[12.08.09]
60 great comments!

10 Reasons Why You Still Have Not Added Your Photo To LinkedIn

This post is for all of you who don’t think you need a LinkedIn photo.

LinkedIn Photo

One of the early and most interesting discussions on the LinkedIn group was about the use of a LinkedIn photo and what that LinkedIn photo said about you. Now, I will tell you that I have always had a photo there. Because I think it is a vital way to introduce yourself to the business world. And to remind people (you worked with ten years ago) who you are . . .

So I tried to think about some reasons why, in this modern age, people would leave a LinkedIn photo off of their profile. Are you saying any of these things?

1. I am a private person

I don’t like sharing my personal data with people. I just don’t. Especially complete strangers.

2. I don’t take good pictures

Really, I don’t. So I’d rather have no picture than give people a poor first impression.

3.  I am worried about some kind of employer bias

Worried that someone will decide not to contact me because of who I am. Based on my age, skin color, gender, etc.

4.  I don’t want to be recognized

No, I’m not in a witness protection program. I just feel like I lose control when someone else knows me before I know them.

5.  A good picture will cost money

I’ll have to hire a photographer. And I really don’t want to spend money on something like this . . .

6.  I’m on Facebook

And the people that I know and trust can see me there. Everyone else can do without.

7.  I don’t know how to upload a picture

Sorry, but I’m not good at this technology stuff. And I keep forgetting to ask for help.

8.  I want people to know me based on my accomplishments not my “looks”

I’m worried people will get the wrong impression about me.

9.  I don’t know whether I should be smiling or serious

I put off taking a picture until I figure this part out.

10.  I don’t know why

It just feels wrong. I can’t explain it.

Whatever your reason, I’m going to tell you that it is not a good one. Because we all evaluate each other in this world. We expect to get enough data to do so from the very beginning or else we make assumptions. And I’d rather my information be out there from the start.

And I’d rather control where I’m seen and heard on a site like LinkedIn vs. rolling the dice on what pops up on Google.

How do you begin to build a personal brand without a LinkedIn photo? One that visually stimulates the eyes of your visitor and burns that important first impression.

And while I see how each of the above reasons can seem like a logical reason to hold back, I’m saying that doing so will hamper your networking. There is a trust factor here. People wonder “why no photo?”

Because having a LinkedIn photo.  One that represents you well.

Well, it helps:

  • people find you at the next networking event. And you want to be found.
  • create a positive impression of you. Assuming you choose a professional and smiling photo.
  • people trust you. And gives people comfort when they think about accepting your connection request.

So if you are holding back on adding a LinkedIn photo. If one of the reasons above is keeping you from maximizing your profile’s reach and impact, decide today. Decide to add a good photo. And if you are unsure about your photo, send it to me.

. . . and I’ll tell you what I think.


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: | |
Categories: Using Social Media
  • You forgot one consideration: There are those of us who are in, and/or aspire to be involved with the intelligence community at some level. A picture would not be prudent, especially in the world we live in.
    An individual should be judged by their character, content, and competency, within the perception space. Fluff, and I do consider a picture part of that, is not necessary as long as the above three “Cs” are followed consistently and appropriately.
    Honor and substance is not dependent upon one’s looks, but by the actions one bestows. And in the reality of the situation, that is all that truly counts.
    More to come in the early part of 2010……….stay tuned.

  • You forgot one consideration: There are those of us who are in, and/or aspire to be involved with the intelligence community at some level. A picture would not be prudent, especially in the world we live in.
    An individual should be judged by their character, content, and competency, within the perception space. Fluff, and I do consider a picture part of that, is not necessary as long as the above three “Cs” are followed consistently and appropriately.
    Honor and substance is not dependent upon one’s looks, but by the actions one bestows. And in the reality of the situation, that is all that truly counts.
    More to come in the early part of 2010……….stay tuned.

  • TopSec1 – You’ve found a good exception for the intelligence biz. Good catch. But I disagree about the need for a picture. I like to look in your eyes before I connect with you. . . If I can.

  • TopSec1 – You’ve found a good exception for the intelligence biz. Good catch. But I disagree about the need for a picture. I like to look in your eyes before I connect with you. . . If I can.

