Importance of Having Up-to-Headshots

January 2, 2020

Whether you’re a student applying for graduate programs or internships, a recent graduate looking for your first job, an entrepreneur looking to grow your business, or a seasoned professional headed straight to the C-Suite, one of the most valuable assets you can have is a high-quality professional headshot. In our increasingly digital world, the way we present ourselves online matters more than ever. And the most important part of our online presence? High quality visuals.

Before meeting with someone for the first time, whether it be for an interview or a prospective business meeting, people often do a quick search to learn more about the person they’re meeting with. Having a polished, professional headshot gives you an advantage before anything even happens. Consider the alternative. If your headshot is a selfie, what message does that send? If you say you have over 10 years of experience, but you’re still using the headshot you took when you were 23, how credible does that make you seem? Experts generally recommend that you update your headshot every 1-2 years, as well as every time you make a major change to your appearance.

The truth is, especially in the fast-paced professional world, other people judge you based on your appearance. In what psychologists call thin slicing, people make all sorts of decisions about you– from your intelligence to your competence to your friendliness– within the first few seconds of seeing your picture. A series of experiments done by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov, presented in Psychological Science, show that most people form an impression of a stranger from their facial appearance in just one tenth of a second. They also found that these impressions are unlikely to change as time goes on.

In an increasingly digital landscape, More and more people are turning to Linkedin and Twitter to recruit new talent or potential partnerships. According to LinkedIn data, profiles with a professional profile photo are 14 times more likely to be discovered. Across platforms, having a good headshot on your social profiles boosts your credibility, recognition, and professionalism.

You can think of a headshot as your own personal logo. What story do you want to convey to others? What kind of person do you want to present yourself as? Do you want to seem creative and open, or serious and capable? Do you want to convey warmth and friendliness? Intelligence and ambition? What’s your story? If you’re a creative professional who wants to build a career in digital marketing, for example, your ideal headshot is going to look a lot different than if you were an investment manager looking to land a big client or a or a medical student applying to residency programs.

In order to capture all of that, you’ll want to work with someone who truly understands the craft of photography. While snapping a quick self or asking your friend with a nice camera to help you out might be easy, they’re simply not going to get your the best results. When you have someone behind the camera that’s well versed on things like using the right lighting, photo composition, posing, angles, and post-shoot editing, your headshot will truly come alive and showcase you in the best way possible.

In a digitally connected world, a high quality headshot goes a long way. Your headshot acts as represents you on Linkedin and other social networks. Your employer will likely need a photo of you for their website or a company announcement. Or perhaps you’ll need a headshot for a press release, your email signature, your business card, or a job or grant application. In all of these cases, having a polished headshots presents you as a professional, put together person who has put thought and effort into who they are and how they want to represent themselves.

When you look the part, you’re more likely to feel confident in yourself and your professional abilities. This can pay off in unexpected ways: increased confidence can prompt you to take a career risk, apply for your dream job, or put yourself out there in a new way. Additionally, research shows that when you take yourself and your career seriously, other people are more likely to take you seriously as well.

A high quality professional headshot will represent you in the most authentic and effective way and showcase your unique story in the best light possible. With it, you can make a strong first impression, build a powerful personal brand, and increase your confidence so you can make professional strides. Essentially, a good headshot goes a long way in how other people perceive you. It’s important to work with someone who understands poses, angles, and lighting, and knows how to use them to represent you and your brand in the best way possible. Click here to learn more info or to book a session!

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