Nikki Hutchison a Corporate Mentor from Chilli Pepper Global
gives her insight to Headshots and job opportunities.
In general, should headshots be used when looking for recruitment opportunities?
In the UK we generally do not expect to see a headshot photo on a CV unless applying for a modelling, acting or TV presenter role. When applying for a role the reader of our CV should be reviewing our skills and suitability and not whether we are dating potential! Over the coming years I believe that employers will become more familiar with the digital CV and then we will expect to see a photo in the same way we expect to see one on LinkedIn.
Do you think we visually stereotype people by their profile pictures?
Yes, I think we subconsciously stereotype, it’s not intentional but we are drawn to those people who we have a preference for in looks whether same or opposite sex – people who perhaps resemble ourselves, friends and family.
Do you feel headshots enhance social media profiles?
Yes, I do! This contradicts my previous response with regards to the traditional CV however we do expect to see a photo on social media sites, especially LinkedIn as it confirms that the person is real and not spam.
Is it better to use a profile picture or a full-length shot?
Headshot most definitely. The purpose of a headshot on social media is to confirm that you really do exist. A blank grey space will be impossible for the viewer of your profile to build an initial rapport with you if they have yet to meet with you. You need to choose your picture carefully. I have seen profile photos containing family members, pets, a bride and/or groom on their wedding day, holiday photos with cocktails in hand, I’ve even seen someone head to toe in Ski wear!
It’s obvious when a profile contains a DIY photo and whilst this isn’t necessary a deal breaker when going through the recruitment process, I feel it’s important to recognise that many individuals have invested in a professional headshot and this can be interpreted that they take themselves more seriously as a professional within their industry.