  • Barbara

    I think a picture shows your character, in you are opening yourself to people who view your profile or comments. Without a picture you are hiding a part of yourself to the group.
    However, no picture is better than your photo saying the wrong thing in a business situation like Linkedin.
    Tim – I was very slow in posting a photo as I didn’t have any of myself. I am a semi-professional photographer who enjoys taking photos, just don’t like being in photos.

  • Barbara

    I think a picture shows your character, in you are opening yourself to people who view your profile or comments. Without a picture you are hiding a part of yourself to the group.
    However, no picture is better than your photo saying the wrong thing in a business situation like Linkedin.
    Tim – I was very slow in posting a photo as I didn’t have any of myself. I am a semi-professional photographer who enjoys taking photos, just don’t like being in photos.

  • Tim…let me provide this example: Long before there was the Internet, we had works from literature to philosophy to the sciences printed from parchment paper to bound books. There is serious doubt a picture is required to “connect” with an individual prior to reading/understanding an author’s work. Tell that to William Shakespeare, Elizabeth and Robert Barrett Browning, Sir Francis Bacon, etc. beyond their time. They didn’t care about superficiality, but cared about how their work impacted society and the world.
    Now, for the flipside, if one is not in my position, then I see no issue, or an excuse, for having one online. Regardless of the choice, one still has to make the effort to network and meet people as I found that aspect more enjoyable.

  • Tim…let me provide this example: Long before there was the Internet, we had works from literature to philosophy to the sciences printed from parchment paper to bound books. There is serious doubt a picture is required to “connect” with an individual prior to reading/understanding an author’s work. Tell that to William Shakespeare, Elizabeth and Robert Barrett Browning, Sir Francis Bacon, etc. beyond their time. They didn’t care about superficiality, but cared about how their work impacted society and the world.
    Now, for the flipside, if one is not in my position, then I see no issue, or an excuse, for having one online. Regardless of the choice, one still has to make the effort to network and meet people as I found that aspect more enjoyable.

  • Great post. When I first posted a profile to linkedin, I posted a photo. It was a nice photo, but not professional. Within 10 minutes a few of my close contacts emailed me with the instructions to post a professional photo. So, I searched, and found a picture of me wearing a business suit. Immediately, I got feedback from my contacts that I selected the right photo. Your advice is good. The only point I would add is don’t add your “glamour shot.” If you don’t have a professional photo, have one taken. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure it’s a good one.
    Sincerely,
    @HRMargo, Twitter Margo Rose http://hrmargo.com

  • Great post. When I first posted a profile to linkedin, I posted a photo. It was a nice photo, but not professional. Within 10 minutes a few of my close contacts emailed me with the instructions to post a professional photo. So, I searched, and found a picture of me wearing a business suit. Immediately, I got feedback from my contacts that I selected the right photo. Your advice is good. The only point I would add is don’t add your “glamour shot.” If you don’t have a professional photo, have one taken. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure it’s a good one.
    Sincerely,
    @HRMargo, Twitter Margo Rose http://hrmargo.com

  • I like the way you said that, Barbara. And your character, personality, self is a crucial thing to see when meeting new people.

  • I like the way you said that, Barbara. And your character, personality, self is a crucial thing to see when meeting new people.

  • TopSec1 – My only counter to your first point. How about pictures of Jesus, Angels, Buddha? We all like to have some image of people we would like to know or believe in. It helps us feel closer . . .
    RE: your flipside – agree that it can be very enjoyable!

  • TopSec1 – My only counter to your first point. How about pictures of Jesus, Angels, Buddha? We all like to have some image of people we would like to know or believe in. It helps us feel closer . . .
    RE: your flipside – agree that it can be very enjoyable!

  • @HR Margo – Good point about the glamour shot. You want to show the real professional you – not the one where you are trying to be another you. Agree!

  • @HR Margo – Good point about the glamour shot. You want to show the real professional you – not the one where you are trying to be another you. Agree!

  • I had a normal pic but then I got a professional one taken for a discounted rate. I live in MI where there is an unreasonably high unemployment so we have career transition groups and they offered a low cost alternative.

  • I had a normal pic but then I got a professional one taken for a discounted rate. I live in MI where there is an unreasonably high unemployment so we have career transition groups and they offered a low cost alternative.

  • Jamie – Smart move getting a professional shot taken. It really makes a difference in that first impression.

