To Shave or Not to Shave?

How Beardedness in a Linkedin Profile Picture Influences Perceived Expertise and Job Interview Prospects
  • Sarah van der Land
  • Daan G. Muntinga
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8527)


This study explores whether wearing a beard in a LinkedIn profile picture affects a candidate’s prospects of being invited for a job interview and whether this is contingent on the type of job vacancy. Based on Ohanian’s (1990) three sub dimensions of credibility, three different job vacancies were constructed: (1) architect for an expertise-job, (2) back cashier officer for a trustworthiness-job, and (3) sales representative for an attractiveness-job. Results of a 2 (candidate: beard versus no beard) x 3 (job type: expertise, trustworthiness, attractiveness) experiment conducted among 216 participants show that bearded candidates are perceived as having more expertise than clean-shaven candidates. Moreover, a candidate’s perceived expertise is a significant predictor of the intention to invite the candidate for a job interview. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.


Personal Branding Strategic Social Media recruitment beards credibility job interview success LinkedIN 


  1. 1.
    Arnold, T.C., Rynes, S.L.: Recruitment and job choice research: Same as it ever was? In: Schmitt, N.W., Highhouse, S., Weiner, I.B. (eds.) Handbook of Psychology, 2nd edn., pp. 104–142. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barber, N.: Mustache fashion covaries with a good marriage market for women. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 25(4), 261–272 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    De Souza, A.A.L., Baumgasten, V., Baiao, U., Otta, E.: Perception of men’s personal qualities and prospect of employment as a function of facial hair. Psychological Reports 92(1), 201–208 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dixson, B.J., Brooks, R.C.: The role of facial hair in women’s perceptions of men’s attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities. Evolution and Human Behavior 34(3), 236–241 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Feinman, S., Gill, G.W.: Females’ response to males’ beardedness. Perceptual and Motor Skills 44(2), 533–534 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fishbein, M., Ajzen, I.: Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1975)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goffman, E.: The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City, New York (1959)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Guido, G., Peluso, A.M., Moffa, V.: Beardedness in advertising: Effects on endorsers’ credibility and purchase intention. Journal of Marketing Communication 17(1), 37–49 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hayes, A.F.: Introduction to Mediation, Moderation, and Conditional Process Analysis: A Regression-Based Approach. The Guilford Press, New York (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jackson, W.C., Bendick, M., Romero, H.J.: Employment discrimination against older workers. Journal of Aging & Social Policy 8(4), 25–46 (1997)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Johnston, M.A.: Beard fetish in early modern England. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Farnham (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kamins, M.A.: An investigation into the match-up hypothesis in celebrity advertising:When beauty be only skin deep. Journal of Advertising 19(1), 4–13 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kluemper, D.H., Rosen, P.A.: Future employment selection methods: evaluating social networking web sites. Journal of Managerial Psychology 24(6), 567–580 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Labrecque, L.I., Markos, E., Milne, G.R.: Online personal branding: Processes, challenges, and implications. Journal of Interactive Marketing 25, 27–50 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Martin, W.W., Gardner, S.N.: The relative effects of eye-gaze and smiling on arousal in asocial situations. The Journal of Psychology 102(2), 253–259 (1979)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Misra, S., Beatty, S.E.: Celebrity spokesperson and brand congruence: An assessment of recall and effect. Journal of Business Research 21(2), 159–173 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Muscarella, F., Cunningham, M.R.: The evolutionary significance and social perception of male pattern baldness and facial hair. Ethology and Sociobiology 17(2), 99–117 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ohanian, R.: Construction and validation of a scale to measure celebrity endorsers’ perceived expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. Journal of Advertising 19(3), 39–52 (1990)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Petty, R.E., Cacioppo, J.T.: Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change. Springer, New York (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Reed, J., Blunk, E.M.: The influence of facial hair on impression formation. Social Behavior and Personality 18(1), 169–175 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ruetzler, T., Taylor, J., Reynolds, D., Baker, W.: Understanding perceptions of professional attributes using conjoint analysis. International Journal of Hospitality Management 30(3), 551–557 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Terry, R.L., Krantz, J.H.: Dimensions of trait attributions associated with eyeglasses, men’s facial hair, and women’s hair length. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 23(21), 1757–1769 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Tobak, S.: Want a great job? Then shave! (September 12, 2012), (accessed February 7, 2014)
  24. 24.
    Walther, J.B.: Computer-mediated communication: Impersonal, interpersonal and hyperpersonal interaction. Communication Research 23(1), 3–43 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Willemsen, L.M., Neijens, P.C., Bronner, F.: The ironic effect of source identification on the perceived credibility of online product reviewers. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 18(1), 16–31 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Woodside, A.G., Davenport, J.W.: The effect of salesman similarity and expertise on consumer purchasing behavior. Journal of Marketing Research 11(2), 198–202 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah van der Land
    • 1
  • Daan G. Muntinga
    • 2
  1. 1.Erasmus University RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of AmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations