Headshots aren’t just for the entertainment industry anymore.
When meeting someone new, it will take all of 10 seconds for you to make an impression. In today’s culture, more often than not, your profile picture on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter will be the first opportunity for you to make a first impression. In today’s business environment you will find a growing number of areas where head shots of employees are used outside of the obvious social media spaces. I’ve seen email auto signatures with a head shot of the sender. I’ve seen and used presentations using co-workers’ head shots. Small business websites or blogs build readers and clients by using a personal touch and an appropriate profile image assists in doing just that. Portraying a good image isn’t new in the workplace but the amount of vehicles used to portray a professional image has expanded.
In our social media culture we’ve grown accustomed to living publicly. Seeing a photo of someone makes you feel like you know the person a little better and when it comes to meeting someone for the first time, a preview of what they look like makes the experience more comfortable. Imagine surfing LinkedIn as a hiring manager. What would your profile picture or lack of say about you? If your boss emailed you and requested a headshot for a presentation he was giving, would you have the right image of yourself to send back? Don’t imagine, go surf profiles on LinkedIn, what is your personal impression of the person when you see a photo taken by a phone, point and shoot camera taken in bad lighting, or no photo at all versus a professionally taken headshot?
Once you’ve decided you need a good photo, you need to decide what type of headshot fits your need. A teacher, corporate vice president, fitness instructor, and graphic design artist would all have very different headshots. A teacher for kindergarteners would have a different profile picture than a high school math teacher. Corporate managers need an image showing a level of seriousness but approachability. What image do you want to portray? Does the image you want to portray work better outdoors, in a photography studio, or workplace environment? Clothing, accessories, and hair style all play an important role as well.
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