Examples of Age Discrimination

Change Your LinkedIn Profile Photo — Get More Interviews

An AvidCareerist reader sent me an intriguing LinkedIn message last week. He had read my post about LinkedIn pictures and discrimination and had a story I would file under “examples of age discrimination.”

Here’s His Message

Hi Donna,

I read your blog regarding LinkedIn used to discriminate and how important it is to have your picture on LinkedIn. I would like to connect with you about this. Let me know if you would be interested in speaking with me.

By the way, you’ll find I don’t currently have a picture.

John (not his real name)

His message made me curious so I looked at his LinkedIn profile. He’s an internal recruiter for a well-known organization. I messaged back and said I would be happy to talk.

Here’s His Story — Examples of Age Discrimination

A friend of his, a woman in her early 50s with a solid career history and gray hair, was applying for jobs and had not had any interviews.

He suggested she color her hair. She did and then she put up a new LinkedIn photo. Shortly after that (weeks, not months), she started getting interviews and landed a $125,000 a year job.

Someone at the hiring company did mention to her that she looks older in person than she does in her LinkedIn photo. However, it didn’t stop them from hiring her.

Moral of the Story

If you aren’t getting interviews, take a look at your LinkedIn profile photo and ask yourself if there’s anything about it that would cause a decision maker to discriminate against you.

If the answer is yes, then make the changes you can make (more here)!

Even better, make the fixes before you even start your job search — or now. Many decision-makers will look at your photo before they decide if they want to call you. Use it to make them say, “Yes, I want to call that person!”

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here: Donna Svei, Executive Resume Writer.

The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.


I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Look good. Get hired.
Click to learn more about my executive resume writing service or email me. 


Image: Fotolia/Destina
Updated January 2019.

© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 3

  1. Right as usual Donna. I don’t want to think a LinkedIn profile picture has impact in hiring decisions, but why take a chance? If you’re super young, make sure your profile picture looks solid and mature. If you’re my age, make sure you look fresh and contemporary. Age discrimination may be wrong, but the human brain processes assumptions based on visuals, before a person can even think it through. Best to have a profile pic that keeps you in the running rather than eliminates you.

  2. My sentiments, exactly! My two cents:

    1. Getting feedback from others can bring dramatic improvements to your image and job opportunities with it.

    2. It’s reality. We like looking at younger people, I guess. Might not be PC, but it’s the way of the world. Might as well deal with it and get on with your life, right? And, think positively: necessary change can bring good things!

    Great post, Donna!

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