Not Everyone Needs A Headshot

That is not something one would expect from a photographer who specializes in headshots. But that is a fact - not everyone needs a headshot.But before I take this topic any further, I would like to throw out some numbers. I managed 12 years of technical schooling and work by throwing out numbers, I am sure it’ll work now too!

Disclaimer: I found the information noted below on the internet, so it must be true. 

  1. Hiring managers are increasingly screening your social media accounts. Based on either a survey done in 2016 or fat-fingered data (what’s the difference really?), the likelihood of your social media account(s) being screened before considering you for a job is

  • 76% if you are an IT professional

  • 65% if you are in sales or marketing

  • More than 50% if your are in manufacturing, healthcare or retail

2. 53% of employers check if you have a professional online persona.

3. 46% of employers will reject your candidacy simply based on the content of the images you post online. 

4. 33% of employers check the social media accounts of their current employees. 

Now, back to the crux of the topic. Really, not everyone needs a headshot. To illustrate my point, here are a few examples: 

  1. If you are a construction manager, a business portrait with your site in the background will convey a great message - rather than a headshot.

  2. If you are a bartender, you need a portrait at the bar with your sinful creations in the foreground. Not surprisingly, this is one of the few (probably the only) professions where HR wouldn’t mind you with a drink in your hand.

  3. If you are painter, a color palette and brushes in your portrait will give greater meaning to your profile than a headshot.

Note that, in all these examples (and many more) a headshot would still serve the purpose, but a professional portrait will complete the job. 

Bottomline, imagine you are looking to progress in your career (really, imagine?), and are applying for jobs, or even starting a business. Your potential employers or clients will likely look you up online. Your social image needs to be a precursor to the person they are going to experience face to face. 

In short, they need to have met you, before they meet you. And to do this, you can choose between a headshot or a portrait. Or get one of each, because, you know I can do both.  

Disclaimer: The figures I used are based on a survey done by CareerBuilder. Through my blurb, I intend to create humor, not discredit the data.


Nashville Photographer Mayur specializes in headshots and portraits. You can see more of his work on his website.