LinkedIn Profile Photo Series (1 of 3): Is a LinkedIn profile photo really that important for an Executive Recruiter? Well, I asked one.

Often, we hear about the speed of a first impression, or the time it takes to form an opinion about someone, can be less than a second.  Going even deeper, Vanessa Van Edwards, Lead Investigator at Science of People, says, “the face and its expressions, also known as microexpressions, are the window to the soul—if you know how to read them.”

So, what does your LinkedIn profile photo say about you?

I chatted with, Dan, a senior partner at an international professional executive recruitment firm, and asked about the importance of a LinkedIn profile photo. Dan has over 25 years of experience in the recruitment field and has sifted through thousands of profiles and resumes, trying to find the perfect candidate. This is Part 1 (of 3) of the LinkedIn Profile Photo series.

Do people even need a LinkedIn profile?

Yes. It is “THE” only reliable professional tool that recruiters use today. Your profile should be kept up to date and the content realistic. It is very important.

empty linkedin image


What about the LinkedIn profile photo, is that necessary?

About 85% of profiles that I look at, have photos, which was not the case 5 or 10 years ago. It still is a “nice to have” and I don’t make assessments about a person, whether or not they have a photo, because some people are private, or, there may be other reasons they don’t want their photo public. That said, I would encourage candidates to include a professional headshot photo on their profile.

If a candidate does not have a LinkedIn profile photo, do you pass over their resume?

No, I look at all the profiles. I don’t assess a candidate on the lack of a photo, however, the evaluation does start on the content of the photo.

If you have a LinkedIn profile photo, does the type of photo matter?

Absolutely, no question. A professional photo is the way to go because you have a spit second to make a first impression. When I am skimming through hundreds of profiles, the first thing I see is their photo, and it is hard not to make some type of first impression or assessment, based on their photo.

Have LinkedIn profile photos changed over the years?

There has been a shift in the type of photos, probably pushed by the marketers, or newer generation. They need to be relevant to the type of audience that a candidate is trying to attract and how they are trying to position themselves. Appealing to a demographic that is more fun or youthful, not stiff and corporate like you and me.

Did you just call me stiff and corporate?

Yes. I did.




In the Part 2 of the LinkedIn Profile Photo series, Dan talks about whether you should smile or not, if a selfie is just as good as a professional headshot, and how you should match your profile photo to the job you are seeking.


Read Part 1 of 3: LinkedIn Profile Photo Series

Read Part 2 of 3: LinkedIn Profile Photo Series

Read Part 3 of 3: LinkedIn Profile Photo Series