A recent study published in the journal of Psychology of Popular Media Culture, raises some interesting discussion regarding profile images used on your social media profiles.
Essentially the article revolves around perception! The people studied were asked to give their opinion of different women relative to how they felt this person, whom they have never met rated as a potential friend, how pretty they were etc. The interesting perceptions were around these girls ability to do their job.
Keeping in mind these people have never met the girls in the profiles (how could they, they were fake profiles) and were basing their opinion only on the photos of the girls. Of course the prettiest girl ranked lowest for perceived competency.
Setting aside the glaringly obvious need for our society to take stock of our fixation with outer beauty for now, it is a noble discussion but unlikely to happen in the near future.
How does this effect an attractive women’s chances of landing a job interview if her LinkedIn profile image is considered too sexy? Let’s face it I do not know any employers who do not check out a candidates Linkedin profile these days. Another interesting finding in the survey was how other women perceived these very attractive images. The answer is, the same!, they considered a women wearing sexy or provocative clothing etc as less intelligent!
There are also numerous opinions that the high majority of future entrepreneurs will in fact be women. This makes this finding even more relevant if the future hiring and firing decision makers are these same new entrepreneurs.
This then poses the question should you be very careful of what you post to your personal social media profiles if you are in the job market, or at the very least should your privacy settings be updated to only be viewed by your friends. Again most employers I know at least after the initial vetting of candidates and after viewing LinkedIn profiles will do a Google search of their short list of candidates, just to see what shows up.
You might get past the first examination by down playing your LinkedIn profile image, how though will you fair in the Google Sphere? I see all too often people I know post images that in more sober moments they would have thought twice about. As we know once those images are out there they can live on (and haunt you) forever.
This issue of course goes beyond just attractive women, and can hurt more than just your chances of landing that dream job, contract or client. If peoples perceptions can be so easily swayed by images we post on-line without ever taking the time to actually meet or get to know us. How many opportunities never cross your path, because a decision maker took the time to check you out on-line before picking up the phone.
Think twice about the presence you can control on-line and be diligent in knowing what others are uploading to social media sites about you. Even friends or work colleagues with a smart phone can damage a carefully built reputation!