“Whether it’s meant for LinkedIn, your website, or another social media platform, it pays to have a great business photo of yourself”- Michael Weaver, iHire
A headshot is the first thing an employer sees that represents your appearance. Because of this, it is important to have the perfect headshot. You can get a headshot professionally done or you can simply do it yourself! Heres are some tips:
You want to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed in your picture. While this can be hard because having your picture taken can be nerve-racking it is important to breathe and look natural. You do not want to look stiff and uncomfortable in your picture. A great headshot is one where you look relaxed and approachable. Employers want to see someone that looks real, approachable, and easy to work with. Also, remember you can shoot as many pictures as you need so do not get hung up on perfection in the first shot.
What to Wear
Since this is the first thing an employer will see of you, it is crucial to dress correctly. You want to look professional. This means dressing in the same clothes you would wear to an interview. You want to look at a minimum business casual. It also depends on the job/industry you are applying to. If you are applying for an entry/mid-level job then business casual will cut it. If you are applying for executive and c-suit jobs you will want to take it a step further and dress more towards business professional. Take a look at the examples below for inspiration on what to wear for your headshot!
“Resume writing 101 teaches not to clutter up the page with information about your credentials but instead to keep things looking neat, succinct, and tidy. The same goes for your headshot”- Heather Huhman, Glassdoor. The point of a headshot is to showcase you! This means you do not want a background that distracts from your photo. To ensure this pick a simple/plain background. This will ensure you are the main focus of the shot. You also can choose to blur the background slightly, but this is not necessary.
What Not to Do
Now that you have some tips for a great headshot, it is important to know what not to do. Most importantly no selfies! Selfies are low quality and will not showcase you in an effective way. They also are not professional and show little effort in wanting to showcase yourself as a competitive candidate. You also do not want to wear distracting clothing. Similar to the distractions caused by a busy background, flashy outfits will do the same. Avoid complicated patterns, bright colors, and logos. This will ultimately distract the employer and come off as unprofessional.
Lastly, after you have a headshot it is crucial to keep it updated and current. You do not need a new headshot for each job you are applying to but updating it regularly is a must. A headshot at most should only be used for two years, but taking a new one each year could never hurt!
Taking a headshot can seem like a stressful task, but by following the tips above and avoiding common mistakes you can ensure your headshot will be fantastic and stand out to employers.
Check out the links below for some more dos and don’ts!