Do You Prejudge Someone After Looking at their LinkedIn Profile?
Do you prejudge people? If you say no … well, I do not believe you. We all do whether we like to believe it or not.
Thom Singer’s keynote speech at Product Camp Austin 14 was on how someone decided to prejudge him based on seeing him speak. This person thought that she would not like Thom. However, when she actually met him in person, she discovered he was a really nice guy.
She had prejudged him based on seeing him on stage.
Hmmm…do we do the same with LinkedIn and other social media platforms?
Do you prejudge someone when you view their LinkedIn profile?
Do others prejudge you?
Note: This post was originally published in March of 2015 and updated in March of 2018.
My presentation at Product Camp, “Leveraging LinkedIn – Creating a Professional that People will Remember“, was about establishing your brand on LinkedIn.
People will prejudge you based on your LinkedIn profile.
If you have no picture what will people think?
Yeah, yeah, I know we are not supposed to do that, but we do. This goes hand in hand with all of the discussion about Unintentional Bias.
Let’s discuss what you can do about establishing your brand on LinkedIn. We can then manage how someone might prejudge you!
I previously wrote a post called 3 Key Elements of your LinkedIn Photograph.
The three key points were:
- Framing and Clothing
- Chin Line
I read a LinkedIn Publisher post by Jason Seiden titled, What Profile Photo Works Best on LinkedIn: A Real-Life Experiment where Jason tested a variety of photos.
He determined that the most important factor in the picture was the …
Yes, people will prejudge you based on the background of your LinkedIn photo!
Jason’s most successful photo was one where he was a keynote speaker. You could tell that from the background.
Think about it! What does the background of your LinkedIn photo say about you?
LinkedIn Background Image
Since this post was originally written, LinkedIn allows all users to create a background image. This gives you the option to add some style to your profile.
What do you think a readers impression of you will be if you use the default background image like the one below:
What do you think their impression will be if they used a personal photo like the one below:
My guess is a smile will come to your face when you see the last one and you will want to read the rest of the profile.
People will prejudge you based on your background image. It is your opportunity to use the image to create a favorable impression of you.
The vocabulary you use in your LinkedIn Headline and Summary is critical.
The default LinkedIn headline is “Current Job Title at Company Name”.
The headline is 120 characters long. USE ALL OF IT.
Instead, insert phrases like “Product Management” or “Merges & Acquisitions” and separate each with a “|”.
You may also want to use your tagline in your headline. A good example is Jason Alba‘s headline:
JibberJobber.com – Online Job Search Organizer helping pros in over 100 countries Own…
Jason is the owner of JibberJobber.com one of the leading online job search platforms.
You also might want to check out my LinkedIn profile to see an example.
Yes, people will prejudge you based on the headline.
The Summary section of your LinkedIn profile should contain your brand story.
Many of you will copy the summary section from the beginning of your resume and paste it into your summary section. This is typically written in 3rd person and is incredibly impersonal. The LinkedIn profile should be a personal and let your personality shine.
Tell me who you are and not what you have done.
You can tell the reader what you have done in your experience section. Write the summary in 1st person as a story. The first sentence should grab you.
When you first look at a LinkedIn profile, you can only see the first two lines of the summary like the following:
I have an opening sentence of “I have had an eclectic career, to say the least.” My goal is to get you curious enough to click on the ‘Show more’ to read the rest.
I have written four posts on the process of writing your brand story.
- 3 Themes for Writing Your Brand Story
- 3 Methods to Build Your Personal Vocabulary
- 3 Key Elements of Your Brand Story
- Your Brand Story – Who Should Write It?
If you want the reader to prejudge you in an authentic way, then tell an authentic story!
We will be prejudged based on our LinkedIn profile. What we want to do is paint an authentic picture of ourselves so that we can develop a real-life relationship.
Do you prejudge based on what you see and read online?
By the way, I’m honored to share that my presentation won the best session at Product Camp Austin!
— ProductCamp Austin (@PCAustin) March 7, 2015