Site   Web

August 19, 2012

The Eyes Have It

If there’s one social networking site that’s essential for professionals, it’s LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most popular professional network, where people get to interact, connect, engage, obtain new information, find leads, hire and be hired, and more. If you’re a job seeker or a professional who isn’t on LinkedIn, then you really should consider signing up for an account now!

Having a LinkedIn profile can definitely help you land more jobs and get more clients and customers. It’s practically like having an online resume that the whole world can view – it definitely helps spread the word about your personal brand. Google even likes LinkedIn, and tends to rank it high in its search engine. With clients and hiring managers Googling you today before they hire you, having a professional LinkedIn profile coming up in search can definitely be an advantage.

Once you’ve signed up on LinkedIn, it’s essential that you complete your profile. And one of the things you need to do in order to complete your profile is to upload a photo.

There continues to be a lot of debate whether to upload a photo or not on LinkedIn, but for many people involved in the hiring business, a professional looking photo is a must, if you want to be hired.

The Ladders recently conducted a study where they examined the eye movements of 30 professional recruiters over a 10-week period. They used an eye tracking heat map that showed the length of time that a recruiter focused on a part of your LinkedIn profile. In the study, it was discovered that recruiters spent 19% of their time looking at your profile. After devoting significant time to the profile, they then checked your current job position and your education, but very little time was spent on reading your specialties, skills, and
past work experiences.

So what does this mean for you as a personal brand? Since recruiters focus a lot on your picture, it’s essential that you put up a professional looking photo on your LinkedIn profile, something that really helps you brand yourself and convince people to hire you or obtain your services.

Most people are visual creatures. When they look at a page, most people’s eyes tend to focus on the picture first before they move on to the text. Knowing this, it’s important that your LinkedIn photo shows you off to your best advantage.

You may think that putting a logo on your profile can help you with your personal branding campaign. Even though this might not be bad, most people would still prefer to interact with a real person rather than just a logo.

Having a blank profile photo is even worse than a less than best-quality photo. You may think that leaving the photo spot blank will help you to not get discriminated based on your looks, but most people really want to see what you look like before they even consider hiring you. If you have a blank profile, they may just skip looking it over and move on to the next one. They may also wonder what you’re trying to hide… Your profile may even appear suspicious to some. After all, why is it hiding behind a blank image?

If you think about it, images are powerful when it comes to personal brand recognition. Consistently using the same image for different profiles really helps you brand and position yourself as an expert in your field.

Did you know that there are fake profiles in LinkedIn? Since it’s so easy to just sign up and create an account anyone could make an account in your name, and who would know better if it’s really you or not? This is why having a photo up can help show people that you are real. This gives your social media credibility. It really helps when it comes to the social marketing of your personal brand.

To summarize, remember that when it comes to your personal branding campaign, LinkedIn is one powerful tool. It helps show you to your best advantage, and it has Google juice so it ranks high in the search engines.

Make sure that you put up a professional looking photo that represents you well. People are highly visual – the recent study showed that people really tend to focus longer on a photo than the text that accompanies it. And having a photo really helps people recognize and remember your brand more.

Because it is so important that people recognize your personal brand on LinkedIn, take the steps that are required to keep others from thinking of you as just a random professional looking for work. Use your LinkedIn photo to show off the best you possible.

Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word of mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word of mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy,