Staged headshots and trying too hard.

While doing my daily news review and update I came across a phenomenal headshot on LinkedIn*.  It’s a bright, happy, smiling, well dressed gentleman at a desk.  In the foreground we see glasses and a 1″ binder of the type that no one has used in 10 years with what looks to be a handful of printed pages.

In the background we see a picture of his family on the wall, several awards, a 10 year old desk phone and what appears to be a hard hat off to the side.  All of the things a successful businessman needs….circa 1995.  What’s missing?  Everything of actual value to getting work done in a modern environment.  There’s no laptop, smartphone, tablet, market brochures, or building plans.  The best part was that this picture was associated with someone plugging an article on Social Media.

All I can take away from this picture is that it is intended to show a sturdy professional who has been around awhile and has some experience.  It’s trying way too hard to get that impression across.

I will stipulate that the standard headshot is a very out of date.  Do we really need to see all the different ways that people can dress up nice, stand in front of a gray background and smile for the camera?  But occasionally those trying to break out of the standard mold try just hard enough and deliver the joy described above. If you are going to stage your headshot (like 95% of us, me included) keep it generic and don’t try too hard.  The last thing you want from your pic is to become an internet meme.  And if you don’t know what that is, even more reason not to try so hard.

*No picture provided because I’m sure you can find 3 or 4 yourself just by quickly scrolling through your contacts.

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