On LinkedIn, photo is worth a thousand views

Recruiters devote 19 percent of the time they spend on your LinkedIn profile to looking at your picture, according to a study conducted by TheLadders, a job-matching service for professionals. An eye tracking heatmap constructed by the firm shows that recruiters then look at skills, specialties and older work experiences. Current job position and education come next.

To obtain its data, the company examined the eye movements of 30 professional recruiters during a 10-week period to “record and analyze where and how long someone focuses when digesting a piece of information or completing a task.”

The results surprised some industry media, including Business Insider, which noted some LinkedIn users object to including their photo in their profile for privacy and other reasons. “If you do include a photo, you are allowing yourself the chance to be discriminated against, but if you don’t include one, people may wonder why there’s no photo since the majority of profiles have one.”

If you don’t include a photo you could appear less technically adept than the competition. If you do include one, you might consider a few guidelines from CBS’s Mark Jaffe:

  • Make sure viewers can see your face clearly.
  • Ensure that the photo presents a business image, that you are well-groomed and well-dressed.
  • Consider having a professional take the photo so that it enhances your qualifications.

— Jeff Widmer