The key to having a professional headshot is to understand your industry or your target industry, the company and the position. For instance, if you are an IT engineer who targets to work for a reputable financial institution, then you will need to project a different image from an IT professional looking to work for a tech startup. Also, senior level position will most likely require you to dress sharply, project an image that you are confident and capable. These factors matter a lot when you want to get that dream job.
No employer will take you seriously if you are still stuck with blurry, unprofessional or downright unflattering photos. Even if your resume or LinkedIn profile talk much about your accomplishment, your LinkedIn profile photo still has to match the good CV. Today, an increasing number of employers are doing their recruitment entirely online. Even if they do face-to-face interviews, they will still screen your LinkedIn profile before inviting you for an interview.
In short, the headset you use should be guided by the audience you seek to communicate to. With that said, you shouldn’t go too far with professionalism. Sometimes, you also need to bring in your personality into the headshot. Your headshot can hint at what motivates or interest you. We would say, it is safe and advisable to have about three different styles of headshots: one business-casual, one corporate, and one personality-driven.
Take as many shots as you can to ensure you get the best headshot. You should be completely satisfied with what you have. If you have a new look or want to change career direction, you can consider refreshing your headshot to reflect the new person.
When you realize that your headshot is an important career tool, you will get the best return on investment by just optimizing your headshot for that dream job. You stand a best chance to get the dream job faster when you use a professional headshot than when you have none. The reward and the extra pay-check you get from your first few months in your dream job is worth way more than the cost of your headshot.
Irrespective of how far you can go to get that professional headshot, you should at the very least have a headshot. It is better to have a blurry or outdated headshot than to use a picture of an inanimate object or skip it altogether. No recruiter will want to engage someone who hides his or her identity. Fortunately, getting a professional headshot today is not a huge hassle, and in most cases, it is relatively inexpensive.
If you are not sure yet about getting a headshot, check this other article that will make you change your mind and give you some tips when doing your professional headshot.