Reasons You Need a Professional Headshot

Next Friday, the IPWS Leadership Summit powered by IE Business School will be a modern conference and a networking & professional development experience like no other in Shanghai. But, IPWS also knows as active professional women, it’s important to have a strong personal brand, so we’re delighted to offer ALL attendees FREE professional headshots.

We asked Beata Dziedzic, HR Trainer and Cross-Border Career Coach, and an active professional woman in the IPWS community her thoughts and reasons why we need a professional headshot!

Professional women from various parts of the world ask me, ‘what is personal branding?  How important is this for my career? Where and how do I start building my personal brand?’

The best approach to it that I learned from Brave Up expert and career coach, Kathy Caprino, who took this advice from Robert Friedman (Fearless Branding creator) is to first ask yourself:

What is the specific experience I want to deliver – emotionally, aesthetically, functionally?

Let’s look at these points:

Emotional experience

  • You must have heard the saying that people will forget what you have told them, but will never forget how you made them feel. Think about your friend or a colleague who will always uplift your mood, make you laugh or make you feel good about yourself. These are true leaders, so learning and copying their behaviour is the simplest step to enhance your personal brand. You can also think about acquaintances or family members who you want to avoid at all the costs. Think: what kind of emotions do you want to bring out of people?
  • When we relocate to a new country, sometimes things will not go as planned. I remember meeting a F&B manager who decided to quit her job in the US and move to Europe. After a few months of fruitless job searching it was so obvious her mood was very low. She even told me, “This afternoon I’m meeting a director from a F&B company, but most likely he won’t have any jobs for me!” If things get tough, call your trusted friend or seek for professional help, but put that smile back on your face when networking. If people you just meet perceive you as a positive person (as you were back home), they will help you more than you think.

Aesthetic experience

  • It’s how you and results of your work look like. If you are building your website, the best first step is to analyze other sites – what do you like about them and why do you like it? What are the colors you want to use and what message about your business you would like to convey? Check your competitors’ websites – what you don’t like about them?
  • If you publish articles online make sure to choose the best picture possible, not one that is just “good enough”.  
  • One of the best investment in your personal branding could be getting your color analysis done with an image consultant. Thus, you will not choose outfits that look good on their own but don’t match your complexion. I promise, it will save you a significant amount of money and time spent on shopping. You can start by watching these videos, here and here.
  • Wisely choose your LinkedIn picture. If you mainly communicate with your clients online, networking on LinkedIn or changing jobs, go for a professional photoshoot. It can be used for the next two or three years. It could make all the difference – a professional picture will help you to receive a higher invitation acceptance rate.  The right picture and compelling job title will make people curious to learn more about your expertise.

Functional experience

  • Put yourself in your interlocutors shoes and think how your expertise can be useful to them. Not doing it is one of the very basic mistakes that people make during the networking events. I was witnessing a conversation when a friend of mine, a recruiter, asked another lady “What kind of job are you looking for?” The answer was too vague and too long. I could see the loss of interest on recruiter’s face in a matter of seconds. Your clients, employers or future business partners want to know what you can do for them. Do you bring talent, expertise, services or products that will solve their problems?

Questions or comments? What is your career dilemma? Email Beata at and you can be featured in our series: Ask A Career Expert.

Good news: IPWS offers a complimentary headshot for attendees of the Leadership Summit. To reserve your place for next Friday, click HERE 

Read a case study about personal branding on LinkedIn – an interview with Maasa Walker from Microsoft HERE