Whether a picture is worth 100 words, 1,000 words, or 10,000 words – you can’t overestimate the importance of an effective image. From an online dating website to a commercial about a fast food restaurant, a single image can result in an action by the intended audience.
Due to the growth of social media, our online appearance can be just as important, or even more important than our in-person image due to how many people view online profiles including decision makers. While a grainy profile picture might not look as bad to a potential employer as an image of you taking body shots off of a friend at a St. Patrick’s Day party, your profile picture should reflect your attention to detail and professionalism.
Why should everyone have a professional headshot?
It could be the difference between $40,000/yr. and the next level which maybe $120,000/yr. I have seen it with my clients, no joke. I think everyone should know to do this, and how important it is over the long run. People who are in executive positions have been strategically doing this for years, it is not sexy, but it is functional. If you could advance your career and give yourself a competitive edge, just by doing something this simple why wouldn’t you, it pays off.
What is wrong with having casual photographs as your picture for social networking profiles?
Nothing is wrong with a casual photo. I’ve photographed business owners at their location on a casual level countless times. The thing is, professionals know professional work when they see it. If you have an amateur photo you’ll be standing out from candidates who’ve done it the right way, with the proper professional equipment and lighting.
The people hiring are highly intelligent people. As much as I’d like to say go ahead and take a picture with your cell phone, you’re not fooling anyone, it comes across as exactly as what it is AMATEUR.
What tips would you give young professionals about their headshots and social networking profile pictures?
Recruiter often they don’t even look at a person as a candidate unless they have a professional image on LinkedIn. If you don’t have them yet, set them up ASAP and be consistent by using the same photo for all your social networking websites. Also, aside from what people may assume attractiveness, of a person actually makes no difference, what recruiters are wanting is to see the confidence the person conveys in their photo.
So get out there and find somebody to take your professional photograph! Invest in a nice outfit, something you would wear to an interview, and be confident that you are worth every penny of it!