The headshot. It’s your calling card. It’s that thing on your profile that allows a potential employer to think, “yes, that looks like someone I want to hire” or “now that’s an a**hat.”
Your headshot says a great deal about you. And there are definitely some routes that you may want to consider here as you get ready to show that shayna pumin to the rest of the world.
And potential employers.
#1: The Vibe
DO: Think about about both your professional and personal sides here. It’s OK if you’re going for a more laid-back vibe or something unique. You’re outdoorsy? Think about doing something outside. Live in New York City? Lovely backdrops there.
DON’T: Go completely overboard. You may enjoy skydiving, but you, careening towards the ground at 100 miles an hour with your mouth flapping in the wind may not be the best thing. Unless, of course, you’re looking to get in to the extreme sports world.
No jackets over the shoulder, either.
And don’t do what I did on this one many years ago.
I was trying to go for “edgy” and I look like a complete idiot.
A COMPLETE idiot, don’t I?
#2: Quality Counts
DO: Consider having something professionally done. I realize that it may cost a bit, but it can be worth it. If you have friends or colleagues who are good photographers, maybe cash in that favor and slide them a bottle of good Chardonnay. Either way, make sure it looks good, make sure it’s high-resolution and easy to size for your LinkedIn and other profiles.
This one was done in the backyard of Advertising Week West in Oregon. The shooter made it really easy and this thing is mighty flexible.
DON’T: Crop other people out of a picture. Do not use that low-res photo that you love so much. If it shows up on Twitter blurry, change it. Please, for the love of all that is sacred.
#3: Be Consistent
DO: Use the same photo across all platforms, if a job is what you’re after. Variations are fine. I have one with me looking at the camera. And one looking away from the camera. But they are the same vibe. Stick with either color or black and white, too.
But, Doug, your Facebook picture is you sitting on some rock, you say.
True. But I don’t use Facebook for work. It’s where I post pictures of my kids for my family and friends.
But, Doug, your AWSC bio looks different, you say.
You’re right. And I’m going to heed my own advice and change it.
DON’T: Have too many variations. You as Jack Sparrow on LinkedIn and Spiderman on Google+ is probably not the right way to go here.
#4: Be Professional
DO: Put your best face forward. Literally. This is your career we’re talking about. Make sure there’s no spinach in your teeth and show them your very best.
DON’T: Use a headshot with you as Jack Sparrow or Spiderman.
#5: Update When Appropriate
DO: Change it up if your look changes. Went from Crystal Gayle long to Natalie Portman short? Probably a good idea to change it up. Going with a beard? Change it up.
DON’T: Do what I did. I shaved that goofy soul patch and did a 180 on my look.
The bad news? I kept that damn thing in circulation way too long. In fact, one day in public with that monstrosity was probably too long.