The first application photo raises a number of questions for young people. We show you what really matters in applying for schools, internships, and jobs.
A photo? No problem, anyone who owns a smartphone may think. It’s clear to everyone that different rules apply to an application photo and a pretty Instagram selfie. And that’s why it can take a while to snap the right one. But how much do looks matter when applying to a school or for a job anyway?
Short answer: Not at all. Since the implementation of the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG) on August 14, 2006, applicants are no longer obligated to attach a photo in their cover letters, resumes, etc. Career advisers however recommend including it. Research has found that the right application photo noticeably increases the chances of success.
Even though hiring a professional to snap your photo may cost you a bit, we strongly advise against doing it yourself at home. After all, a photo in a bad quality may do more harm than good. If you are willing to spend a few Euro on a photographer, these tips can help you get the most value out of it.
The perfect application photo starts with your mindset!
Even if it’s not visible in the picture later, the mindset with which you go about your application photo determines your expression. Try to project the position you want to attain during the shoot. How would I feel if I were a successful business student, how would I behave? What gestures and facial expressions would I display?
Be inspired by your surroundings or role models and remember that when you are in front of the camera. Your aura will thank you for that!
Even the best make-up cannot cover the fact you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in days. Make sure you feel fit, healthy, and confident on the day of your photo shoot.
This means: Go to bed early the day before and abstain from alcohol. Furthermore, you should avoid a heavy meal before your shoot. This will make you feel tired and you will look sluggish.
We don’t need to tell you that you should take a shower, comb your hair, and wear a pressed shirt. In your choice of outfit, you can go for the classic (a buttoned shirt and jacket for men, a blouse and blazer for women) or try this alternative recommendation: In the media and creative sectors in particular it has become usual to be photographed dressed casually.
You will find out if this is an option by looking at the corporate homepage or its Facebook page. What are the employees wearing? Choose an outfit that is a little more chic. Adjust your make-up and jewelry to your dream job. That is also a tip for the job interview that will hopefully follow!
You are almost done! The photographer has a series of photographs of you and you now need to choose one that will be professionally edited. Here you should fall back on your role models. What facial expressions and posture remind you of them the most?
In addition, an application photo is not a profile picture for Facebook. The main concern is not about appearing attractive, but competent and credible. If you are unsure, ask your parents, friends, or teacher.
Need a resume for your application? We have some insights for you!