What 2,000 LinkedIn Photos Can Teach Job Seekers
It’s true what they say: You only have one shot to make a first impression. In this digital age, it’s likely that the first impression happens online through social media, and if you’re looking for a job, those first impressions are undoubtedly on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn photo is part of that impression.
While you might underestimate it, your LinkedIn profile picture can be a powerful tool in making an impression on your soon-to-be boss. Although a profile picture can’t predict your value as an employee or your work ethic, it can certainly elicit a reaction—both positive and negative.
JDP conducted a recent study in which they analyzed 2,000 LinkedIn photos across a spectrum of job industries. Their goal was to find out which industries had profile photos with great stylistic choice as well as technical execution—and their results were fascinating.
LinkedIn Photo Quality
In their analysis, they gave a pass-fail grade for framing (judging whether the photo was “symmetrically framed” or “artfully askew”), lighting (looking for a well-lit face and a contrast between subject and background), and resolution (observing how sharp the picture was and examining it for pixilation or blurriness).
So, which industries passed the test? The industries with the best grades for framing, lighting, and resolution were Real Estate, HR and Recruiting, Marketing, Sales and Business Development, and the Health, Wellness, and Fitness field. This finding makes sense, as most of these professions are client facing and often rely on self-promotion.
Those industries that performed the worst on the photo test were Finance, IT, Healthcare, Education, Government, and Retail. Profile photos from these industries were more likely to include obviously cropped photos from a group shot, poor framing, car selfies, or just general poor photo execution. Their study also revealed that 36% of healthcare workers didn’t even have a profile photo, which of course could set off alarms to a recruiter or potential boss.
Why It Matters and Some Key Findings
Believe it or not, your LinkedIn profile is a creation of a public image. Carefully curating your public image will help you go far no matter what industry you work in—and it’s crucial to look the part for the job that you want.
How exactly do you go about this? Findings from the JDP study indicate that getting your LinkedIn profile picture professionally shot and having a full and toothy smile will go a long way to making a good impression on your future boss.
In addition to hiring a professional photographer and having a full grin in your photo, you should pay attention to the attire you wear. For example, Finance, Banking, Real Estate, and Government were most likely to have formal attire in their photos while Marketing, Computer Science, and HR professionals mostly stick to business casual.
Above all, it’s important that you pay attention to the cues in your industry. If you’re worried about whether or not your photo is making a bad impression, go check out some industry professionals on LinkedIn. You can’t possibly go wrong with emulating someone you admire.
This guest post was authored by Matt Zajechowski
Matt is part of the team at Digital Third Coast.