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Why Your Linkedin Profile Picture is Costing you Job Opportunities (and How to Fix it)

Do you know how favorable of a first impression that your Linkedin Profile photo makes? If it’s less than excellent, your Linkedin profile picture is costing you potential career opportunities, and we’ll explain how. We’ll also share a free tool that uses real people to score the first impression that your photo makes. Before we do, let’s start with how your Linkedin Profile Picture can help you stand out and secure more interviews.

How a Strong Linkedin Profile Picture Helps You Stand Out.

Resumes and Linkedin Profiles are new inventions. For millennia, we evaluated each other with our eyes. Consider this stat from the paper Humans are Visual Creatures. “Half of the human brain is directly or indirectly devoted to processing visual information.” Between your resume and your Linkedin Profile, the only visual that truly represents you is your Linkedin Profile picture. With that in mind, let’s look at the dilemma companies face when deciding whom to interview.

Glassdoor found that companies receive an average of 250 applicants per job posting, but only 4-6 get called for an interview. Due to this incredible volume of resumes, recruiters must make quick decisions regarding who they call. To help make this decision, 94% of recruiters use Linkedin to evaluate candidates before contacting them. The Sales Talent team does this 100% of the time.

90% of recruiters also use Linkedin as a tool to source candidates. Whether you apply for a job or a recruiter finds you on Linkedin, employers form their first impression of you via your Linkedin Profile picture.

Your First Impression Starts With Your Linkedin Profile Picture.

It’s hard to overhype the importance of your Linkedin Profile photo when it comes to its importance in a job search. It boils down to the power of first impressions. First impressions have been studied extensively with regards to how it affects outcomes in the domain of job recruitment. “First impressions significantly predict employers’ behavioral tendencies during job interviews as well as their ultimate recruitment decisions.”

A 2017 CareerBuilder study of hiring managers reveals that more than half know within the first 5 minutes of an interview if a candidate is a good fit. This leads to the question as to how a hiring manager can determine a candidate’s fit within 5 minutes. The answer is, they don’t and it explains why most companies only have a 50% success rate with their new hires. But it does reveal how important your first impression is with employers. Harness this power to stand out to employers by ensuring that you have a favorable Linkedin Profile Picture.

The impact of your photo extends beyond getting an interview. Here’s what the research we cited at the beginning of this blog found regarding how first impressions impact the rest of the interview process. “Employers tend to ask questions that confirm their first impressions about the candidates and treat them in ways that are consistent with such impressions.” In other words, if they have a favorable first impression of you, they are going to ask you questions that are more likely to confirm their favorable view of you.

How to Rate your Linkedin Profile Picture.

So how do you pick a great Linkedin profile picture? Photofeeler has a free tool that will give you the answer. Photofeeler is a photo testing tool that reveals what real people think of your business, social or dating photos. Per their research, you want to be viewed as Competent, Likable and Influential in a business photo.

We used photofeeler to rate two of our CEO Chris’ business photos. Before running the test, Chris used the photo on the right (below) for his Linkedin profile picture. The results weren’t close. Guess which photo he uses for his Linkedin Profile today? 

How to Improve Your Linkedin Profile Photo.

If your current photo doesn’t rate highly, photofeeler’s blog has simple tips (our favorites are linked below) to help you make a strong first impression. For example, two of the tips to increase your scores (which Chris didn’t follow in the photo on the right), are to look straight at the camera and wear glasses.

4 Tweaks to Look More Influential

5 Tweaks to Look More Competent

How I improved my Likability by 69%

Need More Help Optimizing Your Linkedin Profile?

Once you have a strong Linkedin Profile picture the next step is optimizing your Linkedin Profile so you appear in more searches by recruiters. There’s a secret sauce to optimizing your Profile to match the types of sales positions you covet. If you could use professional help to get more interviews, click here to learn more about our Linkedin Optimization services for sales professionals.

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Chris Carlson

My name is Chris Carlson and I’m the founder and President of Sales Talent. This blog grew out of my desire to document and share what I’ve learned in my two plus decades of sales recruiting and leading Sales Talent. Our posts are aimed at sales professionals and leaders that speaks to talent selection, team building, or career advancement. If you have a topic that you’d like my take on, please reach out to me.

You can find Chris Carlson on LinkedIn or contact him directly at:
[email protected].