It’s been done for years for actors and entertainers: your headshot stapled to the back of your resumé (or is it your resumé stapled to the back of your headshot?), or even inserting a small image of your headshot somewhere on the front of your resumé… but can it be done for non-entertainment professionals?

Most actors combine their headshot and their resumé because it makes sense in their field.  They’re auditioning for roles to play characters such as “heavyset black man in his 30’s with thinning hair,” and casting directors need to quickly weed out all the people without the look they’re after… such as all the Caucasian blonde women in their 20’s.  But in the world of searching for roles where it doesn’t matter what you look like (such as a job hunt for a new law firm to join), combining your headshot with your resumé didn’t make much sense.

But now it does.  Enter, LinkedIn, stage left.  Spotlight.  I get a large number of new headshot clients calling me because they’re in the middle of a job hunt and know prospective employers are searching for them on the web, and they want to have a professional LinkedIn profile that shows them in the best light as possible.  And let’s face it, a LinkedIn profile looks a heck of a lot like a resumé.  The one thing it has that a resumé doesn’t, is a profile photo.  A picture of your pretty face, right smack dab at the top of the screen.

And people are finding out that if that profile photo is a cropped image of you laughing and partying down at your sister’s wedding, it kind of makes someone doubt all the super-professional accomplishments listed below it.  “That guy with the beer in his hand grinning like a fool ran the IT department for 7 years?  Really?”  Not a great first impression.

And that’s all a headshot really is: a first impression.  A statement that you care about your professional career and take it seriously enough to have a professional photo of yourself stamped at the top of your LinkedIn page.  So I say… if you’re going to have a professional headshot on your LinkedIn page to show how serious you are about your career and your personal image… then why not put that headshot on your resumé as well?

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