4 Reasons Every Professional Needs a Great Business Headshot

by | Sep 30, 2020

There’s a reason Apple, Airbnb, Amazon, and hundreds of the world’s most successful companies invest so much time and effort into their product photography. 

While this fact is hardly a secret, humans are visual creatures — we make quick decisions based on what we can see. (Including what we buy, who we listen to, and who we hire.)

So, it’s no surprise that high-end professional headshots have become a major trend among business professionals who are looking to get a new job, improve their sales numbers, and otherwise build trust with the outside world. In a highly competitive business world, photography and videography can help business professionals stand out from their competitors.

In case you’re on the fence, here are the five most important reasons why every professional needs a great business headshot.

Reason 1: In general, people judge others based on first impressions.

According to the latest research, first impressions are created in just 1/10th of a second, and these days, they’re usually generated online when people first visit your company’s website, read your application, see your business card, or check your LinkedIn profile.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made these “digital first impressions” even more important in the world of business. Try to make a sale, get a job, land an investor, or meet a client without them first checking you out online.

You can’t. It’s impossible.

Reason 2: Even if you’re not currently looking for a job, you might be missing out on career advancement opportunities or other benefits.

According to a survey done by The Muse, 95 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to both source and screen job candidates for open positions. It’s impossible to know for sure, but if your LinkedIn profile is incomplete or unprofessional, you may have already been passed over for a great job.

Assuming that you don’t want a new/better job (in that case, getting a headshot would be an obvious decision), outside job offers can be a powerful tool for negotiating salary, getting respect from your boss, or just generally feeling more confident about your job security. 

If you work in sales or any customer-facing role, your headshot will be critical for quickly establishing trust with new clients.

Some of our clients even say they want a great headshot because it will help them find a romantic partner in their professional circle! 

Reason 3: A professional headshot can make a big difference in how people perceive you online.

In 2019, we sponsored an independently run four-month study. In it, we asked 240 randomly selected photo reviewers to rate three sets of headshots. They were instructed to rate their first impression of the person in each photo. (Each set contained a casual photo and a professional headshot.)

The photo reviewers were asked to separately rate each person/headshot on a scale from 1-to-10 based on their immediate perception of that person’s: 

1) Competence: How successful or effective the person appeared

2) Likeability: How pleasant or likeable the person appeared

3) Influence: How influential that person appeared

The photo reviewers only had access to the participant’s headshot and job title — exactly the information recruiters see at first glance on your LinkedIn profile.

On average, a new professional headshot led reviewers to think that the person in the photo was:

  • 75.9% more competent at their job
  • 9.7% more relatable/likeable
  • 62% more influential in their field

Here are screenshots of the survey results:

Subject 1: Old Headshot (left) and New Headshot (right)

Subject 2: Old Headshot (left) and New Headshot (right)

Subject 3: Old Headshot (left) and New Headshot (right)

As you can see, a professional headshot made a massive impact. (Note: all photo reviewers were independently hired by photofeeler.com and had no relationship with HeadShots Inc. They didn’t even know that they were part of a study.)

Remember, though — your headshot isn’t just for your LinkedIn profile. 

Your headshot will also be used for your email profile, PowerPoint presentations, Zoom/Slack/Microsoft Teams profiles, and any other internal platforms. 

If you want to be taken seriously by your internal stakeholders, a decent headshot will be necessary for that too. 

Reason 4: Done right, it can actually be fun!

Most people treat getting a new headshot like going to the dentist.

But, attending your session doesn’t need to be a painful experience. 

For instance, at HeadShots Inc, we tend to joke around during our studio sessions, listen to some upbeat electronic music, and generally have a good time.

If you’re looking for a casual setting, we also offer outdoor sessions at seven beautiful pre-screened locations across San Francisco.

If you’re in a rush or on a budget, Express Studio Sessions ($195) are perfect for busy professionals who want to get in and out in fifteen minutes.

Either way, if you pick the right headshot photographers, they will help you enjoy your session.

That’s a wrap! In the digital age, a professional headshot, updated in the last two years, is an absolute must-have. I hope this guide provided you with some reasons to finally make the leap and book your headshot session.

If you have any questions about the process, or want to schedule your headshot session, check out our Individual Sessions page.

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