“You don’t look like your LinkedIn photo”
Have you ever been hit with this devastating realization, that the sands of time have passed faster than you felt, and now, you’re looking significantly different to what you once did?
You’re not alone. I personally am not a fan of photos, and generally just stick to the few professionally taken images I have of myself, that have been taken for different purposes over the years.
But time does indeed keep moving, and those images will become out of date. And then, they won’t look like you do anymore, which can be jarring when you meet people in real life, and they’re expecting to see a different person before them.
Which can be particularly relevant on LinkedIn, where people go to find out more about your professional experience.
So when was the last time that you updated your LinkedIn profile image?
To glean some additional insight into this, the team from Passport Photos Online recently surveyed 1,040 active LinkedIn users from the U.S. about their profile updating behaviors, and how they perceive others.
Here’s what they found.
First off, just over half of the survey participants said that they’ve had the same LinkedIn profile photo for 3 years or more.
Which is no surprise. Most people are not overly confident with their portrait shots, so you default to the most professional-looking, or last professionally taken image that you have.
Indeed, the survey also found that around 45% of people are dissatisfied with their LinkedIn profile image.
Look, we’re not all supermodels, and for most of us, we’re just trying to put our best foot forward, and there aren’t always a heap of options on this front. So yes, a lot of us are using old images, but the survey also showed that having an up-to-date picture is important.
Even those who haven’t updated their headshot agree that they should. So if it’s something that you’ve been putting off, you probably need to update your LinkedIn image, at the least, to ensure that you actually look like you ahead of in-person meetings.
Because 56% of respondents also indicated that they’ve met someone who looked a lot different to their LinkedIn profile pic, which, going on this element, makes sense:
Though there was also one particularly interesting note among the data points:
“Roughly 17% of LinkedIn account holders haven’t updated their profile headshot yet due to age discrimination concerns.”
Sadly, this is still a factor in many people’s thinking, and something that should be addressed at a professional level. But it does make sense. Yet, even then, there’ll still be a disconnect between how you present yourself online, and how you look IRL.
For most people, presenting yourself is a challenge, and not something that comes naturally, and posing for photos can feel unnatural and strangely difficult. But there are important reasons for keeping your online representation up to date, and it is likely worth considering when you last updated your LinkedIn profile, specifically, and maybe giving that photo a refresh.
Maybe, in future, this will be less relevant, as we’ll all be meeting in the metaverse, via avatars that are ageless. But right now, IRL remains an important element, and on LinkedIn in particular, that is worth factoring in.
Now to update my own profile image.
You can read more of Passport Photos Online’s survey notes here.