Your headshot is just a picture, right? Nope! It’s no secret that we are a visually motivated society, but many people don’t realize just how deep visual connections impact our perceptions. As a species we connect with other people initially through their eyes before moving on to assess their overall conduct and evaluating their trustworthiness. A quality headshot shows that you’re taking your career seriously and connotes a professional attitude that people can trust.
Many people assume that social media doesn’t matter because their résumé is strong enough. In their 2014 Recruiter Survey though, Jobvite revealed that 93% of recruits check a candidate’s social media accounts before hiring a candidate. Of those, 55% of recruiters have reconsidered their hiring decision based on their findings with 61% of those decisions being negative! That boils down to almost 1/3rd of potential hirings being overturned based social media content. Of course, this includes people posting content about drugs, alcohol or political opinions, but the tone, strength and the inviting appeal of your headshot surely has an impact as well.
So what makes the different between an average headshot and phenomenal headshot? A top quality photographer will double check the details like the color and fit of clothing, stray hairs and complementary backgrounds before taking the shot. There are also intangible factors that we pay attention to including the height and angle of your head in the frame, the impact of lens focal lengths on different body types and the interplay of light and shadows. Taking a great headshot image is so much more than setting up a light and clicking the shutter!
This doesn’t mean that a headshot session has to be a stressful experience for you, it’s actually quite the opposite; an experience with a true professional photography who has worked diligently to hone their craft will be a smoother and calmer experience than someone that treats your session as “just a headshot.”
You can see more of my headshot work in my Headshots & Environmental gallery.