5 Tips for Taking the Perfect Headshot for a Resume Photo

photographerThink a resume photo isn’t important? Think again. LinkedIn profiles with photos receive 21 times more views than those without.

Today’s ultra-competitive job market requires you to do everything you can to get a leg up on the competition. Creating a great resume or LinkedIn profile is only half the battle.

Adding a high-quality resume photo sets you apart from other job applicants and gives employers a more complete idea of who you are as a candidate.

Follow these five tips to create the perfect headshot for your resume!

You Can DIY Your Resume Photo

Unless you’re in the market for an acting or modeling gig, you probably don’t need to shell out a ton of money for a professional photographer.

All you need for your resume photo is a good camera and a friend or a selfie stick. You don’t need an expensive camera, but at a minimum, you should have a cell phone with a high-quality lens. If your cell phone is a little dated, ask a friend with a newer model to take the picture for you.

Avoid Distracting Backgrounds

Taking a photo at that beautiful spot on the beach is great for photo albums, but not the best for your resume photo. You want your potential employers to focus on you, not what’s going on in the background.

Your background should be a solid, neutral color. Examples of neutral colors include light gray, beige, and eggshell. Neutral colors work well with a variety of skin tones, hair colors, and clothing, and they don’t distract the viewer.

You don’t have to purchase a professional background. If your walls are not a solid neutral color, try hanging a flat bed sheet or a large sheet of paper for your background.

Dress for the Job You’re Seeking

You want your resume photo to tell potential employers that you will fit in with their company culture.

If you’re looking for a job in a conservative profession, make sure to wear business professional clothing in your photo. Job seekers in creative and more modern professions have more leeway because companies tend to have more relaxed dress codes. Try checking resume photos of current employees on LinkedIn for reference, and, when in doubt, go with the more conservative dress.

Keep Your Hair and Makeup Simple

Make sure your hair and facial hair are well-groomed and clean for your resume photo.

Go with a classic, natural makeup look that won’t distract the viewer. Once you are hired you can show a bit more personality with your makeup looks.

Say Cheese

Placing your resume photo on LinkedIn means it can be seen by all of the website’s 300 million users. You want to make sure to put your best face forward.

A genuine smile in your resume photo makes you appear more trustworthy and can help you land an interview. If you are having trouble photographing yourself with a genuine smile, try having a friend tell you jokes or watching a funny tv show so it’s not forced.

Teeth or no teeth? If you usually smile with your teeth but are concerned about their appearance, meet with your dentist to resolve any insecurities. For those of you in the Charleston, South Carolina area, find the Smileworks Mt. Pleasant Dentist to help make sure your smile is in tip-top shape for your resume photo.

Get Ready for Offers!

Now that you have a killer resume photo, get ready for employer interest to start ramping up.

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