I’ve been in the corporate world a better part of 2 decades. Almost 3. I have met thousands of people over this time and have shook thousands of hands in my lifetime. That sure has changed in 2020. Covid19 has made us change the way we do business, the way we go about our day to day, the way we meet new people.
The handshake has always been the way you greet one another in both the corporate world and the way you meet friends and new acquaintances. It doesn’t matter if your male or female a handshake can tell a lot about a person. Confidence, trust, energy, determination. How do you feel when somebody gives you a nice firm handshake? You might not notice anything or maybe you can sense the person has an energy that is inviting about them. If you don’t notice a firm handshake you sure do notice a weak one. That person that comes up to you and gives you that wimpy intimidated handshake. When that happens to me, I get a sense of intimidation, lack of motivation, a feeling like the person does not have a lot of confidence in the situation. I’m trying to teach my kids to always greet somebody with a good strong handshake. A handshake that will show the person confidence even in situations when they are not.
Today we don’t greet people the way we used to. Most of us don’t even go into the office anymore for now. Hopefully that time comes back but for now our days are full of org charts, company directories, zoom calls, social media profiles, LinkedIn updates, websites, email signatures, etc. If you are like most people you have a picture of yourself setup in these different systems. A headshot! Social media is the best example. Who doesn’t have a headshot in their profile picture on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn?
Your Headshot Has Become Your New Handshake?
What is your headshot saying about you? A headshot is even a stronger representation of you as a person then your handshake. Your headshot could literally be seen by millions of people. You better have a headshot that gets people’s attention. Did you know that a good profile picture will get you 14 times the number of likes and more than 35 times the amount of interactions then a profile without?
So why do so many people have bad headshots in their social media profiles, corporate directories, signatures, etc. Some of the worse headshots I have seen are of CEO’s.
What makes a bad headshot or a bad digital handshake? Here are a few things to prevent.
- A picture taken with your phone. Yes, phone cameras are 100 times better than they were even just a few years ago but pictures still look like they were taken with your phone.
- Pictures taken with garbage in the background. Anything that is not a solid color. No it’s not a good idea to have your picture taken by your favorite car, on the beach, or at some party. This is your first impression you want to make to somebody. I think not.
- A picture where the camera is higher than your eyes. Sure, it makes you look skinnier but when do you feel more powerful? When you are looking down on somebody or the other person is looking down on you? When you are looking down on somebody right? A headshot needs to show how powerful and confident you are. It’s hard to get that feeling when the camera angle looks taller than you are.
- Big eyes. Confidence comes from the eyes. So why do you look like a deer in headlights? You look scared, not confident at all, and you look funny. You should not see the whites of the bottom of your eyes.
- Clothing and backgrounds that don’t look professional. Stick with solid colors for both your clothing and your backgrounds.
- For heaven sakes please don’t drop your shoulders. People at some point thought this would look cool. I don’t think I ever liked that look. I have a martial arts background. You know what you do when somebody drops their shoulder? You punch them in the face. Enough said.
- A smile that looks fake. 90% of headshots I see look like the smile is forced. It looks like the person was told to smile. You need a smile that is authentic. A smile because the photographer made you laugh at something. Fake smiles look fake, look forced, and makes you look like somebody that was forced to smile because your not a nice person.
Here are just a few tips on what I feel makes a great headshot. That makes a strong digital handshake. A headshot that shows confidence, capability, intelligence, sex appeal, and most important Trust!
- Take the picture with shoulders square or directly at the camera. You look the most powerful head-on. As soon as you turn your shoulders you look like a smaller person or not as strong.
- Take the picture slightly lower than your mouth. This will give the appearance to the person looking at the picture that you are confident, capable, and trustworthy.
- You don’t need to smile and if the smile does not look authentic I would recommend against it. But you do need to make sure you don’t have the deer in headlights look. You want eyes that show confidence so make your eyes slightly squinch like you are unstoppable and you are going to but through that wall in front of you.
- Don’t wear any crazy prints. Solid colors are the best.
- Don’t wear crazy jewelry. Don’t wear any jewelry if you have to question it. The focus is your face not the fancy jewelry.
- Use a Grey, White, or Black background. Nothing else.
Well I hope these tips help. Don’t let an opportunity pass you up or a connection pass by with having a bad profile picture. This includes your corporate directory. In a global world most people will only get to know you by your headshot so make it a strong one.
I have been a professional headshot photographer since 2016. I have been a professional photographer since 2002. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. If you are interested in a professional headshot for you or your organization, I take headshots in studio or on location any place in the world. Visit http://2mmheadshots.com I take headshots that are authentic and show the personality of a person. I make professionals look like professionals and show Trust, Intelligence, Determination, Credibility, and Likeability. Headshots that get you noticed!
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