No application is complete without a good portrait photo. Although the trend coming from the USA is to renounce the photo in order to avoid any kind of discrimination based on looks, skin colour, etc., most European recruiters still expect one. If you invested a great amount of time in crafting the perfect application documents, you won’t want a bad picture to spoil your good prospects. We’ll share our pointers for taking better pictures.
Make sure to be in good spirits and play your favourite song in the background or do anything else that gets you in a good mood. Your face won’t be able to hide a bad disposition and that, in turn, won’t make you look friendly, positive and in charge. Next step is to decide, what you want to communicate through your portrait – what kind of position are you applying for and what attributes that can be conveyed visually would make a good case for hiring you? There are a few camera tricks available. Are you applying for a managing position? Then the photo should be shot slightly downwards on you, from higher up. Are you applying for an executive position where they are looking for a congenial personality? In this case, the photo should be shot upwards, with the camera slightly down below. In both cases, don’t forget to smile, in the latter even brighter, so that your smile highlights your seriousness and competence, respectively your positive and warm personality.
Choose a neutral background for your photo. You know those pictures of people, whose shirt or blouse matches the print of the wallpaper behind them and makes them visually fade into the background? You’ll want to avoid that at all costs. Think about your mother’s advice and straighten your back. It won’t necessarily be visible in the photo, but your whole body language will change with a straight back and pulled back shoulders – you’ll look vital, optimistic and full of energy. And those are attributes every recruiter is looking for. The outfit that you wear should be professional above all. That obviously means no visible creases and stains. Think about whether you want the photo tob e coloured or monochrome – black and white looks very serious, colour on the other hand livelier and warmer. Choose according to the type of position you are applying for.
You still have that great photo from ten years ago? Put it in an album, not in your application! Even if it is your favourite photo of yourself, you should still always use a new one. They will know the difference, at the latest at the job interview and it won’t make you look good. “But it’s hard to take a good portrait photo!” you’ll say. True. That’s why we saved the best advice for last – let a professional do it. In a studio, a professional photographer will be able to get the best out of your portrait.