Your Headshot is Too Important to Just be a Really Good Selfie

Hayley Waldo of Clover Partners will be shooting complimentary headshots in OKC as part of’s August meeting | Photo by Brandi Koskie/Clover Partners

You only ever get one shot at making a first impression. In this increasingly digital world, that happens more and more before you actually meet in person. The profile photo you post on LinkedIn and other social media channels is, in some cases, the only chance business associates ever get to actually see you. While we can all agree that the sum of who we are as people and professionals is so much more than a headshot, that one photo really bears a lot of responsibility.

In that one 200x200 pixel photograph, you’ve got to show people likability, trustworthiness, and competence. You could leave that to a grainy snapshot, or you could put your best face forward and have professional headshots taken.

Showcase Your Personality

First and foremost, your headshot offers a glimpse into who you are as a person — it draws people in. It’s often the first thing people see, before they even meet you. So you want it to look as sharp as possible, and tell a little bit about who you are. No two headshots should look the same and they certainly don’t need to be stiff and boring!

Gain Their Trust

In just a tenth of a second, people decide how trustworthy you are, according to research out of Princeton. A headshot can help gain that trust before you even have a handshake, as people are more likely to trust a face they know or are familiar with. Potential clients, Instagram followers, website visitors, and even your friends want to see the real you. With a professional headshot, you can make that first impression earlier.

You’re a Professional

Prove it! No one will take you seriously if your headshot is a crop of a cell phone selfie with a crooked horizon in the background. Take the time and make the investment to have professional photos taken. People will take your work and your expertise more seriously, whether you’re an artist, realtor, chef, or marketing pro.

These don’t have to look like staged high school yearbook photos. Depending on your career, the type of clients you work with, and your own personality and style, headshots can be as buttoned up or casual as you like!

It goes without saying, but wear clothes that you feel comfortable in that look nice, pressed, and polished. If you never wear a suit, this isn’t the time to break one out. If you don’t usually wear a lot of jewelry, then don’t do it for the photo. Heck, sometimes we even suggest people grab a quick drink before the shoot to help loosen them up and feel more natural in front of the camera.

A savvy photographer will be able to help direct that style and image for you, and capture who you are in that one photograph.

Got a new headshot? Now we’ll show you how to get a killer bio to go with it.

Thoughts by Hayley Waldo, junior art director and photographer for Clover Partners.