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HR, recruiting professionals receive A- grade on professional profile photo

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As they say, a photo is worth a thousand words. Whether you like it or not, photos are important – especially your professional profile photo. These photos can make powerful impressions on current and future employers and employees.

Analysing 2,000 profile photos on Linkedin, JDP assigned a grade to the photos of 11 industries. The good news is – the photos of HR and recruiting professionals earned the industry a decent A- grade overall. But the same folks were also called out for the epic fail of having the most photos that don’t fill the frame.

On a whole, real estate professionals had the best photos, earning the industry the only A grade awarded. This was followed by HR and recruiting professionals, as well as marketing, advertising and PR professionals, with both industries receiving an A- grade.

Among the B grades were the sales and business development professionals (B+), as well as the health, wellness, and fitness professionals (B-).

On the flip side, the healthcare, education, government, and retail industries found themselves at the bottom of the table, earning a D, D-, and two F grades respectively.

Delving deeper, JDP’s analysis revealed the following.

Facial expression

Among the photos analysed, 76% had full smiles, 12% tight-lipped smiles, and the remaining 12% no smile.

The professionals who showed full smiles were mainly from the health, wellness, and fitness industry; the HR and recruiting industry, and the healthcare industry.

The most tight-lipped smiles were found on the faces of professionals from the marketing, advertising, and PR industry; IT and computer science industry; and retail industry. While the industries with the fewest smiles were retail; IT and computer science; and marketing, advertising, and PR.

By gender, the ladies exhibited the most full smiles, while tight-lipped smiles and no smiles were more often observed in the men.


In terms of attire, it seems that business casual is the way to go. 42% of photos include professionals in business casual attire. Other styles are split between social (26%) and formal (24%) attire. While 8% felt it was okay to dress casually.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most formal dressers came from the fields of finance and banking; real estate; and government. While the most casual were from health, wellness, and fitness industry; retail industry; and the government.

Where do HR and recruiting professionals stand? According to JDP’s analysis, they went with the 42% who donned business casual attire.

Women more often wore social attire, while men preferred formal attire. But when it comes to business casual or casual, there wasn’t a distinct difference between genders.

Epic fails 

Of course, there were the epic fails – classified as car selfies, photos of printed photos, and photos that don’t fill the frames.

The industries that were guilty of these include:

  • IT and computer science with two epic fails – car selfies, and photos of printed photos.
  • Retail with two epic fails – car selfies, and photos that don’t fill the frame.
  • HR and recruiting with one epic fail – photos that don’t fill the frame.
  • Health , wellness, and fitness with one epic fail – car selfies.
  • Government  with one epic fail – photos of printed photos.
  • Finance and banking with one epic fail –  photos of printed photos.
  • Sales and business development with one epic fail – photos that don’t fill the frame.

Photo / 123RF

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