Social networking allows you to start communicating and marketing with new and old connections as well as prospects through pixels long before you meet them face-to-face. When you consider that this is now an amazing, efficient way for business and individuals alike to market and publish themselves, it is an exercise that is not to be taken lightly.
When you choose a professional headshot for your social media accounts, you need to choose wisely.
What is the purpose of your social networking activity?
Are you representing yourself as an individual, or are you online as part of your company?
Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner?
Your social media headshot can seem no bigger than a thumbnail, but it is very important in today’s business world.
The way you look online can be as important as how you sound, especially for job seekers. Potential employers and business partners are increasingly Googling people before meeting with them or hiring them. That doesn’t mean that you should hide behind photos of duck faces and filters on Instagram. Instead, it means knowing exactly what goes into a professional headshot—and making sure your profile is strong enough to get you the job. Headshots are essential when networking or applying for jobs online. A good photo will get you more interviews and job offers. If a potential employer sees your photo and thinks “this person looks like someone I wouldn’t want to hire,” then that employer probably won’t even read your resume beyond that initial impression.
Have a plan before you shoot.
Have a plan before you walk into the photoshoot. If you’re applying for a job in a creative field, you might want a different look than someone applying for a finance position. Think about what you want your headshot to communicate. Also, keep in mind the industry or company that you’re applying to. For example, if you’re applying to financial companies, be sure to avoid bright colors or patterns. They can be perceived as unprofessional. If you want your headshot on social media, think about what you want to put across with your image. Are you trying to come across as professional or fun? If you want to use your headshot for a resume, keep in mind the purpose of the photo. A headshot used in a resume is designed to show your profession, not show off your great personality or awesome sense of style.
Understand what goes into a headshot.
When you book a photoshoot, you’ll be provided with a contract. Make sure you read it carefully and understand what you’re agreeing to. Make sure that you know how many headshots you’ll get, the type of files you’ll receive (will they be edited? will they be raw photos?), and any other additional information that applies to your shoot. That way, you won’t be caught off guard when you get the bill after your shoot. A professional headshot should include a variety of poses. Your photographer should show you different poses and let you pick the ones that you feel the best in. You also want your headshot to be cropped in a way that is flattering and highlights your best features.
A good photo will get you more interviews and job offers. If a potential employer sees your photo and thinks “this person looks like someone I wouldn’t want to hire,” then that employer probably won’t even read your resume beyond that initial impression.
9910 Claywood Court
St. Louis, MO 63126