Many professionals assume a headshot is something you upload to your LinkedIn profile and then never touch again. That assumption is wrong!
Your headshot will come in handy throughout your career. It will grace the “About Us” page on your company’s website, be sent to new coworkers so people can easily recognize you, and be asked for by event organizers to advertise your speaking engagements.
Maybe you’re thinking: Speaking engagements? Please, I am never going to need a professional headshot in my career.
If so, you need a reframe. Our Ignite Your Potential career coaches can point out countless blurry or inappropriate LinkedIn profile pictures (or no photo at all) that affect whether or not people reach out and collaborate.
A headshot is useful for many professional situations:
- Your Email Account
- Your Email Signature
- Your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
- Your Website or Portfolio
- Your Posts or Bylines
- Your Company Bio
Convinced? Great, now it’s time to take one. And the good news is, it’s really easy.
Step 1: Pick out a shirt that you feel confident in (Tip: Avoid busy patterns or anything you would not wear to Grandma’s Sunday dinner).
Step 2: Find a plain, but ideally interesting backdrop (Tip: Avoid posing in front of windows or busy backgrounds unless you’re a lighting and photography editing pro.)
Step 3: If you’re a woman, you might consider makeup. Even if you don’t usually wear it. Without it you may look a little faded out in a photo. Time to smile and take the photo.
Step 4: Save it and use it for everything.
Whether a friend takes the shot or you hire a professional photographer—it is up to you. But whatever you do, make sure you have one handy—and update it every couple of years. It can costs you very little to make and will save you from having to scrounge through old Facebook albums and crop an adult beverage out of your hand.
Need more tips when it comes to professional headshots? Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.