Last Monday I took part in a most amazing event.  In response to the collapse of Thomas  Cook, some of the businesses here in Altrincham got together to put on a day of support activities to try to help the people who’d been left without jobs (being close to Manchester airport, there are a lot of ex-employees that live around here).  It was a full day of talks and advice giving, with everyone who contributed giving their time and expertise for free.  Topics included brushing up on interview skills, creating a social media profile, how to use networking to extend your range of connections and some stress-busting ideas, and others.

My own contribution was to offer to take new headshot photos for as many people as possible.  Eighteen people booked appointments during the day and the results can be seen below. 

Speaking to people during the day, what was impressive was how long everybody had worked for Thomas Cook – in many cases, for decades.  What that meant was that they’d been out of the job market for a long time, but even more impressive was their optimism and positivity towards the challenge ahead.  One of the speakers was my friend and colleague Alex McCann, owner of Altrincham HQ and social media guru.  Alex discussed, among other things, getting a great social media profile on Linkedin – and the key to a great profile is a great headshot.  (in fairness, Alex might argue what you write is key; but hey, this is my blog okay so it’s got to be the photo!)

I once likened a business headshot to a good handshake.  It’s the first impression that you’ll make on a new connection so, just like a handshake, you want it to be impressive.  If your handshake is firm and business like, it creates a strong, positive impression.  Your headshot is the same.  It needs to represent you, your values, and say something about you as a person.  Quite a lot to do in a small photo, admittedly, but that’s exactly how hard it’s working for you!

I hope that the headshots we created last Monday are helpful to these people.  If you’re reading this and know of any vacancies, feel free to get in touch and I’ll put you in contact with the people above.