When a picture helps - and hurts - your job search

The time to include your picture and when to refrain

When it comes to looking for a job, your headshot is either a great asset or a major detriment; it all depends on when it's used.

For instance, experts agree that adding a picture to your LinekdIn profile increases the chances of your profile being viewed by 7x. Given that you want prospective employers and contacts to do just that, get a headshot, ASAP.

And get a good one. Use a professional - or at least a friend with a good lens and an eye for composition. Dress like you're heading for a job interview, use a basic background and smile - with your eyes, not that fakey school-picture grin. Put 30 minutes into this and you will have an asset that will greatly enhance your profile. Plus, you can repurpose it for Twitter, Google+, you name it. You’ll be a smart, confident, eye-catching professional across all social media.

Now, while pictures deliver huge benefits at LinkedIn, you should absolutely not submit one when working with a recruiter, notes career expert Amanda Augustine of The Ladders.

Augustine tells U.S News & World Report that including a photo with your resume will increase the chances you'll be discriminated against. Also, job-matching service The Ladders created a eye-tracking heatmap and discovered that recruiters spend 19% of their time eyeing a picture when attached to a resume. That's a large chunk of time not focusing on what you want them to peruse - your skills, experience, etc.

via U.S. News & World Report

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