or business, the fact that over 2/3rd of possible contacts are forming an opinion based simply on your photo needs to be considered when you are trying to make an impression.

Question 3 : “Would you have second thoughts about a candidate that looks great on paper who has a bad headshot on LinkedIn?“

LinkedIn Profile Picture Survey Results

69% of people may not contact you if they don’t like your LinkedIn photo!

Now this was a big surprise. We were shocked that 69% of people said yes or maybe to this question! That’s over two thirds of potential contacts on LinkedIn who may choose not to contact you purely down to your LinkedIn profile picture!

It may seem shallow but there are possibly so many opportunities that may not come to fruition just because your LinkedIn profile photo is not appealing. Of course you cannot please all the people all the time.  However the old saying that people buy from people is very true.  I am always shocked that contestants get a no on ‘Take me Out’ because they have stripy socks or love their mum! But it’s worth considering what decisions are being made based on our profile images.

LinkedIn normally wins when a name is searched for in Google!

Don’t think that your profile is not being looked at? Something you may not be aware of, is that LinkedIn will generally win the race when a name search is conducted on Google. If you search for someone’s name (even when the company is added), LinkedIn will not only win against huge companies like Accenture and KPMG but they will also win against Facebook! Try it for yourself. Put your name and company into Google and LinkedIn will (normally) win. This means the first impression that many people have is your LinkedIn profile.

Who is LinkedIn?

Since LinkedIn was established in 2003, it has grown massively and is the ‘go to’ professional social platform for many industries. It’s an amazing business networking platform that many companies generate lots of their new business through. Recruiters also utilise LinkedIn massively for reaching out to possible candidates for jobs. In the UK, there are 21m members on LinkedIn. That’s about 1/3rd of the population! Worldwide, there are 500 million users and apparently, 40% of members use the service in a daily basis. Considering these these stats, we are often surprised (to put it mildly) that companies and staff members opt to use personal photos for their profiles rather than the professional headshots that we or any other company may provide. There are many articles including our own on LinkedIn Profile Mistakes but still, it’s very common to have a holiday snap or night out shot on a Linkedin profile picture.

Think about your own LinkedIn profile photo. What impression does it give about you? Why not search for your whole company – does it look like a professional, approachable team or people who spend too much time partying or on holiday? 

We hope this has been interesting. We had a feeling that the results would be interesting and the feedback we had from the recruiters was that they were very intrigued to see the results. However, we never expected such an overwhelming bias towards being judged on the LinkedIn profile picture alone!

If you have any questions about this article or would like to use the data in your own site or publication, feel free to call us on 07810 004451 or email hello@lumosia.com

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