The increasingly digital environment in which we now experience our lives has taught us just how important an image can be. We’ve never been more aware, in the wake of covid, of the importance of the space from our chests up and between our shoulders. That’s right, our headshot.
You may be bristling at that idea. Aren’t we taught not to judge a book by its cover? Sure. Don’t we live more each day in a world of difference where we are encouraged not to make decisions based on appearance? Absolutely. Do we still do it? The answer seems to be yes. A study conducted by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov measured just how quickly we form first impressions and how they correlated with lasting impressions. The stunning result: we pass judgment on those we see within 1/10 of a second and those impressions don’t seem to change much over time.
It’s thus never been more important to have a professional headshot to cast you in your best possible light. A good headshot can be used on social media sites, on hiring and networking platforms like LinkedIn, on business cards, on business websites, on marketing materials, and even on your CV/resume. If you’re not convinced yet, here are some reasons you should consider having a professional headshot done’
Credibility: In a digital environment, your headshot is your first impression. It conveys a sense of your trustworthiness, professionalism, and personality. It’s the quality of that photo that may help you make first contact with prospective employers, clients, and social acquaintances.
Branding: A headshot says a lot about your business persona. The right photo conveys your approach to your work and helps you connect to like minds seeking to engage in business.
Confidence: A professional , well-done headshot not only boosts your confidence, but it speaks to those who view it that you take your career seriously, that you’ve invested in the work you do.
Visual reminder: A headshot can be a prompt to that person you had a conversation with at a conference or on an elevator of who you are. In those crucial moments of mulling over resumes, that visual reminder may be the difference between the yes stack and trash bin.
Updating: Whether you’ve just changed physically or are rebranding for a new career, a new headshot tells the story of who you are now.
Convinced? Good. But before you start trying to take that selfie or asking a friend to bring their camera over, it's worth considering hiring a professional. Professionals can help you pick the wardrobe that conveys the personality you want to project, can help with hair and makeup, will be able to set a scene that tells the story you want to tell, and have an experienced eye that will find the shot that presents you at your best.
Written by Ivan Young in partnership with Chittons conscious athleisure and activewear.