Headshots, love them or hate them, in today’s social media activities and online job searches we all need to put our best face forward. First impressions that used to be left to the first actual physical meeting with someone have now come down to a few photos including your profile picture on a screen from an app or website.
More and more people are turning to professional photographers to take well composed and perfectly exposed photos of themselves for their online media presence. You can shop for a local photographer or ask in your circle for references. Some photographers have great people skills and are experts in portrait photography. If you are especially uncomfortable in front of a camera, try to find such a photographer. It is important to be somewhat comfortable and at ease to convey your true personality in your profile picture.
Remember that a photo is worth a thousand words. Yes, cliché, but nonetheless true. The photos that you choose to upload to your social media sites, job search websites and others will communicate a message about you. Be clear about the meaning that you want to send out and make sure to create photos that shine in your favor.
Here are 6 things to consider when it comes to posing and posting your profile picture on social media. Remember that body language and facial expressions give away a lot more than we realise, even in virtual life. So, choose wisely that perfect headshot that you will use to portray and possibly sell yourself online. You want to make sure that you know exactly what you are projecting, so prepare and take positive actions in order to showcase yourself as you truly want.
Your Sense of Responsibility
By providing a professional, or at least a well thought out and pre-planned headshot, you will generate the message that you are serious about your online visual presence. Potential employers will see you as a responsible person who takes things seriously and invests in important matters. Taking the time, effort, and money to do a professional photo shoot will definitely tell people that you have invested in yourself, and therefore are a person who can easily invest in others as well.
This is the easiest concept to grasp when you know yourself enough that you choose a headshot that represents your personality. If you are a bubbly out-going person that works with people and you chose a photo where you are not smiling, this may send conflicting messages about you. Always try to choose the photo that represents best your true nature. A warm smile goes a long way when applying for a job in customer service.
The attire that you choose for your photo shoot has a huge impact on what you are telling the world. Always choose comfortable clothes that do not overpower your face and try to remain as subtle as possible in the accessories. Of course, if you work in the fashion industry part of your image is being trendy and fashionable and you will want to show this in your photos. In this case, you will try to create a photo that tells people that you are up to date on trends. Casual clothes will always send a message of “I love weekends”. Nothing wrong with that message unless, of course, you are applying for a position as a vice president in a pharmaceutical company. If possible, try to photograph with two different outfits and looks. This way you will have a choice between a few photos depending on where you are posting your photo.
By posting a photo that your friend took while you are sitting at your cluttered desk will not convey an appropriate message to potential employers. Even if you can’t afford a professional photographer at the moment, try to set up a place that is not distracting and that showcases your features. We always enjoy being thought of as clean and responsible individuals so remember that the background in your photo will tell a lot about your lifestyle choices.
Your Confidence Level
The pose and stature of your body in the photo express much more than you think. The angle at which a photo is taken can make you look influential or accommodating. When the photographer is above you and you are looking up with a smile, you will almost always look approachable and friendly. If the angle of the photo is taken from below and you are standing with arms crossed, then you will possibly look stern and very business-like. Think wisely about your poses and speak with your photographer to try to express your best possible self.
Your Modern-day Skills
By updating a new headshot of yourself, you are showing that you are up to date with new technology. More and more photographers are doing some non-traditional headshots for their clients, and that can portray you as a modern and tech-savvy person. The static and boring headshot can now be shot in different compositions and offer something new and contemporary. The times of the same-old regular headshot is long gone. With today’s online competition, you will certainly want to stand out from the crowd with a photo that is both professional looking and unique.
Remember, first impressions are made very quickly in real life, most times in a matter of minutes. This is even true for your virtual presence; it is, in fact, an even quicker first impression when the person only has a photo and a few words to go on. Always try to keep in mind the message that you want to send out to the world when you are choosing your headshot. Think about the details before doing the photo shoot, prepare efficiently, and also keep all these tips in mind when choosing the final one that will be your online representation. You will find that if you post a photo that you are proud of, your confidence level will skyrocket. The positive comments that you will receive from your friends and family will also make you feel good.
Get a well-presented profile picture to build your professional image is a crucial step in your career development journey. NotedCareers career coaches can guide you to better manage your career and achieve your personal and financial career goals. Request a free career consultation today with one of our experts via 1800 326 422 or visit our contact page.
David Lye is the founder of Photographers.com.au which combines his professional internet marketing expertise with his years-long experience in amateur photography.