It’s 2013. We live out loud. As humans on earth, we have more ways to communicate than ever before. For those of us who communicate professionally, we know that we have more opportunities to say the wrong thing. It also means we have more opportunities to say the right thing. What you say out loud is up to you.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to speak to different groups throughout the year. My favorite will always be students. For the most part, they’re respectful, they’re eager to learn and they genuinely need the guidance and advice that you can share. They are a captive audience.
When I speak with students, I often hear lots of questions about how to find a job. Whether I’m talking with communications students or math students, the answer is always the same. You must differentiate yourself from the other candidates. And you must do this from the beginning. I always recommend a few ways to do that and I’ve been told that the recommendations work.
As an applicant you have one chance to make a first impression, and you have to do that on paper. In a world that has become so visual, it’s a challenge to set yourself apart on a couple of pages of resume’ paper. So how can you use this visual trend to your advantage without barging into the hiring manager’s office? How about a head shot?
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with my friend John David Pittman and a head shot session. JDP is the only PH2 Associate Photographer in Arkansas. The PH in PH2 refers to Peter Hurley, a world renown head shot photographer. JDP has trained with Peter for many hours and you can clearly see that in his work. A quick stroll through his website shows a clear distinction in his work. His head shots bring your personality to life.
I often joke that I’m the least photogenic person on the face of our planet. I even joked the day I walked into his studio I don’t feel very pretty today. He laughed and said It’s my job to make you pretty, you just get back there and smile.
He has a unique requirement for each photography session. He asked that I step over to his Spotify app and choose the soundtrack for our head shot session. I quickly picked Bahamas because they’re one of the best bands in my ears right now. Let me tell you, it truly made a difference. I was all smiles and, with a few of JDP’s jokes like, Act like you’re picking out your next credenza, we were off to make a great head shot. The end result was a great shot.
In a world where everyone thinks about their image and brand, you can’t afford to ignore your own. The first impression is a huge opportunity for each and every one of us, especially those of you on the hunt for a new gig. Think about including a quality head shot with your next resume’ and see if it gives you the advantage over your competition.