advantages of having a profile picture with your online general resume? ( specifically)
April 27, 2010 12:11 PM   Subscribe

Should I upload my picture in my linkedin public resume profile?

I'm liking more and more and am completing more of my profile once in a while. One of the things you are "supposed" to do is upload a picture of yourself as part of the online resume that everyone can see.

Well, one is not supposed to send a picture of yourself with job specific resume for obvious reasons of possible discrimination. So why are people uploading their on a general resume site? Any serious employer will look you up on the internet. Yet the picture upload on linkedin seems to be getting more popular.

Should I upload a pic? Have you done this? Have you avoided this? What are the advantages, and do you think they outweigh the disadvantages? Is pic with your resume a new trend? Do people that upload a pic usually set some kind of setting that only their connections can see thier pic?

Any thoughts, comments or more info appreciated!
posted by figTree to Work & Money (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I personally see no advantage and some disadvantages to it. I also find pictures on resumes sort of appalling, and I think there's a definite equivalence there. If potential employers want to see what I look like, they can Googlestalk me like everyone else.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:19 PM on April 27, 2010

I have my "resume" built into my Linked In profile, but I don't think you can equate a Linked In profile with a resume in a general sense.

I think it would be weird to put it on a resume sent to an employer, but I have my picture on my Linked In profile since I use it more for networking than job searching. I am connected to current co-workers, and I often find it weird when people don't have their photo up. To be fair, I'm in a more networking driven field - consulting.
posted by CharlieSue at 12:27 PM on April 27, 2010

Pictures: not a normal part of resumes anymore, but a very normal part of online profiles. I think LinkedIn is somewhere in the middle there.
posted by rhizome at 12:27 PM on April 27, 2010

Quite bluntly, uploading a picture is to your advantage if you meet the "preferred" characteristics. Race X or Y, but not Z. Old enough, but not too old. Moderately attractive but not so much as to be threatening. For women, dressing conservatively is important in most fields.

Is it discrimination? Yes. Is it fair? No. If you think your appearance will help you land interviews, do it. If you think it will lead to discrimination against you, avoid it. Of course, that's just speaking from a get-the-job mindset.
posted by Saydur at 12:28 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

It humanises you. Plus, if you have the kind of headshot that makes people think "this is someone I could work with" then go for it.

Yes, it can lead to discrimination. If you fit into the bracket of someone who might be discriminated against then don't do it.

I haven't uploaded a pic because I don't have one that suits. But I rate higher (if that's the right term) profiles of people with pics.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:30 PM on April 27, 2010

I primarily use my Linked In profile as a way to network, and also as a way for folks looking t hire me for a workshop to find me. In those contexts, I find a photo very helpful because it enables them to confirm that I'm the person they met once or saw speak once.

Of course, the current photo I have up there includes my infant son, so I have no idea what that says about me.
posted by anastasiav at 12:50 PM on April 27, 2010

I have a picture on my profile. It is a picture of me at work taken by a Govt employee photographer for an internal publication. So it's a weird middle ground or something.
posted by fixedgear at 1:08 PM on April 27, 2010

It's funny, I was just thinking about this today. After a stint in project management, I am now a hiring manager for a consulting firm (international development). Today I was poking around LinkedIn and looking into its potential as a recruiting tool for my company.

I myself don't have a picture up, but I might change that, as I found the profiles with pictures to be more appealing. Not in the "oh, hire the hottie!" sense, but just in terms of providing a visual cue, no matter what the person looks like. Pictures should obviously be in professional attire with a neutral pose, not vacation snapshots.

However, I hate, hate, hate CVs with pictures. Especially glamour shots. Or pictures clearly taken on webcams.
posted by charmcityblues at 2:40 PM on April 27, 2010

A picture can help distinguish you from any doppelgangers out there who have the same name. A lot of companies pay other companies to do background checks on job candidates before making hiring decisions. These background checkers probably don't know what you look like and if googling your name turns up a bunch of wild-ass photos, at least they can look at your LinkedIn picture and see that it's not the same person passed out drunk on the sofa with a fake magic marker mustache. (Unless it is.)
posted by Quietgal at 4:02 PM on April 27, 2010

I've uploaded a picture for alternate reasons. It helps network with folks who I've worked with in the past who will better remember me with a face to the name and it helps keeping folks from trying to use my profile for their own gain (as in, professionally pretending to be me). The latter is not an issue I've personally run into, but it is an issue that someone I know had happened to them.
posted by eatdonuts at 4:05 PM on April 27, 2010

For most LinkedIn profiles, a professional picture is an asset. The only exception: if your LinkedIn page is brand-new and bare-bones. When I see someone with a six connections and one job without dates who has troubled to upload a picture, I think "here's someone who doesn't get how LinkedIn is used (and useful)."

A picture that has any non-professional characteristics (poorly photographed, social or family setting) is a liability for the same "doesn't get it" reasons.

I disagree with posters above with respect to fears of discrimination -- the kind of employers or clients who won't hire you because you are of some disfavored characteristic ... will figure this out in any event in time to hire you. Omitting you miss out on those who go the other way in terms of affirmative action or diversity.

HR departments and recruiting firms who are paranoid about inadvertently learning race and age information from pictures have (I read) an option to let LinkedIn suppress the profile pictures, so there's not an issue there.

Still, on that topic, people are being very US-centric in their responses. Pictures (in or accompanying) CVs are common in job applications in many countries. Statements as to age, marital status and children are similarly standard CV content in many countries.
posted by MattD at 5:50 PM on April 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

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