Some time ago, I ran across a LinkedIn picture of a job seeker who was holding a very specific political sign over her head.
In bright letters.
In shorts (and no, they did NOT become her).
Curious about this phenomenon, I surveyed my fine resume-writing, coaching, and careers industry colleagues at Career Directors International on the subject of inappropriate LinkedIn photographs.
As a result, I came away with a very interesting list of purported job seeker LinkedIn photos that:
-Were taken from such a distance that no one would recognize them
-Included the candidate posing in a bikini on a beach
-Showed the candidate's GARDEN - without her in it
-Displayed a major league sports cap (a turnoff to the recruiter that contacted him, who noted that it was the "wrong city, wrong team")
-Were snapped at a party where the subject obviously had too much to drink
-Resembled a mug shot - no smile, just a grimace that did not put the candidate in the best light
Job hunters, PLEASE! It's time to think carefully about the image you're projecting online.
It's an employer's market, and the best opportunities WILL pass you by if others believe you aren't serious about your career.
Take that picture down (the one where someone else's shoulder can still be seen next to you, with that big shadow!), and succumb to a professional headshot.
At the very least, let someone adept with a digital camera take your photo in a suit, with a smile, and use it to put your best foot forward.