Every picture tells a story on LinkedIn

Or does it?

In order to increase my chances of job search success, I knew I had to bolster my social media presence, particularly on LinkedIn. I created my LinkedIn profile a few years ago but did very little with it. I had maybe a dozen connections and virtually all were classmates from business school who reached out to me. In other words, I wasn’t too proactive about building my profile.

Over the past several months, that mindset has changed. I updated my profile, more than quadrupled my connections, and added a nice, conservative picture of me in my new suit. I have enjoyed this part of the process as it has enabled me to see what classmates and former work colleagues have been up to.

Speaking of which, I can’t help but notice the profile pictures. It is not lost on me that some, though not many, of my male friends have chosen family pictures as their profile pics. To date, I have not seen a single female friend do the same. Granted, most of my LinkedIn friends are finance colleagues so maybe this is common in other fields. Plus it’s not like I am in the 500+ connections club, nor am I a LinkedIn influencer, so I am dealing with a relatively small sample size.

I am not surprised.  For whatever reason, even though we are now in 2015, women in finance are still afraid to talk about their families when it comes to the job search process. Men do not have this fear. On numerous occasions last year during MBA Dad’s job search, he came home from interviews and told me that he and the interviewer discussed their families freely. In fact, it was a mechanism to build rapport, “So, where did you take the kids this weekend, the aquarium, great!  So your son plays indoor soccer, my little guy just made the travel team”.  As for me, I cannot say the same. I would like to hope that things have changed. Did I mention that my last interview was back in 2006. Of course, the quandary I face is I may need to mention my family as part of addressing the gap in my resume. More on that later.

So, for now, the profile pic will remain conservative, black suit, confident smile and all. No kids, no husband.

What does your LinkedIn profile picture look like?

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: job search


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  • Very interesting point. It's a sad double standard if a man's family is viewed as an asset while a woman's family is seen as a liability. It wouldn't surprise me if this is true, especially in certain fields. But wow then, for all the progress we still have a long way to go! (Although it seems like progress at least on one side if men want to include their families in their business profile.)

  • In reply to Teme Ring:

    I know...I am hoping some female readers, especially those in finance, prove me wrong and say, yes, my family is in my profile pic. Another variable influencing the pic choice might be where people are in their careers. Those who are job searching will stick to the suit while those who are more secure in their jobs might be comfortable with the vacation pics with the family or more casual attire but even in that case, I still would not feel okay with including the family.

  • I am a renegade. I have no photos on Linked, Facebook, or even here....I have always wanted people to consider me not by appearance, not by the clothing, the make-up, and the hairstyle....There are just too many dimensions upon which women are evaluated that don't seem to hold true for men, and I am not about giving anyone any unnecessary ammunition to make a snap judgement before an actual meeting and conversation. Although, I get continual heat about not having the said profile picture from many sources.

  • In reply to Sue Fitzpatrick:

    You are not alone. I didn't mention it in the post, but a number of my connections do not have profile pics. While some probably do not have a pic they want to use, I think for most it's intentional for a variety of reasons.

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