A professional photo is key when creating a career profile. It is the first impression potential employers will have of you, so it is important to make sure your headshot conveys the image you want to project.
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What are the Qualities of a Good Headshot?
You don’t need to be super attractive or good-looking to have a good headshot. All you need to do is exude professionalism, personality, and branding. Specifically, strive to achieve the following:
Clarity and Accuracy
Your headshot should be a clear and accurate representation of what you look like. You want potential employers to recognize you when they meet you in person.
Taking professional headshots means avoiding casual clothing or background settings. Stick to neutral backdrops and dress as you would for an interview or a professional event. This will help you show that you’re serious about your career and professional aspirations.
Use recent photographs. You don’t want potential employers to be surprised by how you look when they finally meet you in person. If your appearance has changed significantly since your last headshot, it may be time to update your photo.
If you achieve those qualities, you’ll reap the following benefits:
- You’ll look professional. Recruiters, employers, and potential colleagues will treat you professionally if you look professional.
- You’ll take yourself seriously. A professional headshot shows you take care of yourself and your career seriously.
- You’ll stay on top of mind. Your name will be remembered more easily by important people, including those that make hiring decisions.
- You’ll make a positive first impression. A positive first impression goes a long way, especially in the fast-paced landscape of the job market. It might be your only chance to get the decision-makers attention.
Hiring a Professional Photographer for Headshots
Hiring a professional photographer or studio ensures you have a high-quality headshot. So, it’s always wise to invest a little money into it.
Professional photography companies help you choose the right setting and outfit and make sure the photo conveys the image you want to project. The Studio Pod is one such company. They specialize in taking professional headshots and portraits.
On the flip side, professional photography can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, you might try taking your own headshots or finding a friend or relative with photography experience. The challenge is making sure the photo is clear, accurate, and professional.
How NOT to Take a Headshot
Bad headshots can ruin your professional profile. If you’re serious about your career, avoid these common mistakes:
- Using a Selfie. Don’t use a selfie. Selfies are generally low quality and can make you look unprofessional. If you don’t have access to a high-quality camera, it’s worth hiring a professional photographer to take your headshot.
- Using an Old Photo. Employers want to see what you currently look like. Update your photo to avoid surprises.
- Using a Casual Photo. Your headshot should be professional, so avoid photos with casual clothing or background.
- Using Over-edited or Filtered Photos. Avoid using filters or editing your photo to the point that it no longer looks like you. Your headshot should be a clear and accurate representation of who you are.
- Not Smiling. Don’t forget to smile — a headshot isn’t a passport photo. You should look approachable and friendly, so make sure to smile in your photo.
When it comes to your career profile, first impressions matter. Make sure your headshot accurately reflects who you are and what you want to convey about your professional aspirations. With a little planning and effort, you can create a headshot that will help you stand out from the competition.