I'm not a prude, really I'm not. But, after some very recent research I carried out on linkedin viewing recruitment consultant's profiles and their company branding (I'm in marketing – we're re-branding) there was one common theme that I came across over and over again. Young(er) ladies in recruitment who have ditched the professional photo for more, shall we say 'flesh on show' shots? Beach shots with bikini tops on, photos of and let's be honest ALOT of boob / leg/ or both on show.
Now, I think there are few questions that need to be raised by this. Linkedin is a professional business networking site.
Would you turn up to a business meeting in your bikini top? Probably not, bit chilly and you'd feel quite silly.
So is it ok to look like this on your Linkedin profile?
Recruitment is a hard game, I totally understand that. I watch and listen as our team of consultants (both male and female ) work tirelessly contacting candidates to find the right fit for our clients. And I understand that it's sometimes hard convincing potential candidates to connect with you on Linkedin – even if you have THE most amazing job for them.
But surely ladies, you're good enough at your job regardless not to have to resort to boob flashing photos to get people to connect with you? And if the candidates do connect with you, what subliminal messages are you sending out to them? "I'm desperate enough to want to connect with you, I'll use my cleavage to do it?" Think about your personal branding and what messages you're giving out. It says if you're having to resort to boob shots, it's probably not a great job, so people won't connect with you anyway. Recruitment has a bad reputation as it is, and I think these tactics probably only fuel that.
And what about the recruitment companies allowing their consultants to have these type of images? What sort of branding message does that give out? "We're cool with flesh shots of ladies" It's all bit 1970's, Carry On Camping for me. If you look at some of the profiles, you would have thought you're on a dating website, not a business networking site.
Should men in recruitment follow suit with the same approach? Are we to have speedo shots for the chaps soon? Because that would be deemed pretty creepy.
"Here's a picture of me in my speedos – I'd like to add you to my network" – er no ta.
If you want to climb the recruitment ladder and recruit for more senior roles as you gain more experience – do you think these tactics will still work? Do you see really experienced high fee earning women recruiters, relying on their linkedin profiles featuring low cut tops to gain their reputation and their connections.Nope.
What if other fields of work adopted the same approach? Sarah the Senior Systems Analyst or Michelle the Communications Consultant wearing bikini tops. It would look rather out of place.
So come on ladies, button up your tops (a little) and hold your heads up high – save your bikini shots for facebook. You're good at your job and you account for just over half of the recruitment industry. If you can't get people to connect with you, then they probably aren't worth connecting with.
If you'd like to talk to some professional consultants who really know their stuff, call us for a chat today on 0116 254 5411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org