Do's and Dont's of Hair and Makeup for your headshot

First impressions count. You wouldn’t hand in a resume that is torn and crumpled with coffee stains: the same goes for your professional headshot. If your headshot looks like you would rather be hanging out with your friends than working at a job, that’s the message that employers will receive. After all, if you can’t take the few extra minutes to put effort into how you look for your headshot, what type of effort will you put into the job?

If you want a job, you need to look like you want it – like you took the time to prepare for it. Here are a few dos and don’ts for your professional headshot:



Do emphasize your eyes – they should be the main focus of your headshot. You want your eyes to stand out but not in the “smokey eye” or “winged liner” way. Line the top of your eye with black or dark brown eyeliner. Draw this very close to the lash line.

Don’t use glitter or too much shimmer in eyeshadows. The same goes for color. Use neutral shades. Leave the purples and greens for your girls’ night out.

Do use concealer. No one is perfect, so conceal areas that need correcting. Dab concealer under your eye and blend it in with a sponge or your finger. Just be gentle with this area as it is a thin layer of skin. Be sure to also cover blemishes and set these areas with powder. Powder your nose, forehead and chin as well to cut the shine down.

Do add a neutral lip color like a mauve or berry shade. You want some color to your
lips to liven up your face a little. However, this is not the time for lots of gloss or a nude lip.

Don’t do a bright pink or red lip. You don’t want your lips to be the first thing people see when looking at your headshot.

Do style your hair. Your hair should frame your face. No trendy warrior knots on the top of your head. Blow out your hair for some volume, smooth out the frizz and pay attention to the front especially.

A few more don’ts include no major contouring, no thick or super defined brows and no braids. Save the contouring and other trendy makeup looks for Instagram or hanging out with your friends. Brows that are too thick or defined look painted on in pictures, and braids tend to look juvenile in headshots.



 comb and style your hair. Product is your friend – especially for those stubborn cowlicks or hairs that don’t want to lie down.

Don’t just roll out of bed. You want to look awake and ready to be productive–not like you are ready to go back to sleep after this.

Do groom your brows. Tweeze the ones in the middle – no unibrow. Brush your brows up and outwards to avoid the mad scientist look. You should also groom your facial hair. Keep it neat and low or none at all.

Do use lip balm. Your lips should not be chapped or flaky. If you have chapped lips, start a few days in advance to get your lips in shape. Don’t wait until the day you are getting your headshot.

5 Profile Picture Mistakes Keeping You From Your Next Job

It’s time to scrap that awkward college photo

selfie dont do it.jpg

Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, recruiters are looking you up to put a face to your resume. You need a professional photo to best market yourself online. It humanizes you, and differentiates your real profile from Internet bots. To help you get that corner office, we reached out to Peter Hurley, a New York City-based photographer who actually wrote the book on professional photos, called The Headshot. Below are the five mistakes keeping you from your next gig.
(If you need help later on deciding what to wear at that great new job, here’s some inspiration.) 

1. You Don’t Have a Good Photo

Your profile picture is the cornerstone of your personal brand, Hurley says. If you don’t have a picture on, say, your LinkedIn page, you can bet HR is Google Image searching for one. Your fraternity involvement on your resume is great. Having that sloppy photo from the alumni tailgate represent you? Not so much.

2. You’re Wearing the Wrong Clothing

If you don’t wear a tie to work, don’t wear one in your photo. Keep your clothing simple—no fluorescent, zigzag sweaters—and in line with your everyday style. Most portrait photographers will let you bring multiple outfits, so you can find what really works for you while shooting.

3. Your Expression Is Off

The most common mistake in these: the expression. An ear-splitting grin will make you look fake and overeager. An ‘out-to-lunch’ blank stare is just as bad. Who wants to hire the guy with no personality? 
Skip the poses, and stick to a slight smile. Corporate guys can still strike a serious face, but adding just a hint of a grin will make you seem more welcoming and approachable.

4. Your Photo is Old as the Polaroid Camera

Profile pictures do not age like fine wine—just because you took a great shot back in 2007 doesn’t mean people will look past your highlights and popped collar. (Although you can get better looking with age—here’s how.) 
Hurley recommends updating it at least every two years, and after every time you majorly change your appearance. A stale picture can suggest you’re behind the times—a red flag in an innovation-heavy market.

5. Your Photo Has Poor Lighting Or a Bad Background

You want people to look at you—not whatever is going on behind you. Find a professional photographer whose work you like, and ask them for a solid background.
It’s important that this is professional, too. It’s great that your buddy has a cool Nikon, and offered to shoot your photo for free. But chances are, your friend doesn’t have the proper lighting equipment to prevent dark under-eye circles and sullen skin. Keep that photo for mom—and leave this one to the pros.