Here’s One Thing You Should Never Do On LinkedIn If You Want To Land A Job At A Startup
All the common advice tells us to always include a professional headshot on LinkedIn.
But if you're hoping to land a job at a tech start-up, your formal business suit could be hurting your chances, says Adam Nash, CEO of Wealthfront, in a recent post on Quora.
After a Quora user asked if his professional photo could be sending the wrong vibes to the laid-back startups he wanted to work for, Nash responded that Silicon Valley has a strong anti-suit culture indeed. "Software engineers help strongly define the culture in Silicon Valley, and they overwhelmingly don't wear suits, or in general they don't want to work with people who do," he says.
Though Nash contends that he doesn't necessarily agree with the anti-suit rationales, he explains that to many startups, both large and small, suits aren't just out of place in the dress code — they also reveal hints about your motivation and work ethic that show you might not fit in with the company culture.
For example, he says the suit has come to represent a lack of prioritization to many startups. "You spend too much time on your clothing, which will not impact business success," Nash explains. Similarly, he notes that wearing a suit signals a lack of confidence, as you may be overdressing to make up for an inadequate skill set.
Formal attire also represents the rigidity of traditional workplaces that startups work against. "Startups are notoriously contrarian cultures, they are looking to change the status quo," he says. "Dressing in a suit represents the status quo, or at least, a caricature of it."
However, the biggest reason wearing a suit in your LinkedIn picture could hurt your chances at a startup is because it reveals that you simply don't understand startup culture. Presumably, everyone knows that suits don't fit in at tech startups, according to Nash, so no one will want to hire a person who wears one anyway.
In short, stick to a more causal LinkedIn photo if you're job hunting in Silicon Valley, suggests Nash. As the old adage goes: dress for the job you want.
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