And sadly I won’t know if it was any good.
You’ve probably read so many blog posts on the importance of a LinkedIn photo that you’re tired of the topic. I know I am. So why am I revisiting it? Because the message doesn’t seem to be getting through to enough LinkedIn members.
I recently began reading what had the potential to be a well-done post about how jobseekers should brand themselves in their job search; but then I stopped in my tracks.
Why? Because the author made a most obvious blunder—he had no photo on his own profile. What’s the big deal, you’re asking? Here’s the deal; without his photo, he lost credibility with me. His purpose was totally deflated.
How can someone write about succeeding in the job search without having a photo on his own LinkedIn profile, and be convincing? He can’t. Plain and simple, a profile sans photo doesn’t give people faith in a person. This person came across as a hypocrite.
At this point almost every LinkedIn member has a photo—albeit sometimes of poor quality—so someone who doesn’t have a photo is an odd ball. I can safely say that more than 90 percent of my connections have a profile photo. Nay, 95% at least.
I know this because one benefit of having a photo on your profile is that you become memorable, hopefully in a positive way mind you. Lacking photo makes you memorable in a negative way, and you don’t want that. Right?
Because LinkedIn encourages its members to include a photo on their profile, anyone who goes against the grain is seen as unprofessional. Someone who is unprofessional comes across as unqualified to share information or undesirable to connect with.
Many people won’t even open a profile without a photo. This includes me. I don’t trust who I can’t see. I don’t judge people based on their physical appearance; although, I will judge them on the quality of their photo. But even if I don’t like the quality of their photo, I’ll still connect with them, especially if their Value Headline is strong.
It’s estimated that profiles with a photo are 14x more likely to be opened than those that don’t. This illustrates my point. I remember the days when the lack of a photo was commonplace. Heck, for the longest time I didn’t have a photo; instead I sported a picture of a soccer ball in its place.
A profile without a photo seriously hinders him from branding himself. This is what ruined the reading experience for me. Your first impression on LinkedIn begins with your photo. Do you want to make it a poor first impression by not including one, or a poor photo? Of course not.
I’m not suggesting placing a photo on your profile at all expense. A photo of you at a frat party participating on a beer bong event is not how to brand yourself. A photo of good quality, on the other hand, will brand you.
There’s no excuse for not having a photo. One of my customers showed me his LinkedIn photo, which was taken by his wife with an iPhone. Not too bad. Not bad at all. If you don’t have the means to have a photo taken professionally, this is a good substitute.
“Certainly you could have gotten past the fact there was no photo on this person’s profile, Bob,” you might be saying to yourself. To that I say, If the author is going to talk about branding oneself on LinkedIn, one of the most fundamental component is the photo.
Yes, we’ve read posts about LinkedIn photos ad nauseam, but I couldn’t let this person’s mistake go without saying something. What’s unfortunate is that this post may have been a very good one, nay great one; but because the person didn’t sport a photo, I just couldn’t finish reading it.
Call me shallow if you like, but this goes to show how important a photo is in branding oneself. If this is the 100th post you’ve read on the importance of a profile photo, thanks for bearing with me. If this is your first, hopefully you get the message.