A reader writes:
This post popped up in my LinkedIn feed this morning and I was curious to hear your thoughts on it. It said: “I have been told it would be too unprofessional to use a photo of my three daughters as my profile picture. I just don’t see how that is unprofessional. Perhaps it is just the boastful father in me.” (The post included the photo of his three young daughters that he was proposing using as his profile picture.)
The comments on the post were strongly in favor of him using the photo — including comments like “the picture should give a ‘full picture’ of who you are — my twin boys are a part of me,” and “doesn’t seem unprofessional to me, just proud.”
I can’t help but think the reaction would have differed greatly had it been a woman using the photo.
Wow. LinkedIn is a professional networking site. It’s not Facebook. If you wouldn’t include information about your kids on your business card or resume (and I pray nightly that you wouldn’t), they don’t belong on your LinkedIn page — let alone as the profile photo, which is supposed to be of you.
If I Googled a candidate and saw this, I’d have immediate concerns that they were naive and/or didn’t have appropriate professional boundaries. It wouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but it would be a big red flag.
I’m not sure if I agree that the reaction he got would have been different if he’d been a woman, although I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on that.