By Matthew Hamilton
In today’s world, our digital identities have become a huge part of our lives. And headshots have become, in a way, the new business card or logo. Anyone who is entrepreneurial, looking for a new job, or is trying to step up their online presence needs an awesome headshot. Even if you just want a profile photo for Facebook or Instagram, having a great photo is crucial as more and more businesses are looking at our social media accounts before hiring us.
Here are a few ways a professional headshot can help take your career to the next level:
1. It’s your business card
Headshots have become the new business card. In many scenarios, it’s your first impression and the first look people may have at what you look like. According to a Career Builder survey, 70% of employers will look over your social media pages before hiring you. While this may seem creepy, it is a good opportunity for you to impress your future employer by showing them you are a professional during your after hours, too.
However, keep in mind there may be negative implications of not having a professional photo as your profile photo. Filling your avatar image with a selfie from a wedding last year might not be the way to go. What does that image say about you? Is it helping the brand you are trying to build? Is it a good representation of who you are trying to be? Which leads me to my next point . . .
2. It offers a peek into who you are
Your headshot is a perfect and easy way to tell the story of who you are. A great headshot should show your personality, so people can get more of a sense of who you are, and while you still look professional. Everything from the background, facial expression, to the clothes you wear tell a story and allows viewers to get a peek into who you are. Make sure to think about all of these moving parts while you’re getting your photo shot (or before) as they all will impact how well your headshot works for you.
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3. It’s an extension of your personal brand
The look of your photo should match whatever you see as your “brand”—meaning, everything about this photo should scream YOU to the visitor. As an example, if you work for a business casual company, your clothing should match that look. If you work for a funeral home, perhaps a jolly smile is not the best look for your profession.
Your photographer should be able to give you some insight on what might look best in your particular case. Remember though, this is a team effort, let your photographer know the vibe you are trying to give off in the photo so that they can then work within that idea. For instance, I like to shoot against a grey background just because it’s what I prefer. However, if someone comes in and they envision their headshot on a white background, we are going to shoot on white. It is up to you to decide what you think will work best for your personal brand.
4. You are investing in yourself
A professional headshot is an expense that you owe yourself; you will be investing in your future. The level of positive reach this one photo could get you is immeasurable. Having a professional headshot not only shows potential employers how confident you are that you can get the job done, but you are also showing yourself that you can do it, too. Confidence can be instilled just by seeing a great photo of yourself.
Make a great first impression
I want you to now look at your current headshot. Does it display the first impression that you want? Does it show potential employers the person you want them to see? Do you think it represents you well?