  • Jamie – Smart move getting a professional shot taken. It really makes a difference in that first impression.

  • James D. Pagliaro LEED AP

    Tim;
    Folks need to get over it. A good picture on Linkedin is a great idea. I agree with you. I also think more people should put their very best shot on their profile, not something that someone took by chance at the beach. It says a lot about your professionalism. Your picture is great by the way. It was done professionally and it shows. A “Head Shot” is used in the industry for a reason; it sells you. I did modify my Head Shot for Christmas, but the original will go back after the holidays.

  • James D. Pagliaro LEED AP

    Tim;
    Folks need to get over it. A good picture on Linkedin is a great idea. I agree with you. I also think more people should put their very best shot on their profile, not something that someone took by chance at the beach. It says a lot about your professionalism. Your picture is great by the way. It was done professionally and it shows. A “Head Shot” is used in the industry for a reason; it sells you. I did modify my Head Shot for Christmas, but the original will go back after the holidays.

  • Hi Jim – Great point about the type of photo to use. A LOT of people use that shot of themselves on summer vacation. Not good. Or they crop into another shot of them and their spouse. Also not good. Use a picture with a purpose – usually that means getting one taken by someone who knows what they are doing . . .

  • Hi Jim – Great point about the type of photo to use. A LOT of people use that shot of themselves on summer vacation. Not good. Or they crop into another shot of them and their spouse. Also not good. Use a picture with a purpose – usually that means getting one taken by someone who knows what they are doing . . .

  • Kat

    Tim, you are young, good looking and photogenic.
    I am none of those things. My physical characteristics do not reflect who I “am”.
    I depend on a display of native intelligence, confidence, and force of personality to overcome what I perceive as my deficiencies in that area and it has served me well to date. To know me is to respect and like me, but people are often judgmental and I do not want to be passed over for an opportunity discussion because I don’t fit someone’s preconceived idea of what a “Insert Title Here” should look like. It would be a loss to both myself and the potential new employer.
    Just because we elect Presidents that look good in photos and on TV doesn’t mean we should carry that over into all walks of life.
    But I will send you my photo and then you can tell me what you think.

  • Kat

    Tim, you are young, good looking and photogenic.
    I am none of those things. My physical characteristics do not reflect who I “am”.
    I depend on a display of native intelligence, confidence, and force of personality to overcome what I perceive as my deficiencies in that area and it has served me well to date. To know me is to respect and like me, but people are often judgmental and I do not want to be passed over for an opportunity discussion because I don’t fit someone’s preconceived idea of what a “Insert Title Here” should look like. It would be a loss to both myself and the potential new employer.
    Just because we elect Presidents that look good in photos and on TV doesn’t mean we should carry that over into all walks of life.
    But I will send you my photo and then you can tell me what you think.

  • Kat – Thanks for a very important comment. You said what I’m sure a lot of people think. That their appearance will stop or hinder an important contact.
    While their may be truth in that for some people in this world, I still think there is a solution for everyone that will allow your personal brand to be displayed. That should be a picture, but there may be other options for people who refuse that option for a variety of reasons.
    Please do send me your photo (I’ll follow-up via email as well).

  • Kat – Thanks for a very important comment. You said what I’m sure a lot of people think. That their appearance will stop or hinder an important contact.
    While their may be truth in that for some people in this world, I still think there is a solution for everyone that will allow your personal brand to be displayed. That should be a picture, but there may be other options for people who refuse that option for a variety of reasons.
    Please do send me your photo (I’ll follow-up via email as well).

  • Experienced

    Tim, I read your article and found it interesting. I have not posted my photo because of potential employer bias (#3 in your article). Although we are living in the 21st century racial bias and prejudice are alive and well in all companies, and I speak from first hand experience. I would rather not post my photo and get an interview based on my experience and skillset and eliminate the weeding out process that would occur with the posting of a picture.

  • Experienced

    Tim, I read your article and found it interesting. I have not posted my photo because of potential employer bias (#3 in your article). Although we are living in the 21st century racial bias and prejudice are alive and well in all companies, and I speak from first hand experience. I would rather not post my photo and get an interview based on my experience and skillset and eliminate the weeding out process that would occur with the posting of a picture.

