Practically everyone that accesses the internet, has some type of profile whether it be with a social networking site, company bio, an association or club. Or just a youtube channel. It's no secret the internet has changed how we conduct our daily lives and we're becoming truly, "out there".
But when we look at company websites, marketing emails or flyers, when we read online news editorials, look at social profiles such as Linkedin, Facebook, Google+ etc, job boards and resume databases, what do we see first? Often times it's a profile picture. It's the first impression we get to make. So why the goofy selfies while driving in a car or even worse, the bathroom selfie pic used as a professional profile image.
A quick internet search reveals the history of mug pictures began in the mid 1800's right after film photography was invented. Mug shots were used by law enforcement and the term mug is an old English slang term for face, so a mug shot, is a close up picture mostly of the face regardless of what it's used for.
The term "headshot" was first used in the early days of the movie industry. The terminology shifted from mug shots, to headshots, with a popular movie director not wanting the typical mug shots he was getting, but professional portraits! And casting agents then modified the term mug shot, to headshot when speaking with their clients. The term stuck.
Obviously actors/actresses, all entertainment industry professionals, models and, real estate agents use headshots. What about lawyers or doctors? Consultants? Bill over in IT. CEO's and Executives? Reporters, financial planners, investment advisors? Account managers, glass installers, teachers, and most all other professions.
Look at all your existing profile pictures, and headshots if you have them. Be honest and ask yourself, is this my best face forward? Do I represent my company or organization well? Is my picture more than a year old? Did I change my hair color or style? Oh my, have I lost or gained weight? Have clothing styles changed? Did my last photographer fail to edit out that temporary blemish? Is it a cell phone selfie?
It’s probably time to update those profile images and headshots to professional headshots that are appropriate for your intended audience, and, that exceed your industry standards if required. They’re not all the same and don’t settle for that answer.