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The Impact of a Professional Headshot on Your Job Search Success

We all know the usual advice regarding job searching: polish your resume, network, and go on informational interviews. However, one aspect often goes overlooked – the power of your headshot. Believe it or not, your headshot can build trust and establish a genuine connection with hiring managers. A well-crafted headshot can make it feel like they are meeting you face-to-face rather than just seeing a selfie or a traditional, uninspiring headshot. So, remember to put some thought into your headshot and let it speak volumes about your professionalism and personality.

The number of photographers specializing in high-quality headshots is increasing. People are beginning to realize the vital PR asset a modern headshot can be. There are better options than professionally but poorly lit pictures of us saying “cheese!” Modern headshots are still a secret weapon, but the day is coming when a high-quality headshot will be the status quo.

A modern headshot is a work of art and a valuable branding asset. It’s a combination of hard and soft skills. It includes the hard skills of setting up lights, operating the camera, etc. Still, it also includes the soft skills of working with a range of people, coaching them to convey the right message with their facial expressions, and knowing how to deal with each person’s fears and insecurities about being photographed, often when only having known them for a few minutes.

But finding someone who can do this for you would be best. Why?


Profile pictures increase or decrease trust, and they build a connection or fail to do so – or, even worse, create a negative perception of the person. In a professional context, your profile picture or headshot increases your perceived value to the company, or it does not. It might even hurt your chances of getting a job.

Employers will get a sense of whether you’re going to be serious about your job or if you’re going to be in trouble. While they could be wrong, you should help them to think well of you and be right. Companies will be trading tens of thousands of dollars a year for you. Make them think it’s worthwhile.

While the perception they form about your value to them should not be about how attractive you are, it’s fair if they form a judgment about you based on how you present yourself, which is why you should consider investing in a professional headshot.


Investing in your online brand is essential, but what is an excellent professional headshot? Here are some characteristics of a great headshot or social media profile picture.

First, the picture must be composed so that your face is visible, even when the profile picture is being viewed on mobile. If people can’t see your face clearly or it is too small to connect with, you are missing out on something more like meeting them than a picture of you in your last Halloween costume. We are humans, and we connect with other people’s faces. Take advantage of the opportunity to be liked by an employer.

Second, the picture should show you looking confident and approachable. As a facial expression coach, this is where many of our pictures fail us. If we take a selfie, we are preoccupied with taking a picture. We cannot truly be engaged with someone, and making an authentic-looking face that brands us in the best way is challenging. Being told to smile or “say cheese” produces cheesy smiles. You know it; the photographer and people who see the picture know it. Everyone knows it.

Third, especially headshots for your LinkedIn profile or one used in a professional setting, we must look like we care about our image with a professional headshot by wearing appropriate clothes. The lighting must be great, and the image quality should be high. It should look like a professional took the picture.

Fourthly, the camera angle should be positioned slightly below eye level. While some photographers raise the camera to enhance jawlines, this approach can unintentionally diminish our presence. The perspective of “looking do on someone” is best avoided. A skilled headshot photographer can expertly define your jawline and create an image that conveys a sense of meeting you in person, leaving viewers with the subconscious impression that you bring significant value to the table.

Take these valuable insights to heart and begin harnessing the potential of your social media profiles. Elevate your image with a captivating headshot that will impress and open interview doors. Refine your digital brand with a professional touch, bringing you closer to your dream job. At Zen Studios LA, we excel in headshot photography and can provide expert guidance on perfecting your facial expression during the session. Don’t hesitate – book your session now and step into a brighter future!

Mich Angela Pinili

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