Job Applications: Taking The Perfect Headshot

You are just about to start applying for all those high paying jobs and visualising the phone constantly ringing with interview invitations…but then you ask yourself “is my application up to scratch?”. Presentation is of the utmost importance in the world of HNW employment and before submitting your application you really need to make sure that you are visually representing yourself. Have you hired a professional photographer to take a few great shots or have you attached one of those 5 year old holiday photos, or, even worse, a selfie?

Having worked in recruitment for a number of years, I can’t even tell you how many awful photos of jobseekers I have seen; not to sound horrible of course! It is totally unprofessional to attach a blurred selfie and pictures taken God only knows where when you are looking to be employed by an UHNW individual or a luxury company. I have seen THOUSANDS of professionals attempting to apply for top jobs paying top dollar with poorly executed photos.

Now, think about it. Is the photo you are using a good representation of who you are? Do you look professional? Do you look like you take your career seriously? Do you look like you are respectable, trustworthy and friendly? Would you consider interviewing you if all you saw was that one picture and you didn’t know anything about you at all? As unpleasant as it might be, first impressions are usually based on looks and wealthy people are no exception here. They pay vast amounts of money for the highest quality services and want their employees to be excellent value for money in all aspects; including presentation! And, let’s face it, the competition is extremely high, so they will be flicking through a lot of applications… Everything about YOU has to be immaculate and professional from the very first point of contact to immediately catch their eye and plant a seed. Do you want to be percieved as someone who is just applying for a job, or someone who has really gone the extra mile to be considered for the vacancy.

If you have a bit of spare cash to spend on a professional photo shoot, go for it. Even your local supermarket such as Sainsbury’s offer digital photo services. However, if you’d rather rather have a go yourself, there are certain things you can do to get some professional looking photos of yourself in your own home. Having done photography for 12 years, I believe that I know a thing or two about taking pictures – and now I am going to share a few tips with you to ensure that you are indeed ready to be applying for the very top paying jobs!

Preparation

Firstly, let’s talk about the equipment you will need.

1. A friend and/or a tripod

You will definitely need a friend or a tripod! A friend would be much better but if no one is available, get yourself a tripod. There are plenty on the market now – even a small one designed for mobile phones will do, you will just have to set it on a table or somewhere high enough so your camera is a few feet away from you at about eye level.

2. Camera / Smartphone

You will of course need a camera or a smartphone. As a person who does a lot of photography, I am tempted to say that a camera would be, of course, preferable, but these days mobile phones are so advanced that pictures taken with a phone can look very decent. If you know nothing about photography, a mobile phone would probably work even better for you as the automatic settings are superb and you won’t need to fiddle with things like shutter speed, ISO settings and so on. Also, stay away from web cameras! The quality on those is terrible!

3. Background and lighting

Thirdly, you will need a plain wall as a background and a few additional lights. White walls always work best as they create an impression of the picture having been taken at a professional photo studio. You need to make sure that there is nothing in the background as we are trying to achieve the maximum professional level here. You want NOTHING to take the attention away from you, so there must be no distractions. There should be no furniture, no paintings and especially no windows behind you! A window behind is a killer! Unless you want to have a dark silhouette instead of your beautiful self on that photo, do not under any circumstances stand in front of the window when having your photo taken. That applies to holiday photos as well:). So, ideally, you need a plain white wall in a room that doesn’t have direct sunlight coming in through the window right onto you. As much as we all love the sunshine, it can be very harsh and completely unforgiving to your looks. Extra lights can be very handy but if you haven’t got any, we can live with that.

4. Respectable clothing

A few different outfits will also be required. Find the clothes that fit you well, look respectable and suit you. Opt for classic and professional. I would not recommend wearing aggressive red for a number of reasons. Firstly, it often doesn’t photograph well! Secondly, it is an intimidating colour that might put some people off. Wearing green is not always a good idea either because it can make your skin colour look pale and unhealthy if you don’t set the lighting right, so in my opinion it’s best to avoid. Beige is a no go too because it can make you look naked at first glance! Blues, greys, browns and pastel colours are probably your best bet here depending on what suits you. I wouldn’t recommend bright patterned or shiny fabrics – they can be distracting and the shine doesn’t photograph well. Also, ladies should work on their make-up properly. Remember that sometimes you need to apply a bit more make-up for a photo