AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
July 10, 2018

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

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4 Things You Need for a DIY Professional Photo

AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
July 10, 2018

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

When looking for a job, some companies will ask you to provide a professional headshot. Reynolds and Reynolds doesn’t require one, but it’s helpful in making your resume stand out. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to hire a professional photographer, check to see if your campus careers center offers any resources. If a professional photo isn’t an option, you might have to roll up your sleeves for a DIY (do it yourself) project.

To take a nice and affordable professional photo, you’re going to need a few things:

  1. A plain background.

If you want to take a professional photo at home or in your dorm, stay away from busy patterns. Find a wall that has good (preferably natural) lighting and no pictures or decorations hanging. If you want one outside, look for a background that doesn’t have a lot of depth. Standing in front of a tree or a brick wall will do the trick and keep the focus on you.headshot - 1

  1. Appropriate professional attire.

In your photo, wear attire that suits the position you are applying for. If you want a corporate career, business professional attire should be worn. Let your potential employer know you can look the part, and then, show you are a good candidate with your resume.

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  1. A digital camera or recent smartphone.

Taking pictures on most phones can leave a grainy, pixilated image, similar to below. For a professional photo, you want it to be clear and focused. Your photo will be the first thing employers see, so make sure it stands out for its professionalism. If you don’t have the technology to take a clear image, look into other resources like an art/photography student with a camera or a friend or family member.

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  1. Another person to take the photo.

Unfortunately, even our best selfie is not a professional photo. You will want to sit or stand in professional attire with someone else there to take your picture. If you live alone you can use a tripod or a phone stand and use the timer on your phone or camera to take a photo. Keep the equipment a few feet away, and play with different angles to find the one that best suits you.

Headshot - 3

Although having a professional headshot isn’t always necessary when applying for jobs, with these tips, you’ll be able to show employers you can look the part wherever you apply for your future career. And, last but not least, don’t forget to say, “cheese!”


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