Getting the Best Headshot
By Elijah Thomas
Before you update your LinkedIn profile page or personal website with keyword-focused content, consider how you present in the attached photo.
How important is a great headshot? A study conducted by the Cognition and Emotion Journal found that people make decisions about whether to trust someone within 100 milliseconds after looking at their face. These photos provide a visual introduction, long before a prospective employer has dug into your resume’s career stats. Fail to post any image, and you risk signaling that you’re not willing to engage with the world around you. Featuring a low-quality version indicates that you might not be very tech savvy, a key component in many workplaces. If you want to increase online engagement with hiring managers, make sure they can see your face. After all, one of the largest social-media channels was so focused on faces that the company founders placed that word first in its name.
So, you’ve looked over your channels and personal site and decided that a new headshot is in order. Decide what you want to convey before taking the next step. The look and feel of your headshot should dovetail with the kind of jobs you intend to apply for. Someone looking to fill a professional position, for example, probably won’t connect with a hastily taken selfie. Cropping a family photo so that it only features the applicant points to a lack of attention to detail.
Remember, the image should be relatable from the employer’s point of view. Maintain a professional aura, no matter the role you’re interested in, and hiring managers will take everything they read on your resume more seriously.
HIRING A PROFESSIONAL
There is some cost involved, but hiring a professional photographer can pay off in the long run. They may have valuable suggestions on wardrobe and settings, since they’ve likely done headshot work before. Ask other local job seekers who they’ve used, and read online reviews. Most professionals will include a gallery of past images on their websites. Click through until you find someone who photographs in a style that connects with you. Pro-shot images can also be used to punch up your resume and business cards. Once you’ve secured the position, they could be repurposed for flyers, billboards and company websites and social-media accounts.