When I was planning to migrate to Australia a few years ago, I had to hunt a job in my relevant field without a local experience. While planning a job hunt strategy, I found out that employers, head-hunters and recruitment agencies in Australia use LinkedIn and other recruitment websites heavily and most of the jobs get filled with professional references. Therefore, I re-activated my LinkedIn account, completed the profile, accomplishments and asked my ex-colleagues and managers for the recommendations.
I also started connecting with the recruitment agents, resume writers, human resource folks. In this course, I met some amazing people that were super helpful like Andrea Wilkinson who helped me build my resume and LinkedIn profile in Aussie format.
While building my online presence I observed that the first impression is your picture – people will look you up online before meeting or contacting you. They spend a significant time looking at your profile picture. Though I was into photography I didn’t know what are these display or profile pictures called professionally. Upon research, I learned about professional or corporate headshots:
“A Headshot is a specific type of portrait that realistically demonstrates a person’s appearance for branding or casting. Headshots can be produced digitally or print out and used for engaging in social media, the ‘about me’ and biography web pages/blogs, LinkedIn, resume/cv and showbiz industry.”
I dug out the best headshot photographer in the town, Frederik Bisbjerg. He was expensive but upon looking at his work; I knew that this is what I need and my online profiles can’t be complete without the quality headshot portrait. Once I received my first ever headshot photos, trust me, the money that I spent is definitely an investment.
In the meanwhile, I had already been applying for the jobs without a professional headshot using the following pictures for my LinkedIn and other professional profiles on recruitment or career websites:
I was not getting much responses from anywhere but as soon as changed my display picture with the professional headshot, Boom! Surprisingly, profile views were bumped up and I started getting the responses from the recruitment agents and employers even I was not in Australia yet. This is the example of using headshots for job hunting purposes only; just imagine the other potentials.
That was the time when I decided to learn headshot photography as well. I went under Frederik’s mentorship. He introduced me to Peter Hurley who was his mentor. Peter Hurley is an authority in headshot and business portraits.
After arriving Australia, I kept learning and shooting headshot and business portraits. By the way, I did secure the permanent job in my relevant filed in the first month without an Aussie experience.
Now, I am pursuing a professional headshot photography as a side-hustle. Please visit https://www.najamimages.com.au for more information.
Remember, we are a brand whether we are an individual, employee or business owner. Our image on our social media or company website is often the first point of contact where first impression matters. My very dear friend and fellow headshot photographer, Bruno Kongawoin says, “In the Age Of Information, your headshot is your first digital handshake and it’d better be saying the right thing about you.”
Your headshot is not the one you or your friend snapped with the iPhone. It is not the one your family and friends think you look good. It is not the one you think you look cool. It is not definitely the one you had taken at the Post Office or Passport Photo Service kiosk.
So, when is a good time to have a new headshot? Some will say when they are thinking about changing jobs. Thinking this way means that you may be missing out on new opportunities that are knocking on your door. Chances are that they (the head-hunters and casting directors) are looking at your online profile all the time.