The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Pros and Cons of Including a LinkedIn Photo

February 17, 2014 in Career and Job Search Tips



As most of us scroll through LinkedIn’s list of “People You May Know,” we automatically categorize profile pictures into one of three categories:

The Good: people with professional photos that make them appear confident and competent.

The Bad: people whose photos are blurry, poorly lit or awkward.

The Ugly: people whose photos are so inappropriate that they make you wonder, “What were they thinking?”

As a job seeker, you undoubtedly realize the weight your profile picture carries. In fact, one study by a major job site found that recruiters spend 19% of their time on your online profile looking at your picture – more than they spend looking at your skills or older work experiences.

So, should you include a photo? Today, Kinsa Group would like to help you decide. We review the pros and cons of including a photo as part of your LinkedIn profile – so you can make the right choice for your executive food & beverage job search:

The Pros

  • It’s more personal. A recruiter will feel like he’s connecting with a real person and not just a skill set.
  • A well-executed photo can position you as a successful and enthusiastic professional in a recruiter’s mind.
  • It ensures that a recruiter is connecting with the right person – especially if you have a common name.
  • It conveys that you’re competent and comfortable with yourself. Not including a picture may lead a recruiter to assume that you’re incapable of uploading one or that you’re embarrassed by your appearance.

The Cons

  • It opens you up to potential discrimination. Recruiters are human – and subject to biases, just like the rest of us. Like it or not, recruiters may make judgements about your abilities, character and suitability for an available position based on your physical characteristics.
  • A poorly executed photo can count as a strike against you. If it’s pixelated, too dark, or inappropriate for the food & beverage industry, a recruiter might be more likely to pass you over.

If you do decide to include a LinkedIn photo, follow these quick tips:

  • You should be the only subject. Leave pets and significant others out.
  • Use a neutral background. Photos taken at bars or concerts are not appropriate.
  • Strike a professional pose. Keep your head upright (it makes you appear more confident) and use a pleasant facial expression.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Business attire is a must for food & beverage executives.
  • Consider lighting and focus. Select a photo in which your features are sharp and your face is well lit.
  • Choose a recent photo. Make sure it looks like you, today.

Looking for your next food & beverage opportunity? Connect with Kinsa Group on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Get real-time notifications of the best executive and management food & beverage jobs nationwide.