By Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Resume Writer
For years, job hunters have been told that their resume should arrive sans photo in order to avoid discrimination (either in their favor or against them).
Now, we’re being urged to provide a photo in order to be considered for a new job, all due to the new “normal” that is LinkedIn.
What happened? Well, it seems that the “social” part of social networking has become even more critical to your job search success.
As an example, LinkedIn Profiles have emerged as a part-professional, part-personal way to convey your brand — meaning that as a job hunter, you’ll benefit by responding to the age-old need to pair a face with a name.
After running a quick survey of recruiters who actively source candidates on LinkedIn, I found that the subject of Profiles that are “missing” a photo stirs some intense feelings.
“Personally, I don’t give much credence to those that do not have a photo,” stated Will Armstrong of Serco, Inc. “I have to wonder what they are trying to hide and I feel less connected to them.”
Before you decide to use a more “casual” photo, rather than a professional-looking headshot, consider that several recruiters have spoken out against this practice. “I’m not fond of LinkedIn photos that are personal or silly,” says recruiter Christine Alling.
Andy Foote, Executive Director at LinkedIn N Chicago, was more direct. In his list of LinkedIn blunders, he noted that “No photo, or worse, some kind of random arty or meaningless attempt” is a significant mistake on the part of job seekers.
I’ll eagerly back this up, as two of my clients recently encountered scenarios that seemed to match this particular LinkedIn - photo philosophy.
The job hunter who dressed in a suit secured several offers, while the manager that posed with his wife and kids struggled to gain traction in his search.
Even if you don’t want to spend the time (or money) on a professional photographer, there are ways to obtain an acceptable photo for use on your LinkedIn Profille.
As one recruiter noted, you always have the option of dressing in a suit, and finding someone proficient with a digital camera to take several pictures.
You just might find that putting your “best face” forward will result in more interest on the part of employers.
About the Author
Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is an executive resume writer and former recruiter who partners with CEO, CIO, COO, CFO, CTO, SVP, and Director candidates to win interviews at major corporations. A certified Professional Resume Writer, Online Professional Networking Strategist, Career Management Coach, Interview Coach, and Microblogging Career Strategist, she is a multiple award-winning resume writer and author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips & Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market.
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