Professional Personal Branding:

Using a “Think-Aloud” Protocol to Investigate How Recruiters Judge LinkedIN Profile Pictures
  • Sarah F. van der LandEmail author
  • Lotte M. Willemsen
  • Barbara G. E. Wilton
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9751)


This study builds on previous work on personal branding [1, 2] and is one of the first to qualitatively explore how and why actual recruiters make certain decisions in selecting a candidate on LinkedIN. In this study, recruiters reviewed seven different Linkedin pictures of a job candidate applying for a ficticious entry-level Marketing Consultant Job, while using a think-aloud method. Each picture displayed the candidate in a different way, making certain cues more salient (e.g. smiling, casual holiday shot, avoiding eye gaze). The results of this study indicated that especially the cues of smiling and eye-contact (looking in the camera) appear to have a positive influence on the perception of perceived credibility. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.


Personal branding Strategic social media Impression management Recruitment Think-aloud method Credibility Job interview success LinkedIN 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah F. van der Land
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lotte M. Willemsen
    • 2
  • Barbara G. E. Wilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of Applied Sciences UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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