As a job search coach and executive resume writer, I’m consistently astounded at the ways job seekers can stand in their own way of landing the perfect position.
Nothing exemplifies this better than the LinkedIn photo.
You might find putting your headshot on a public forum to be daunting. However, if you’ve resorted to using any available photo, disastrous results can follow.
Don’t blame it on the economy, your age, or experience! Failing to display a professional image online WILL affect your job search.
If your LinkedIn photo shows ANY of the following, employers may refrain from reaching out to you – especially if your target job requires a professional demeanor:
1 – Your pet.
However much you love your dog, cat, or tarantula, employers don’t need to see their shining faces next to yours.
Keep Fido, Fluffy, and Fearless out of your professional life, the same way you’d refrain from taking them to an interview.
2 – The inside of your car.
Want to convey that you’re serious about your career? Then look the part – deliberately – instead of using a random photo that includes a headrest.
Even a great shot of you behind the wheel isn’t enough to make employers think you can drive a new project or team. (pun intended)
3 – Excessive (or white) beards.
While neatly trimmed facial hair is common, some employers react to beards on candidates. Facial hair, especially when it’s white, can age you. My clients consistently report better results when they join the ranks of their clean-shaven counterparts.
Still not convinced? Read this article from CBS News, or do your own online research. The evidence overwhelmingly points to a successful job search for candidates who take the hint and eliminate the white beard.
Unless you’re applying for the position of Kenny Rogers (or Santa Claus), white hair in your LinkedIn photo will not be an advantage in your job search.
4 – Your spouse or children.
Family photos aren’t LinkedIn fodder, because your Profile is all about YOU. Unlike Facebook, where family matters are frequently shared, your LinkedIn Profile is the place to separate work and home.
Show employers you understand this divide by keeping your LinkedIn persona strictly about your professional image.