Your headshot, your resume, and your digital footprint. I put all three of these components on the same level of importance. They all need to support the same overall image you wish to present. If one is off, the other two can't really make up for it. Here's my breakdown on each part of that trifecta and what you can do to help tilt the odds in your favor.
With a successful headshot, it has to have the right expression. I see other headshot photographers work and they just seem to be lacking in the expression part. Technically they're great. Lighting is on point, everything is in focus. They're just lacking an expression that draws people into the shot. To me, and to others that study these things, the biggest projector of expression is the eyes. The way to tell if someone is really truly smiling at something and not just answering the call to "say cheese" is in the eyes.
Here's an example. Lindsay's smiling with her mouth but her eyes are telling a totally different story. It's something we consciously notice when it's pointed out to us, subconsciously we catch on to this incongruency in seconds.
While it's a nice shot technically. The light is on point, it's sharp and in focus, the expression is wrong and it ruins the shot. What is her expression saying to you? Would you say the expression has a positive or negative vibe? Did it take you more than a few seconds to find the words to describe her expression or did it come right to you immediately? We're going for immediate when we're looking for a killer headshot. Anything longer is just not going to work.
Here's Lindsay again. She's smiling again but this time her eyes are in on the game. There's a different story now don't you think? Same questions as before. What is her expression saying to you now? Would you say the expression has a positive or negative vibe? Did you think it was a little hard to find the word to describe her expression or did it come right to you immediately?
The resume, the second part of this three-parter. Your resume is you in print. But it's not a novel. Resumes should be concise and to the point. Placement agencies, hiring managers and others that will review your resume don't have a whole lot of time to read a three-page resume and they won't even if you send them one. Get it all on one page keeping the most relevant parts of your history pertinent to the job you are applying to.