Do I really need a headshot?
If you find yourself asking that question, first ask a few more. Do I want my profile to be noticed? Do I need one for a job? Do I want to make a good impression on my clients? Is my current headshot a quick cell phone selfie?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then yes, you do need to get headshots.
A headshot is the first thing a person sees when going to your social media profile, or checking out your resume on LinkedIn. A 2012 study by The Ladders, in which heat maps were used to determine how much time recruiters spent on average looking through resumes on LinkedIn, determined that the average recruiter only spent about 6 seconds looking at an individual's profile. Of those precious few seconds, 19% of the time was spent looking at the profile picture, while the rest of the time was spent scanning for key words that matched the jobs they were looking to fill. More time was spent looking at the photo, then any other individual part of the page.
Let's face it, we're living in the world of social media. You may put in an application online for a company, and send in a stellar resume, but rest assured they are going to look you up on social media before calling you in for an interview. This is commonplace for many sales and marketing jobs, where a person's resume may look great, but social media is used to see if the individual fits in with the rest of the team. Having a killer profile photo makes a very important first impression, followed by quality, appropriate content on your page. That's right, having a profile filled with inappropriate memes and photos is most likely costing you jobs!
If you're in business, real estate, an actor or actress etc, you absolutely need quality headshots, and I'm not talking about the ones taken by your cousin Jenny that just bought that sweet new camera from Walmart. Headshots are all about making a connection with the camera, and are much more about expression than posing, so you want to go with a photographer who specializes in this type of photography.
Having quality photos shows that you are serious about your work, your profession, or yourself as a qualified candidate. It's the first impression you will make when someone views your online presence, and may be what they spend most of their time looking at. Make it count!