Professional Business Headshots and Why They’re Important
Whether you’re a new college graduate, a young professional seeking a career change, or you’re just interested in updating your personal brand, you may be considering investing in a professional business headshot. You may be asking questions like “Is it really worth it?” and “Would an indoor or outdoor photoshoot work best for what look I am trying to achieve?”
The answer to this question is a resounding “yes!” In today’s digital, networking-focused business world, having a professional business headshot is more important than ever. Why? In this article, we’ll explore just a few of the reasons that a professional business headshot is so important, and give you some tips on taking a great headshot. Read on, and learn everything you need to know.
5 Reasons Why A Professional Business Headshot Is So Important
There are dozens of reasons why a professional business headshot is so important – but we’ve just put together the 5 biggest reasons below.
1. You’ll look more professional and be taken seriously – Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter, or a potential client. Are you more likely to contact a person on LinkedIn when their picture is a professional headshot – or a photo of them holding a drink at a wedding? Are you more likely to take a potential recruit seriously when their website has a professional, high-quality photo, or a selfie that was snapped at an amusement park?
The photos we upload of ourselves say a lot about us, and how seriously we want to be taken. If your LinkedIn or website photo is a casual “selfie,” it tells a potential client or recruiter that you’re not that serious about how you’re representing yourself online.
But if you have a professional headshot on your website, you’re putting out a different message. You’re telling the world that you’re taking your job and your online presence seriously, and that you’re a professional. You want to make a great first impression – and you have invested in a professional headshot to do just that.
2. You only get one first impression – We form our first impression of people after we see their faces within 1/10th of a second. Whether you’re trying to impress a potential client, or leave a good impression with a recruiter, a professional headshot goes a long way.
3. You’ll stand out among others – This is particularly true of websites like LinkedIn, where recruiters often spend a lot of time looking through potential candidates for a job opportunity. 6 seconds is the average time spent reading a resume or LinkedIn profile, so you definitely want to stand out as much as you can.
4. Your headshot helps build your personal brand – Your appearance is a big part of your personal brand, and a professional headshot helps you build a better, more sophisticated, and more appealing personal brand.
Your headshot can reflect some of the aspects of your own personal brand, too. If you’re in a creative field, you can show off your unique eyewear and clothing. If you’re a lawyer, you can wear a dark suit to show how serious you are about your job, and so on. It all depends on your personal brand, and how you want to portray yourself to the world!
5. Headshots are extremely versatile in the digital age – A great headshot can be used in tons of different places. LinkedIn, your bio on your company’s website, your Twitter page, as your author photo when you write a blog post, online when you’re taking part in a conference – the opportunities are limitless. Once you get your headshots, you’ll be surprised at how versatile they are, and how often you need to make use of them!
Taking A Professional Business Headshot – Our Top Tips
So, a professional business headshot is important. But how can you make sure you take a great headshot that will be useful for years to come? Here are a few of our top tips for a great professional business headshot!
● Hire a professional (seriously!) – Unless you’ve got a side business as a photographer and you have the expensive gear, lighting, and backdrops required to take a headshot, you should leave it to the professionals.
A headshot session is very affordable, and plenty of photographers offer professional business headshots. If you’re still a student, your university may even offer special events where photographers will take your headshot free of charge. The same is true of some larger companies, which often offer free headshots for employees – so explore your options.
● Make sure your appearance is neat and tidy – Your headshot should express your own unique personality, so there’s no need to get a different haircut, shave your beard, or wear more makeup than you normally would. Just make sure your appearance is neat and tidy – just like you would look for a normal workday!
● Dress for success – In some fields, like creative fields such as design and advertising, it may be acceptable to wear more casual clothing, like a T-shirt or hoodie. But for the most part, you should dress “smart casual” to present a professional more professional demeanor.
Again, it’s good to think about how you would dress for a normal workday in your industry – or in your desired field. If it’s acceptable to wear a polo shirt to work in your industry, that may be an acceptable option. If you’re expected to wear a collared shirt or a suit, dress accordingly. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed for your headshots!
● Get a new headshot every 2-3 years, or when your appearance has changed – You should avoid using an old photo of yourself. You want an honest headshot that depicts the way you look now – not the way you looked 5 or 10 years ago.
Every few years, you should consider getting new headshots if your appearance has changed significantly. For example, if you have lost some weight, your hair has grayed a bit more, or if you’ve aged a bit, it may be a good time to get a new headshot. Usually, you’ll want a new set of headshots about every 2-3 years.
Get A Professional Headshot – It’s Worth The Investment!
In today’s competitive business world, you need every advantage you can get – and a professional headshot can help you seem more professional to colleagues, potential clients, recruiters, and other people who work in your industry. So don’t wait. Think about investing in a new set of professional headshots today – you won’t regret it.