Can You Get a Job With an AI-Generated Profile Picture?

In an age where digital presence and first impressions matter more than ever, the question of whether an AI-generated profile picture can help you secure a job is gaining prominence. The rise of AI technology has given birth to a plethora of apps and services that promise to transform your ordinary selfies into professional-looking headshots, and the trend has caught fire on social media platforms, particularly TikTok. But can an AI-generated profile picture genuinely give you an edge in the job market?

In this article, we'll explore the fascinating world of AI-generated headshots and discuss their potential impact on job hunting and self-esteem.

The Rise of AI-Generated Profile Pictures

In the vast landscape of the digital realm, a fascinating phenomenon is gaining momentum – the rise of AI-generated profile pictures. As we celebrate remarkable strides in technology, it's captivating to witness how artificial intelligence has woven its magic into the fabric of our online presence. No longer bound by the limitations of traditional photography, these AI-generated avatars offer a glimpse into a future where creativity and technology meshes harmoniously, giving birth to a new wave of digital identity.

The Viral Trend

Over the summer, a video went viral on TikTok with the caption "using this trend to get a new LinkedIn headshot." In the clip, a young woman showcased her real-life appearance and the professional-looking headshots she created using an AI-powered app called Remini. The video garnered millions of views, igniting a trend that extended to other social media platforms as well.


How did they do? Would you post AI headshots on your LinkedIn?

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Remini is just one of many AI-powered services, including Try It On AI and AI Suit Up, that use advanced software to create polished profile photos that mimic the work of a professional photographer. Users are required to upload eight to ten selfies taken from different angles and under good lighting conditions. The AI then leverages these images to craft artificial photos that portray you in a sophisticated and glamorous light. It enhances your appearance, adjusts your hair, attire, and lighting, and can even provide various backdrops.

The results of these AI-generated images vary from person to person, with some finding them realistic, while others argue they appear artificial. Unlike previous trends of altering hair or eye color for fun, this AI-driven transformation is specifically geared toward platforms like LinkedIn and other job-hunting websites.

The Cost Factor

One of the key attractions of AI-generated profile pictures is their affordability. Divya Shishodia, a 24-year-old digital marketer from Australia, explains that not everyone can afford professional headshots, making AI headshots a viable alternative. While professional photographers can charge over £100 for a session, apps like Remini typically offer free trials lasting a few days.

Michelle Genobisa, a 26-year-old from Denmark, appreciates the low to no cost of AI-generated profile pictures. For those who frequently change their appearance, such as hair color, these AI-generated images provide a convenient way to maintain a collection of photos with a professional look without breaking the bank.

However, not everyone is impressed by the technology. Molly McCrann, a 25-year-old actor from Australia, describes AI-generated headshots as looking "so fake." McCrann found that these images made her look thinner than she actually was. Nevertheless, she recognizes the potential utility of AI headshots, especially if they help her secure job interviews.

The Psychological Perspective

The rise of AI-generated profile pictures raises questions about their potential impact on individuals' self-esteem and self-worth. Consumer psychologist Dr. Paul Marsden suggests that there are two sides to the issue. On one hand, AI allows individuals to present their best selves and project an image they aspire to be, potentially motivating them to align their real-life behavior with this image. First impressions are crucial, and AI can help individuals create a favorable initial impression.

On the flip side, Dr. Marsden notes that relying on AI-generated images could negatively impact self-esteem. People might start doubting their worth and feel inadequate compared to their AI-enhanced counterparts, leading to diminished confidence.

Do Recruiters Care?

Tristan Barthel from Tate Recruitment, a London-based agency, has observed a significant increase in the number of people using AI to improve their photos. However, he emphasizes that whether a picture has been AI-generated or not doesn't affect his decision-making process. For Barthel, qualifications and skills are more critical factors.

The Dangers of Faking It on LinkedIn

While AI-generated headshots offer an accessible way to enhance one's online presence, they are not without their pitfalls. HR professionals are increasingly noticing the trend of AI-generated profile images and feel compelled to address the potential issues.

Neil Finegan, an industry expert tutor from DLC Training, advises caution when using AI-generated images on LinkedIn. He acknowledges the convenience and cost savings but warns that users should be careful in selecting images that represent themselves or their business accurately. Finegan cautions against the risk of AI-generated images going awry, potentially leading to embarrassing situations with future or current employers.

Another concern is the ownership and usage rights associated with AI-generated images. Some platforms may retain rights to the images generated by users, which individuals might not be aware of when using these services. Finegan recommends reading the terms and conditions and app permissions thoroughly before uploading any images to AI generators.

The authenticity of AI-generated headshots is also a point of contention. While they may look professional, some argue that they lack the personal touch and individual character that a genuine photo provides. In some cases, hiring managers and colleagues may appreciate an authentic image over an AI-generated one.

The Real-World Impact

The use of AI-generated headshots is not limited to job seekers. College students and young professionals are increasingly turning to AI to create cost-effective and high-quality headshots. AI headshot generators offer a convenient and affordable solution for those who lack the budget, equipment, or wardrobe needed for a professional photoshoot.

The process is simple: users upload their photos, and the AI models create headshots that mimic the style and pose chosen by the user. Apps like Remini have gained popularity in this regard.

The Drawbacks of AI-Generated Headshots

Although innovation knows no bounds in artificial intelligence, the creation of AI-generated headshots has become a double-edged sword. While these computer-generated portraits showcase the astonishing capabilities of technology, a closer look reveals a series of drawbacks that lurk beneath the surface.

In this exploration, we peel back the digital curtain to uncover the challenges and concerns associated with AI-generated headshots. From subtle inaccuracies that distort human features to the ethical dilemmas surrounding privacy and consent, the allure of these seemingly flawless portraits hide a myriad of issues.

Too Perfect and Unrealistic

While some users have reported realistic and impressive results with AI-generated headshots, others have encountered issues. The images can sometimes appear too perfect, airbrushed to the point of lacking any imperfections. Additionally, these AI models may struggle with body parts and deform features in full-body shots.

Privacy Concerns

Privacy is another concern associated with AI headshot generators. Users should be aware that these platforms often utilize their uploaded photos to improve their AI algorithms. The terms and conditions may grant the platform rights to use user-generated content for various purposes, including enhancing their technology. Users who provide feedback or suggestions might also find that they've relinquished their creative rights.

Addressing Bias in AI-Generated Images

One of the significant challenges associated with AI-generated headshots is the presence of biases. AI models learn from data sets, and if these data sets are not diverse and inclusive, the results can reflect racial and gender biases. This issue extends beyond headshots to AI-generated images in general.

To combat these biases, companies need to actively monitor and update the data their AI models are trained on. Open-source models are being developed that can be trained on datasets specific to different countries and cultures, helping mitigate the biases caused by overrepresentation in general datasets.


The rise of AI-generated profile pictures offers a convenient and cost-effective solution for individuals looking to enhance their online presence, particularly on professional platforms like LinkedIn. While some find these AI-generated headshots to be a valuable resource, others argue that they lack authenticity and may lead to privacy concerns.

The impact on self-esteem and the potential for AI-generated images to undermine self-worth is also a topic of debate. However, the key message remains that while AI can assist in improving your online image, authenticity and accuracy should never be sacrificed. Ultimately, it lies in our choice and how other people bridge the gap between your digital and online persona with the real one that is truly you.

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