LinkedIn photos: a guide for women

Following barrister Charlotte Proudman’s LinkedIn clash with solicitor Alex Carter-Silk, in which a woman got massive grief for objecting to objectification online,some women have suggested posting less attractive pictures online to minimise the risk of being creepily hit on via what is meant to be a professional site, or not putting one up at all. What to do? Here’s my guide to suitable LinkedIn pictures: read it and the solution will be clear as mud.

  1. Don’t put up a photograph at all
    Who do you think you are anyway? Putting up a photograph while being a ladyperson is after all an invitation to men to comment on your looks. If you don’t like it, don’t put up a picture. Also, make sure that you put up a photograph, because failing to have one is the “biggest mistake you can make,” with a career expert saying that

    You’re seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have one. Like a house thats on sale, the assumption is that if theres no photo, something’s wrong.”So don’t put that photograph up unless you actually want to use LinkedIn as, you know, a tool for widening your professional profile.

  2. Put up a nicely lit, flattering photograph
    If you follow the tips from LinkedIn themselves, you can’t go wrong, right?
    Except that Charlotte Proudman’s photograph was pretty much the perfect picture according to these tips and she’s been attacked all over the shop for “wanting the attention.” So definitely don’t put up a flattering photograph unless you are inviting sexist creeps to drool over you.
  3. Put up an unflattering photograph
    How unflattering, though? Are we talking gurning and bed hair here, or just a couple of hairs out of place? Maybe a slightly bad angle? The message you’re trying to communicate is that you are competent, professional, but not sexy or attractive. What a pity that attractive and competent are so often seen as complementary characteristics, leading to good looking women being offered more work and earning more than their less attractive counterparts…. so don’t put up an unflattering photograph because it will make you seem less competent and you are less likely to be offered work.

It’s almost as if women just can’t win, and continue to be attacked for being both too pretty, not pretty enough, and falling to engage with pretty. So with that in mind, get on and put up an attractive, unattractive photograph, while not putting one up at all unless you’re trying to reel in the men, you tart.