Emerging research finds that when individuals apply for a job everything counts, including content on your social network sites and pictures of yourself on Facebook or LinkedIn pages.
Given the challenges in the job market, a new study attempted to determine if it is advisable for job applicants to post pictures along with their profiles, or not include a picture.
Although research has found that candidates’ pictures can bias staffing decisions, many organizations view the sites and base job decision on visual impressions.
Investigators studied nearly 100 working professionals to determine if having a picture on a LinkedIn profile made an applicant preferable to one who did not have a picture. LinkedIn was chosen because it is a networking site particularly relevant to the workplace.
Researchers discovered candidates pictured on their profiles were considered more favorable than candidates without a picture. The study also found that applicants with attractive pictures were not only seen as preferable but as stronger and better job applicants.
Even those whose pictures were considered unattractive were seen as more favorable than those without a picture.
One reason pictures are preferred by managers is that many feel they can perceive positive or negative qualities by looking at the photo. Thus, including a picture — preferably a high quality image — may give the applicant the extra something that will land the coveted job position.
There is little evidence to support the hypothesis that you can actually garner much valid information about a person’s qualities by just looking at their photo.