Headshots — once limited to actors and corporate executives — are playing a bigger role as social media alters the world of hiring and recruiting. Don’t let a bad image (or even no image at all) ruin your personal brand.
If you apply for even a handful of jobs, you’re likely to get a few recruiters scouring your social media. They’ll be looking for the obvious red flags — questionable photos, foul language, drug use, etc. But they’ll also be looking to get a better picture of you. By that I don’t mean they’re just looking for a good headshot of you (I’ll get to that in a minute), but a better idea of who you are as a person.
Use It to Your Advantage
So if you know that someone is looking at your social media, why to use it to your advantage? A professional headshot as a profile picture for your social media account can say a lot. It can help portray a professional attitude about your career and shows that you’re willing to take extra steps to polish the fine details.
A professional headshot doesn’t have to be stuffy, though. I suggest letting your work-appropriate individual personality come through as well as overarching themes of the jobs you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for environmental jobs perhaps you’d want to take your headshot at a state park. Or, if you’re looking for a trendy tech job, maybe downtown is the place to be.
The bottom line is if we know recruiters are looking at social media, we’re better off if we use it as a tool to our advantage.