  • Experienced – I understand your concern and I won’t try to tell you that your experience was not real. It is out there. I get that. But I wonder how many people you lose by not having a photo in today’s more public world. And if the bias is there, it will be there during an interview as well as in advance, true? So in some ways your having a picture will let people know who you really are. Upfront.
    The key, I think, is in having a picture that helps to illustrate not just your visual appearance but, more important, (as Kat and Barbara suggested) your character. A great photo will highlight your personality and your positive attitude. And, without that, I think you lose something.

  • Experienced – I understand your concern and I won’t try to tell you that your experience was not real. It is out there. I get that. But I wonder how many people you lose by not having a photo in today’s more public world. And if the bias is there, it will be there during an interview as well as in advance, true? So in some ways your having a picture will let people know who you really are. Upfront.
    The key, I think, is in having a picture that helps to illustrate not just your visual appearance but, more important, (as Kat and Barbara suggested) your character. A great photo will highlight your personality and your positive attitude. And, without that, I think you lose something.

  • nuh uh, not here

    Call it a phobia, if you like, but I don’t allow pictures of myself…and haven’t since my wedding (a worthy exception) almost a decade ago.
    My anxiety over it is too much to bear. I’m working toward resolving that through other mechanisms, but it will take time.
    In the mean time, any potential employer or client will have to “deal”.
    As an artist, I can always claim to be elusive. LOL

  • nuh uh, not here

    Call it a phobia, if you like, but I don’t allow pictures of myself…and haven’t since my wedding (a worthy exception) almost a decade ago.
    My anxiety over it is too much to bear. I’m working toward resolving that through other mechanisms, but it will take time.
    In the mean time, any potential employer or client will have to “deal”.
    As an artist, I can always claim to be elusive. LOL

  • K

    number 3 doesn’t seem like a real concern to you? it is. it’s bad enough that potential employers discriminate based on name.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DXK/is_9_20/ai_104521293/
    you don’t have to worry so much when you’re a white male. sad but true.

  • K

    number 3 doesn’t seem like a real concern to you? it is. it’s bad enough that potential employers discriminate based on name.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DXK/is_9_20/ai_104521293/
    you don’t have to worry so much when you’re a white male. sad but true.

  • @nuh uh – Sounds like a phobia but I hope you can resolve it. Especially if you use LinkedIn for business I think a photo is really important!
    @K – I am not ignorant to the folks out there who make decisions based on appearance. And I do not belittle your concern – one that I, you are correct, I have not faced as a white male. But I think you have to put your best foot forward online these days. Your personal brand requires an image. Black or white, old or young, ambitious or content where you are . . . you are who you are.

  • @nuh uh – Sounds like a phobia but I hope you can resolve it. Especially if you use LinkedIn for business I think a photo is really important!
    @K – I am not ignorant to the folks out there who make decisions based on appearance. And I do not belittle your concern – one that I, you are correct, I have not faced as a white male. But I think you have to put your best foot forward online these days. Your personal brand requires an image. Black or white, old or young, ambitious or content where you are . . . you are who you are.

  • Pingback: Michiel Gaasterland()

  • Pingback: Tracey Segarra()

  • Pingback: Tim Tyrell-Smith()

  • Pingback: WalterAkana()

  • Pingback: Greg Johnson()

  • Pingback: The Way Consultants()

  • Pingback: Hannah Morgan()

  • Pingback: KarenRussell()

  • Pingback: Tim Tyrell-Smith()

  • Pingback: WalterAkana()

  • Pingback: Cindy Kraft()

  • Pingback: WalterAkana()

  • Pingback: Chris Rollins()

  • Pingback: Marilyn Maslin()

  • Pingback: Linked Alberta()

  • Pingback: Mari-Lyn Harris()

  • Pingback: Linkedin No Picture | Your Social Media Resume()

  • Pingback: What NOT to do with your LinkedIn account | Marketing Strategy Raleigh()

  • Pingback: 5 Ways To Get Discovered On LinkedIn | LinkedInAdvice.com()

  • Pingback: LinkedIn Impressionism: How Does Your Photo Compare? | Randy's "Work and You"()

  • Pingback: Social Media Strategy For Job Search: It's Called Updating()

  • Pingback: Social Credibility: How To Build It During Job Search()


2008 - 2016 © Tim's Strategy | Privacy Policy