You’re on the job hunt. You’ve polished your resume and updated your LinkedIn profile. But there’s one thing you might be missing: a headshot.
Most employers or recruiters look at your headshot on your LinkedIn profile or online resume before reading anything about your experience or skills. That may seem unfair, but many people are very visual, and a headshot is a quick way to judge a person’s seriousness and professionalism. Is the image a selfie or a professional headshot? Does it look old or outdated? These are questions recruiters will ask in the first few seconds of looking at your profile.
That’s why it’s so important to have an updated, professional headshot to help give you the edge in your job hunt. Here are 8 tips to help you get the photo that will help you score your dream job.
Hire a professional for your LinkedIn headshot
An iPhone photo or an image snapped by a friend just can’t compare to a professional headshot. A pro photographer brings all their years of experience, training, and knowledge about lighting and posing to your session and will make sure you get the best possible images to help you in your job search or furthering your career. Professional headshots are an investment, but they’re well worth it.
Show off your personality through your headshot
A lot of times, when people think of headshots, they think of stiff, posed photos in front of a background—just like the photos you took in school. But professional headshots are all about showing off your personality and what makes you skilled and qualified in your field. This is also why it’s important to regularly update your headshot: You want your photo to look like you, especially if you’re applying for jobs. If you look 10 or 15 years younger in your headshot than you do in person, potential employers may think you’re trying to hide something or aren’t honest about your experience.
Be open to possibility
You hire a professional photographer for their experience and skill in lighting, framing, and capturing your headshots. They know the best backgrounds, whether in the studio or outside, and how to pose you to get the best possible image. Their suggestions may seem odd at times or feel unusual to you, but trust them because they know exactly what they’re doing, and you’re sure to be thrilled with the results!
Keep your look simple
You want to look your best in your headshots, so it can be tempting to put on extra makeup and put more effort into your hair. While that’s a great idea, you want to be sure not to overdo it. After all, you want to look like yourself, exactly how you would appear in a job interview. If you don’t wear a lot of makeup in everyday life, don’t slather on a ton before your photo session. Be sure to choose a look that isn’t too far from your regular appearance.
Avoid wild patterns and colors
In the same way you want to keep your hair and makeup simple, your outfit should be understated as well. Choose solid colors and stay away from loud patterns that will distract from your face. You want to look professional and intelligent, and even if you love to wear fun colors, that might be a turnoff for potential employers when you’re job-hunting. Keep your clothing choices timeless to ensure you can keep using your headshots for the next couple of years.
Practice your smile
You may feel ridiculous trying out different expressions in the mirror, but doing so can help you loosen up before your headshot session. You don’t want to make the same face in every image, so try bigger smiles and smaller ones, with teeth and without. Your photographer can also offer some coaching in developing the right expression for each shot, so don’t be stressed if you don’t have it all figured out.
Clean those glasses
This is a small thing, but it can have a huge effect on your images. If you wear glasses, be sure to clean them right before your session to get rid of any dust or fingerprints that may show up in your photos. Your photographer will help you with the perfect poses to avoid lens glares.
Just relax for the most genuine headshots
If you get nervous in front of the camera, you’re definitely not alone! Most people don’t feel comfortable having their photos taken. Just take a deep breath, smile, and try to relax. Your photographer will do their best to make you feel comfortable and help you get the headshots you want!