A colleague told me about a recent discussion she overheard on the importance of a headshot on your online profile - namely for sites like LinkedIn. Strangely I had been discussing this in one of my coaching sessions with a group of women in business. I was surprised at the violent reaction some of them had against having a profile shot, let alone a professional one. When I questioned them, some felt that they would be judged by their photo. Obviously they wanted to be judged on meritocracy demonstrated by the career experience and achievements. In an ideal world of course this would be the case. However, we all know the statistics about first impressions and online your first impression is your profile photo – you can’t get away from this, it’s right at the top of the page! So what first impression does it give if you have no photo? Apparently this is known as a ‘Ghost’ on LinkedIn. Or what does a blurred picture, perhaps from the security badge you got on your first day say? Is that a good look? The vast majority of those I speak to feel that ‘Ghosts’ have something to hide, or not committed to the idea of even having a profile. They would feel more comfortable with someone who had a professional and engaging photo that would tell them something about their personality. I’d love to know your thoughts. Would a photo or lack thereof affect your decision to reach out to them? For more on profile raising click here.