So, you’re wondering if you need a headshot? It’s very likely that you do. It’s harder to make the case to not get one than it is to get a professional headshot. There are many scientific, traditional, and modern reasons why.
Let’s throw some scientific points at you. Content with visuals get 94 percent more views. And, 40 percent of people respond to visual information better than they do to plain text. And, LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21 times more views and 36 times more messages. And, I could do this all day, but you get the point. So, if it’s obvious that a headshot to accompany any text – your bio, resume, profile, etc. – is very important, then who are some of the people it’s important for?
Actors, Models, Musicians and Other Entertainers
For many entertainment professionals, like actors and models, their headshot literally can be their resume. A headshot is mission-critical in such professions. For other entertainment professionals too, it can be the branded elements that put you in the niche you want to be in.
Entrepreneurs / Business Owners
You might think you’re the boss and you answer to no other person. Thus, why would you need a headshot. Well, because you’re the boss of something that likely has customers and you answer to them. Customers want to know who they’ll be doing business with, often before picking up the phone to call.
Perhaps you don’t deal with customers directly? Well, you likely have business partners, investors and others that have a stake in your business. A pleasing and confident headshot can help invite the right types of partners.
Certain Business Professions
Then there are specific professions where a headshot is the front door to doing business with customers. Real estate agents put headshots on their business cards, property for-sale signs, their website home page, and more. This is because they know that a warm and confident smile in a headshot can literally entice a would-be customer to inquire. The same is true of an attorney’s ad on the side of a bus, an accountant’s billboard, a doctor’s poster, and so on for: consultant, designer, financial advisor, marketing manager, pharmacist, recruiter, psychologist, sales manager, veterinarian, etc.
A good headshot on LinkedIn or other online career profile sites is important for reasons already stated above. But a good headshot also demonstrates self-confidence compared to other profiles that didn’t bother with a professional photo. This is important because studies show most people lack self-confidence and that most hiring managers desire self-confidence in a candidate. Your headshot could literally be the statement needed to contact you for that interview.
Nowadays it’s almost expected that the management team of a company have headshots on the company website. Again, it’s important to make them good because it’s often the first impression you’ll make on a potential customer or partner. But even mid-level managers should have headshots. Here’s an example, maybe you’re the lead developer or engineer on a team of 10. Your PR team has landed an opportunity to contribute an article to a magazine. Being to busy yourself but not wanting to pass on the opportunity to promote the company, you assign the article writing to a mid-level developer or engineer on the team. The article is done by the magazine’s deadline, but the editor has now asked you to send a print-quality headshot of the author, the mid-level manager that wrote it.
There are also certain application processes where a good quality headshot is required. We’ve touched on ones for actors or models to use to accompany their resumes. There is also the medical residency application photo for ERAS® residency applicants. It has specific requirements to meet.
So, there you have it. It’s much easier to make a list for all the people that can benefit from headshots than it is to make a list as to why it’s not beneficial. When you finally get around to getting your headshots done, make sure they look good.