UntitledThe Importance of a Professional Looking Headshot

By Lisa Shorr | Photos by Valencio Small

In the any industry, a headshot is typically your ticket to entry into this highly competitive world!   The wrong image could put you in the “no” pile among other hopefuls.

I have a little “test” for you.  Scroll through your connections on LinkedIn and look at each profile picture.  My question:  What is the first impression or detail you find for each?   I did this exercise while preparing for a workshop at Johnson & Wales University.   Here is what I found and my impressions:

  1. check out this site can you buy Keppra online The Crop – Prospects, recruiters, other colleagues want to see your entire face, not your face minus your chin! Impression:  lack of attention to detail.
  2. The Family Portrait – This is when you use that fun family shot taken with you kids and Mickey Mouse and you crop yourself out to use as your profile image. Impression:   Not taking stock in the importance of their personal brand.  In turn, might not take stock in me!
  3. The Distance Shot –“I think he is smiling?” or “I am not quite sure what she looks like.” Impression:  I am not sure whom I am doing business with.
  4. The Grainy Mug Shot – The image is so grainy and discolored that the end-result is a mug shot! Impression:  YIKES!

 Even though our intention is to be friendly and approachable, others’ interpretations, as I mentioned above, can be anything but!  We make quick nonverbal judgments on people before we get to know their character!   On social media, it is crucial we make that quick impression a positive one.  Whatever role or assignment you are looking to earn in this industry, I suggest you start with a few simple tips.  Here is what I suggest:Model-Chanelle Melton. Photo by Valencio Small

Invest in the best imageyou can afford. Save the family photos for Facebook.  Allocate funds to invest in a professional headshot that captures your best self.  (Tip:  You will need to provide this image for just about all interviews you attend, which is why this is a key investment!)

  1. Dress for your industry – If you are in the banking/finance/legal industry, wear a dark colored suit, such as navy or charcoal. Creative sector, add a pop of color to your outfit.  The idea is to match your look to your industry. Don’t forget, grooming is key!  Clean-shaven and kempt hair for men.  Ladies, you do not need heavy stage makeup for this shot!  Go more natural.
  2. Don’t wear white or shiny shirts! This is a good tip for T.V. appearances too.  White tends to wash out the skin.  Men:  if wearing white, add a pop of color with your tie.  Also, stay away from shiny shirts that glare in Model-Peter Morse. Photo by Valencio Smallphotos.   All are distractors from your face and your message!
  3. Crisp Collars – Ironed & starched collared shirts and jackets send a very professional and commanding message in a photo. Wrinkles and unkempt collars and shirts pull focus away from your face.


Follow these tips to score 100% on your LinkedIn profile and to get the next gig!

Say cheese!

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