A headshot serves multiple purposes. It often provides a person’s first impression of you and represents who you are, where you are, and your energy. A professional headshot should work for you and help you to advance your career and goals. Potential clients or employers may see your headshot before they see your resume, so it should enhance your credibility and professionalism. A headshot can be helpful for attracting your ideal clients.
Who Needs Headshots?
This is a digital age; everyone needs a headshot. Of course, you have a great selfie you took with your phone while on vacation or at your best friend’s wedding. That may work for personal accounts, but if you want to appear professional, you’ll need a professional headshot. Anyone with a digital presence or who does business online needs a great headshot. Having an attractive, professional-looking headshot communicates your commitment to professionalism on your company website, LinkedIn, Zoom, Facebook, and marketing materials. Simply put, you need one for your online image. Obtaining a headshot is the first big step in obtaining your career goals, no matter what your industry.
Can You Use Old Headshots?
A headshot should show you accurately and like you look presently. If you love your headshot, but are sporting an old hairstyle or wearing clothing that has long gone out of style, you are not going to attract your ideal clients. Headshots should be up-to-date with who you are and how you look currently. If not, you may be perceived as being dishonest.
A new headshot gives viewers a fresh view. It communicates your intentions to stay current and up-to-date on important matters. This is especially important when seeking new employment or expanding your career opportunities. An older image does not portray an image of success. Headshots should represent you, your brand, and your message.
How to Know It’s Time for a New Headshot
Maybe you have a great headshot, and you love it. How do you know if you need to update it with a new look? Image experts usually recommend updating headshots every 1-2 years. But this can be different for each person and situation. You may need to update headshots more or less frequently.
The business world moves quickly; your profile and headshot need to evolve with it. Some signs it’s time for a new headshot include:
You’ve Made Changes to Your Hair.
Coloring your hair can change your looks dramatically. If you have changed hair color or changed the way you wear your hair, a new headshot will show your updated look. Outdated hairstyles are indications that your headshot is not current.
You’ve Gotten Older.
If it’s been over two years since your last professional headshot, your appearance may have changed as you aged. Staying current means updating your headshot every year or two.
Your Looks Have Changed Noticeably.
Your looks can change significantly if you lose or gain weight, or if you have plastic surgery. Any time you make a significant change to your appearance, it’s time to update headshots.
You Don’t Have a Professional Headshot.
If your profile picture is blurry, out of date, or taken on a cell phone, it’s time for a professional update. Using anything but a professional headshot on business-related websites, content, or resumes can be disastrous. If you’ve never had a headshot done by a professional photographer, there’s no better time to get one done.
Can I Take My Own Headshot?
The question is not so much if you can take your own headshot or not, but rather, is it worth it? Sure, it’s easy to grab your phone and take a quick selfie. But it’s not likely to have the desired effect. In fact, it may make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. Having a professional headshot rather than a smartphone selfie can make the difference in whether you get that dream job or not.
Professional headshots make a great first impression. A low-quality image won’t give the right kind of impression. Research has demonstrated that people form an impression of a stranger just from their face in just one-tenth of a second! A professionally done headshot shows you are serious about your image, brand, and career. It communicates that you care about quality and purposefully stay updated in this modern age.
Hiring a professional headshot photographer means you work with someone who is well-versed in their field. They have the right equipment, knowledge, and expertise to provide you with a professional and quality image. Photographers know how to adjust the lighting to give you the best look, and can offer suggestions on important effects like your wardrobe or accessories. Since they thrive on creativity, they can help you put your best foot forward and showcase your personality.
Getting a professional headshot can be the career boost you need. It can help you make a great first impression in the digital world, show your professional attitude, and your willingness to stay modern in an ever-changing world.
About the author: Kyle Bondeson has been a professional photographer since 2009. He specializes in doing headshots and portraits in the Chicago area. Kyle successfully uses the tips listed above to get high-quality results.