Visual elements make up a big portion of our professional and personal lives.

All around us, there are visually appealing and professionally taken photographs.

These photographs are appealing, enticing, and draw us in to the subject matter.

On the other hand, a grainy, low quality photograph can actually disinterest or dissuade us from the subject matter.

Professional headshots are a must in today’s business world.

They can be used everywhere from our LinkedIn profiles to our resumes.

They provide a clear, clean look and presentation of who you are.

Professional headshots are more visually pleasing, they are neutral in color, and they speak to how seriously you want to be taken.

Professional headshots are more accessible than ever before.

On the lower end, expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $150.

This is surely a small price to pay for an investment in your future and the opportunities it will open.

Below we discuss seven ways a professional headshot will help you open new opportunities in your career.

You’ll Look The Part

Part of working in a corporate setting is dressing the part.

Professionalism is the standard and what you should strive for day-in and day-out.

We’ve discussed everything from professionalism in your emails to whether or not having a beard is professional.

So too then should you strive for professionalism in your headshot.

Having a professional headshot will subtly let a recruiter and hiring manager know that you mean business.

That you are “buttoned-up” and should be taken seriously.

Having a professional headshot shows recruiters and hiring managers that you are serious about yourself and your career.

That you wish to be taken seriously and are ready for any opportunity that comes your way.

You’ll Stand Out From The Competition

Most professionals, and most candidates, don’t take advantage of a professional headshot.

They rely on photographs from their phone or one taken by a friend.

And while the quality of phone cameras has increased, you simply cannot take a better photograph on an iPhone than a professional can with the equipment.

Having a professional headshot will help you to stand out.

Recruiters and hiring managers will notice the details of the photograph and your headshot will be remembered as compared to other candidates.

It’s A Great First Impression

First impressions are everything.

When a recruiter or hiring manager sees your professional headshot, it’ll likely be more memorable and make a better initial impression.

As compared to having an avatar or blurred headshot, a professional headshot will make a better impression and show that you take yourself seriously and professionally.

You’ll Build A Brand

With the emergence of the internet, branding is more important than ever before.

Branding isn’t just the domain of large companies any longer.

Small companies and individuals are beginning to brand themselves and their skills.

By having a professional headshot, you brand yourself as a professional.

You can work with a professional photographer to ensure that you keep your brand image intact when taking the headshot, something that may be more difficult if you don’t have professional help.

It’s An Investment In Your Future

Professional headshots are an investment in your future and your career.

The headshot can be used on your resume and on your social media profiles.

It helps build awareness of who you are, and people will begin to associate your profiles with your image.

People who see your professional headshot will associate you with professionalism and as someone who has their stuff put together.

You’ll Be Taken More Seriously

Have you ever looked at someone’s social media profile, only to be met with a grainy, standard definition photo of them?

Or worse yet, an obscure pop culture reference that may be a bit too offensive?

When you upload a professional headshot, people will begin to associate you with professionalism.

We stated earlier, first impressions matter, and by having a professional headshot people will take you seriously because you take yourself seriously.

It’s The Digital Age

In this day-and-age everything is digital.

Your online persona speaks to who you are and what you represent.

Your online persona should match and enhance your real life one.

You should have your digital life extenuate who you are and complement where you’re going.

Taking advantage and full leverage of these online tools will help you move forward professionally and personally.

Looking for a professional photographer?

Check-out Thumbtack or Yelp for ones near you.

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