The Importance of a Professional Headshot
When was the last time you had a professional headshot?
I know, I know! You want to wait until you lose 10 pounds or get the next round of Botox injections.
I also know it’s scary for a lot of people to step in front of the camera.
But, here are 7 reasons why, as a personal brand, you need to quiet the voice of fear and step in front of the camera as the person you are right now at this moment in time!
I have been asked many times who needs a professional headshot and why a professional headshot is important. My response is always, the same. “Everyone needs a professional headshot.” That is a pretty strong statement, but I believe it. Not because I am a biased headshot photographer, but because we live in a digital world where having an online presence is important and is often the first impression others have of you.
In Today’s Thursday Thoughts Episode, I am giving you 7 reasons why you should have an up-to-date professional headshot!
The 7 Reasons to Have a Professional Headshot
- Show Professionalism and The Importance Of Quality
A professional headshot helps you look like the professional you are. It also lets others know that you care about quality. When someone is scrolling through LinkedIn looking for candidates for an employment opportunity or to hire a service provider, a professional headshot is going to be eye-catching compared to a poorly lit selfie or template gray head.
- Stand Out
In this digital era, people have short attention spans and scroll through their social media or LinkedIn feeds quickly. A quality and eye-catching profile photo, aka a professional headshot, will make people stop to look at you. People are more likely to remember your face than the 1st and 2nd lines of your bio. Not only that but your personality and essence shine through your eyes and smile.
Having a professional, well-lit headshot (profile photo) helps grab attention and make an emotional connection with the viewer. It also makes you memorable and recognizable.
- Introduction/First Impression
Your introduction to the world (people in your area of expertise, peers, and recruiters) is often online. In a competitive job market, it is important to make a good first impression so that your skills and expertise aren’t overlooked.
It is important to note that all websites should have a professional headshot on the about page. Some companies dedicate a page to their team and include headshots of all employees, or at least the management team. Remember that people buy personalities, not products and services so it is important to represent the people behind the business.
A personal and emotional connection to your business will help with building the know, like, and trust factor, which ultimately leads to success.
If you are an entrepreneur, you should represent yourself consistently across all platforms so that people recognize you. Use the same headshot/profile photo on your website and social media platforms.
If you are in the corporate sector, or even working for a small business, you need to create a personal brand that demonstrates your expertise. You want to make it easy for others to recognize you.
An Example of Having a Professional Headshot
Maybe you are applying for a promotion and your resume with your headshot was just on the CEO’s desk. She gets on the elevator with you and bingo, she recognizes you! Now you have a personal connection and she may just take the opportunity to discuss the opportunity with you on the spot.
A headshot will allow you to stand out in a sea of noise and draw people to read your bio and learn more about you and what you can do for them or their business.
How many times have you been to a networking event and can’t remember who the business card in your pocket belonged to?
As a side note, you should take the time to connect with people after each networking event you attend. This will help you develop a meaningful network of ideal clients. Even if they are not your ideal client they may be a referral source for someone who is your ideal client.
There are two scenarios to think about. If someone goes to connect with you but is not certain of your name, or multiple people come up with the same name on the LinkedIn search, and you do not have a current (and recognizable) headshot they may not find you.
Likewise, if you meet someone and go to connect with him/her and they do not have a current headshot you won’t be able to recognize them. This can be very frustrating especially if that person was a potential client.
The same holds true when meeting with someone for the first time. If they do not have a recent headshot on any of their profiles, you are going to walk into the coffee shop not having any idea who you are meeting. Same the time having to describe yourself to someone and the frustration of them having to guess who you are. Both just add anxiety to a situation that is already a little nerve-wracking.
A recent analysis by Jobvite reported that 41% of recruiters judge you by your profile photo before meeting you. This data is from 2016 so chances are the statistics are even higher as LinkedIn has become more prominent over the past few years.
Interestingly enough, 18% of recruiters view selfies negatively. They also admit to viewing social media profiles to learn more about candidates. This brings us back to your personal brand. Whether you are in corporate or own your own business, people are looking for your personality before they meet you and make decisions about what they see online.
Having a professional headshot makes you feel more confident about your career and demonstrates confidence to others. A good headshot will capture the personality and when you look confident, people are more likely to believe you are an expert or have the skills they are looking for.