Believe it or not, studies have shown that people will judge you based on the simple shape of your face. If you’re trying to get them to remember you in a corporate environment, match your corporate headshot with your resume to fend off judgment. However, if your headshot looks outdated, with all kinds of soft focus or a boring background, you could be suffering judgment before you even get the chance to interview. 97% of recruiters and hiring managers review your linkedin profile and spend time looking at the photo you uploaded to your profile
Here are four ways to keep your headshot from holding you back.
What Does Your Profile Photo Say About You?
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1. Update Your Look
If you take a strong look at your headshot and realize it’s a little bit of a throwback, it’s time to scrutinize the way you dressed up for it. Even if you’re under 30, it’s still possible for you to have a look that seems really dated.
That could be because of what you expect someone to want to see from you in a corporate headshot. However, in a world where the biggest billionaire CEOs on the planet are famous for wearing hoodies and turtlenecks, you could relax your look a little bit.
While you still want to show up in professional or semi-professional garb, your posture could be a descendant of midtown Manhattan boardrooms of the 1980s. Your posture, positioning, where the camera is angled, and even how the focus on the camera is set could be affecting your look.
Take a second look at your hair, your makeup, and glasses if you wear any. If you haven’t made an update to your hair in a few years, you may want to have it styled in a more modern look for your next headshot. Your makeup could be overdone or set up for the wrong kind of look.
If you’re still wearing small frames or old wireframed glasses, they might not be the style that you’re looking for.
2. Show Up Looking Like You Really Do
One of the things you find in more modern headshots is a lack of pretense and pomp familiar to earlier headshots. In another era, it was common for corporate headshots to have an intimidating or even an aggressive style. The implications that come through in a headshot are subtle but powerful.
However, these days, you want your headshot to accurately represent how you look on an average day.
When you send a headshot, you can’t have it look old or dated because you’ll be showing up expecting to look like your photo. Going for an interview and not looking like your headshot is tantamount to showing up for an online date where you don’t match your profile. While there will be some conversation about what you’re there for, a distracting buzz that can keep your interviewer from focusing.
Even if you look similar, if your hair looks vastly different, they’ll expect that you would have updated your headshot. Take every potential hurdle out of your way so that your interviewer can focus on your qualifications.
3. Update it Every Few Years
Whether or not you’re staying in your current job, you should update your headshot every two or three years. Whenever you change jobs, you should change your headshot to something that fits what you’re doing now. Keeping an old headshot is like holding onto an expired credit card… it’s just not going to work
Every single job in every single industry is up for change in the current economic climate. Not a single position is steady or as dependable as it once was in previous eras. Companies merge and let go long-time employees, leaving your career up in the air if you don’t have a backup plan and aren’t close to retirement.
That means that you could have to quickly cobble together your resume and headshot to start looking for new work. If you have an updated LinkedIn profile, you could hop right back into the market quickly. In order to have a competitive profile, you’re going to need a headshot that is up to date and looks modern.
4. Make a Strong First Impression
With the amount of hiring that’s done on social media sites and online job directories, you have to make a strong visual impression quickly. You only get one chance to stick out from the other candidates that your potential new boss or HR rep is going to be looking at. The best way to stand out is to have a strong photo that makes a great first impression of confidence, intelligence and approach-ability at first glance.
Be fun and positive, no matter what industry you’re in or what job you’re going for. Your photo needs to show potential employers that you’re going to be someone who is fun to work with and can contribute to the work environment. Every workplace has the potential to be stressful and having someone who is positive on board can turn the tide.
Since you only get one chance to make a first impression, there’s a lot of pressure on your headshot to do the work of sharing who you are. If your headshot looks outdated, potential employers could draw wild conclusions from your willingness to learn new things to your ability to handle technology. Who knows what an employer could be looking for?
Just make sure you’re happy with how you look and that you present something authentic with your headshot.
A Corporate Headshot is a Valuable Tool
In the world of corporate business, a professional headshot has its own kind of powerful but nebulous currency. It’s hard to place the exact power that a corporate headshot has, but nevertheless, it’s a meaningful tool. Update your headshot so that you can avoid being perceived in any way other the way you want to be seen.
To avoid making common mistakes in your LinkedIn profile, follow our guide.