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New Harvard Research: Use a professional LinkedIn photo to get your next job faster & earn 5% more!

Updated: Dec 10, 2023



professional headdshot photo for LinkedIn

A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out new research that shows how much appearances matter for online job applicants. Your resume and its contents can get you on the shortlist, but most hiring managers will check out your LinkedIn profile. New research from Harvard Business School shows that nailing a specific professional look within a professional photo can determine who makes the interview list.



The research involved an analysis of 63,000 job openings and more than 160,000 applicants during a six-month period. Researchers found that certain accessories or physical features gave candidates an edge in landing the job— even after they controlled for race, age and gender. Researchers used computer vision technology and machine learning to help classify which attributes made someone be perceived as a better fit for a job, then examined what role that played in hiring.


Different jobs favor certain looks, but ultimately researchers found that certain photo features could tilt the selection process and that the advantage could lead to the equivalent of a 5% pay differential. Although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating because of race, gender and religion, among other factors, there are no laws preventing employers from biases against attributes such as height or hairstyle.


“Looking the part is often informed by well-worn examples of how people in certain functions and sectors tend to look and dress” said Kathy, the lead career coach at DoMyResume.NET. Kathy and others on our staff regularly review data and trends on the professional social media network LinkedIn. Fortunately, our photographers and career coaches have insight into these aspects of what can work to get you your next job faster. Visit DoMyResume.NET today to obtain a professional headshot photo or career coaching session with an expert who understands how to give you a leg up on your competition!

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