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Applicants’ Pictures on Social Media Profiles Can Be a Key Factor in Hiring Decisions

Released: 13-Dec-2012 11:10 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)
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Newswise — Despite research indicating that candidates’ pictures can bias staffing decisions, the use of social networking websites suggests organizations are likely viewing pictures in these situations. So is it better for applicants to post their pictures along with their profiles or to not include a picture? A recent study of nearly 100 working professionals sought to determine if having a picture on a LinkedIn profile made an applicant preferable to one who did not have a picture. LinkedIn was chosen because it is a networking site particularly relevant to the workplace. Results found that candidates pictured on their profiles were considered more favorable than candidates without a picture. The study also found that applicants with attractive pictures were not only seen as preferable but as stronger and better job applicants. Even those whose pictures were considered unattractive were seen as more favorable than those without a picture. One reason pictures are preferred by managers is that many feel they can perceive positive or negative qualities by looking at the photo. At any rate, job seekers posting their pictures on profile pages would be well advised to use a high quality image of themselves rather than a snapshot.

For more information, contact Nicholas Salter, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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