If you think for a minute that your prospective employers aren't Googling you or checking out your Facebook account, you are sorely mistaken. Additionally, when someone asks you to submit a photo for an interview, for some kind of profile, a training or anything else, you don't want to send a picture of yourself drinking, or looking like a goofball (even if you are one).
If you haven't got the cashflow to make that happen, here are a couple hints on how to get a decent looking headshot that won't become the inside joke of a hiring department.
- Put on a nice outfit. Nothing too revealing or over-the-top. (Make sure it's ironed. And yes, it needs ironing.)
- Do something nice with your hair. (If you're lucky enough to still have it, jerks). Don't wear a hat.
- Location, Location, Location. Find an outside spot that's bright but not too sunny. The lighting outside will always look better than your building's flourescent lights.
- Red-eye is NOT in. Disable the flash on your camera.
- Positioning/lighting. Make sure you're not facing the sun and squinting your eyes--we want to see what you look like. Also, if the sun is directly behind you, your face will be hard to see.
- Do I need to say this? (Yes). Please leave your graphic tees, your hats, your can of PBR, your bullhorn and your cat at home. These are all things that do not need to appear in your headshot.
- Crowdsource. Take a bunch of shots so you have some to choose from, put them on Facebook and ask your friends and family to vote for their favorite. Use the most popular.
Now you've got a photo that you can use for all sorts of things (like website bios or other profiles) without embarrassing yourself.
Seen an epic profile photo #FAIL? Share your horror stories in the comments!
Jamie McGonnigal is Community Engagement Manager at NOI