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I am signed up on a few career networking sites (like LinkedIn), and I often get sent reminders to add a photo to my profile, and "Here's an article [written by us] about why having a photo is great!"

I am in my mid-20s and look even younger, so I have always thought that having a photo would be a detriment for me. I don't want people to assume I am inexperienced simply because I may appear young. I can think of a number of other reasons why people would not want to post a photo for fear of being misjudged as well (age, race, gender, style choices, etc). I understand that there are things I can do to make myself look older and more professional, but not everyone has that option.

How valuable is it to include a photo on networking sites, and how can I decide whether having one is right for me?

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  • I have become completely unconvinced of the value of LinkedIn. Your mileage will vary.
    – keshlam
    Sep 12 '14 at 12:54
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    This question is nearly identical - does it answer your question?
    – enderland
    Sep 12 '14 at 13:35
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    @enderland, yes it does. I thought I had seen a similar question before, but when I did a quick search I couldn't find it.
    – David K
    Sep 12 '14 at 14:04
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Do you judge people by their appearance? You shouldn't. Those who judge you by their appearance - it's their loss if you're bright, experienced and competent. Your pick:

  1. If you put up your picture, they'll get used to your appearance by the time you show up for the interview. Unless you look like a 12-year old :)

  2. If you don't put up your picture, they'll have minutes to adjust mentally to your appearance at your onsite interview.

I'd rather look like a bright 16-year old than a dull 60-year old. Conversely, I'd rather look like a bright 60-year old than a dull 16-year old :) LinkedIn is not a dating site, so chances are more than very good that recruiters and prospective employers are going to look at the rest of your profile not just your photo.

The most basic rule of interviewing is that you must learn to be comfortable in your own skin, mostly because your skin is the only skin you've got and you don't really have any option than make the best of the only skin you've got :) Accept yourself as you are, and you'll give people a very good reason to accept you as you are. If you are not comfortable in your own skin, it doesn't matter how fancy the clothes you layer on top of it, you'll still be uncomfortable no matter what you wear and how you groom yourself. The key to being comfortable is for you to accept yourself as you are and how you look.

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