Lesson 4: Picture-Perfect

I hope you enjoyed your weekend! Now it’s time to start putting yourself out there, bit by bit. Today, it’s time to talk photos.

A professional-looking headshot for your online networking profiles is a must. This might seem superficial to you, but hear me out.

Our research has shown that people are far more likely to write back when your BrightCrowd profile has a clear, smiling photo. People have to make a lot of snap judgements about one another online, so I recommend you play it safe. Don’t risk rejection over a blurry or unprofessional photo.

Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a professional headshot provided by an employer — if so, make sure it appears everywhere you do online. If not, read on!

Characteristics of a Quality Headshot

You don’t have to hire professional help to get a decent photo that will set you apart online.

A great headshot:

  • Has good lighting that’s bright but without too many shadows.
  • Has a neutral background that doesn’t distract.
  • Is cropped so that your face is the focus. Here are some examples of how to crop a professional headshot.
  • Is high-resolution and not blurry.
  • Features you at your best — dressed to impress, smiling, and pulled together.

If you don’t have a photo like this yet, have a friend (with a nice camera or phone) take a bunch of shots. Be sure to try different poses and smiles. Just take a ton of photos, don’t be afraid to experiment. You can pick the right one later.

Ready to Invest in Photography?

A professional photographer is trained to help you look your best, overcome your nervousness, and (of course) capture a winning shot. They can coach you toward poses that are the most flattering, and they have equipment that’ll make your photo pop.

Professional photographers will also include retouching for your final shots. So whether you have skin problems or just some hair out of place, you don’t need to worry about it in your shoot.

Professional headshots will usually cost between $150-$300 — it’s an investment worth making when you’re ready. But don’t sweat it if it’s out of budget right now.

Today’s Assignment

  1. Ask a friend for help, or book an appointment for headshots if you don’t have them already.
  2. Download this checklist to make sure you’re looking good on the day of your shoot!

Extra Credit: Make sure your finished photo is everywhere employers might look for you online.


Up Next: We’ll review your professional social network profiles, so that you’re approachable to anybody you want to connect with online.