Can you believe that just a few years ago, HR managers had no clue what prospective employees looked like until they walked into the interview? However, nowadays it is so easy to find out what someone looks like by searching their name and looking at their profiles on social network sites. In fact, statistics show that HR managers search out your LinkedIn account and let’s face it those who have a more professional headshot are more likely to get the job. The bottom-line is, if you don’t have a professional photo of yourself, than now is the time to get one.

Having a professional photo shoot doesn’t have to always mean having straight-faced, suit-and-tie, black and white picture of just your head. Well, it can be that way if that’s what your particular industry likes. However, this photo should allow some of your personality to show through. People should feel like you are pleasant to work with but will also take the job seriously.  Here are a couple more tips to consider:

-Use a current photo – We all have pictures we love because they are flattering or make us look younger. However, do not use a photo from your high school days as your profile picture if you are now in your 40s. You want the employer to think you are professional and responsible enough to handle the job.

-Hire a Professional – Instead of going low budget and using your bathroom mirror to snap a picture, hire a photographer. Forget about using the self-portraits you made with your webcam or phone camera and use a professional-looking photo for your profile picture.

-Smile – This should go without saying but just browse some of the profile pictures in your social network and you will see why I say this. Employers will avoid working with someone who looks unfriendly, boring, are immature in their pictures.

When the time came to get our company photos taken we went directly to the professionals and work with Krista Sparkman Photography. Krista was able to provide us with on location sessions and was able to capture the professional yet creative-fun side of our graphic/web design company. Our photos came out so great that now we shed no hesitation using them as our profile picture and showcasing ourselves on our website.