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5 Reasons Your LinkedIn Photo Is Costing You Your Dream Job

Updated: Jul 21, 2019

How your online presence shapes your opportunities in business - for richer or poorer.

1. A powerful first impression:

That cropped photo of you at a wedding you’re using as your LinkedIn photo is the equivalent of wearing sweatpants to a job interview. It shows you don't care, so why should anyone care to hire you?

2. Negotiate higher pay:

What's a dream job without financial freedom? Here’s a major tip - your interviewer has probably made up their mind on what you are worth before you walk in. Why? They already have most of the information they need about you - your resume, what you studied in school, and oh yeah - a visual representation of your standards, your online presence. Subconsciously and consciously, you have been evaluated.

3. Fake it ‘till you make it:

This is a polarizing phrase - people either scoff or feel deeply empowered by its message. Regardless of how it makes you feel, it’s a concise summary of what an online presence is at its core. How often do we think our best friends are living wildly rich lives based on their instagrams, only to see them in person and discover they’re bored, broke, and unfulfilled? Employers, coworkers, and clients are making snap judgements about your online presence whether you like it or not. Curate yourself with value, integrity, and power.

4. Presentation, presentation, presentation:

Why do people buy SmartWater at $3/bottle instead of the generic water for .89 cents? The short answer? Design. It fits into people’s cup holder, it stands out from the other bottle designs, it uses complementary colors - the list can go on and on. People sometimes describe the water as “better” than the other brands. This is obviously a fascinating example of what good design and presentation can do to our psychology of hierarchy. Just like SmartWater uses design to stand out from the competition, your online presence can enable you to appear as a “better” candidate than your competition.

5. Are you trustworthy?

Okay, this one sounds boring, but it’s far from it. Do you still follow a friend on Instagram or Facebook that you haven’t seen in many years but you feel like you still “know” them? Even more abstractly, do you follow a celebrity/industry leader of any kind that you have not met but feel connected to and inspired by? Would it be safe to say that a part of you feels that you can trust that person and the advice they give? It’s extremely probable that friend/celebrity/industry leader has been posting photos and videos of themselves online that you have been exposed to on a regular basis. Humans are visual creatures, and when we cannot build a relationship with someone in person we look for the next best thing to establish trust. Photographs and videos are people’s first chance to connect with you online. Having a current and clear and photograph of yourself on your LinkedIn is the most important way to establish lasting trust and a meaningful relationship with a future employer or client.



Taylor Johnson is a California based photographer working for publications such as The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Inc Magazine. Visit to book business headshots or email for commercial or editorial inquiries.

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