LinkedIn data, shortly after the head-shot photo option was made available, showed that in a typical search result list, profiles with photos (no matter the quality) were seven (7) times more likely to be clicked on and opened than profiles without photos. I don’t know if that data is still accurate, but when I recruit, I have a strong bias toward prioritizing photo results. Recruiting is all about identifying the most viable candidates in as short a time, with as little effort, as possible. LinkedIn has actually been around for quite a while now. I joined in February 2004. There have been lots of people who joined, dabbled with it once, and never came back. There are also lots of people who dabbled with it, then forgot about it, and came back only to discover it was easier to start over with a new profile than track down their old password. Bottom line: there are a lot of inactive profiles out there. For a recruiter, it’s a waste of time to pursue via LinkedIn someone who is inactive on the system. One quick way that recruiters, especially company recruiters who don’t make sourcing alone their livelihood, separate the actives from the inactives is looking for photos. If you don’t have a photo, you could fall into the category of “probably not very active” on LinkedIn, and a recruiter could miss you.
I strongly recommend you add a photo to your LinkedIn profile that conforms to the User Agreement (head shot). If you are actively job searching, it should be a fairly formal professional shot. I have a pinterest board specifically meant to help folks improve their LinkedIn photos. Have a look through and think about ways you can improve your photo. Admittedly, mine isn’t as good as it could be. But if you are actively job searching, you want yours to be the best it can be.
“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
― Ansel Adams