Hot Tip for Landing More Interviews: Update Your Headshot
When a family looks at your profile, they not only want to see a fantastic work history (and sometimes education), they want to feel connected to you personally. One way to do this (and boost your success in getting an interview) is to have a great headshot! Does this mean it has to be professionally taken? Absolutely not! However, it is important that your photo is welcoming, happy, distraction-free, professional, and tells them, “I’m going to be great with your kids!”.
Here are some tips for taking a great headshot:
- Make sure you have natural lighting (tip: step outside – especially in the golden hour before the sun goes down; ideally stand in a shady area with no sunlight hitting any part of your face; alternatively the sun can be behind you)
- Wear something simple and avoid props, hats, sunglasses, distracting backgrounds, and accessories; to keep it simple, wear what you might wear to a job interview
- Positioning the camera to be slightly above you, or at a minimum at eye level with you; you don’t want to be looking up your nose or accentuating double chins by photographing from below
- Have someone else take it – it is absolutely essential that you do not have your ‘selfie arm’ in your photo; if you do not have a tripod (most of us don’t), rest your camera on an appropriate surface, or use a friend or family member to help you take your shots
- Try different poses – lean towards the camera; try different angles with your shoulders, chin and the tilt of your head; push your chin forward, and down, to minimize double chins; experiment with smiling with and without teeth, and try some serious expressions too; your eyes are your most important feature, so make sure they are as visible as possible
- The quality should be high – not low resolution or pixelated (luckily most phones take great photos now!) and it should always be color – not black/white
- Your photograph should show how you look right now, so you should have a new headshot every couple of years, or more often if you drastically change your appearance
- The headshot should be your head and shoulders only; for our purposes, it will be cropped into a circle, so make sure you leave enough room
- The background should be neutral, nature and/or blurred (portrait mode works great for this)
- You want to look genuine, not cheesy; have someone there to prompt you for real expressions; if you have to use a self-timer, try and think about real emotions, funny moments, and things that make you happy; pull your smile at the last second before the camera fires
Here are some do’s and don’t’s examples! Please reach out if you’d like to schedule an individual interview coaching session with your staffing specialist!