A couple of days ago I started working on a project. My thoughts were, headshots are just one part of your working career. There are two other parts that are just as important. The first one is a really good resume. That's a given. The second part is sort of new. It's the digital footprint that each of us has. Each of those parts has components that make the whole and failing on any of those smaller parts spoils the whole batch.
I put all three of these components, the headshot, the resume and your digital footprint all on the same level of importance. They all need to vibrate at the same frequency. If one is off, the other two can't really make up for it. So that got me to thinking
I produce some of the best headshots in Toronto, so that part is taken care of. What I'm not good at is writing resumes. That's a skill unto itself which not only takes someone with a love of writing but also years of experience in writing for a specific niche, resumes. So I started the long process of finding the best resume writer and LinkedIn profile creator in Toronto.
I started off very much like how many of you found me, a Google search. I put together a list of resume writers that I wanted to get in touch with and started calling around and this is where it got interesting.
The first place I called specialized solely in resumes and appeared legit. They had great messaging on their site and it piqued my interest. As luck would have it, I managed to speak to the business owner directly on my first call. I proposed my idea on how we could work together for each other's mutual benefit, but what he said back to me shocked me.
"We don't believe in headshots, in fact, we tell our clients to not post any pictures at all".
That floored me. These guys were clearly out of touch with the realities of today. While I can understand their stance in that employers can't hold anything against an applicant such as race or gender or religion. The truth of the matter is hiring managers and placement agents routinely review applicants social and professional profiles online. If you think that the places you've applied to lately haven't checked your Instagram, guess again. And as it happens, all of those profiles have pictures on them, it's unavoidable. In the case of Instagram, that's all it is, pictures of you and your lifestyle. If it's unavoidable, why have a mediocre headshot or even worse, why have no picture up there at all?
"If you think that the places you've applied to lately haven't checked your Instagram, guess again."
On LinkedIn for instance, profiles with a headshot have 40% more views than profiles without a headshot. There's a general consensus among the people I have spoken with that a LinkedIn profile without a headshot leaves them with doubts about a persons professionalism and reliability. As well, a profile with a bad headshot has swayed the reviewer to put the applicant in the reject pile.
So keep your eyes open and pretty soon I'll be announcing the co-operative project where you can get an awesome headshot, a kick-ass resume written and a LinkedIn profile worthy of a fortune 500 CEO.
PS. If you're shopping around for a resume writer right now, make sure you ask them where they stand on headshots and LinkedIn profile pics. If they're against them like the guys I spoke with, they're out of touch with what the market wants in a resume so keep searching.