LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – A movement to get 10,000 unemployed people closer to getting a job made a stop in Colorado on Wednesday. The website Headshot Booker brought together professional photographers and people who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic to spruce up resumes and online job profiles.
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“The last professional pictures I took were my high school senior pictures, so it’s been quite a while, it’ll be good to have an updated picture of me,” said Hannah Shearer, a cook who was laid off from working at a downtown Denver hotel in March. “I’ve wanted a headshot for a long time and I’ve been thinking about it a lot more recently because I’ve been unemployed kind of help boost my LinkedIn account to get some more views.”
Shearer says it’s been hard getting another job in the hard-hit and unstable restaurant industry.
“I’ve been looking for the last couple of weeks and that’s, there’s not a lot. I still want to be in a kitchen but if it’s not an option anymore I’ll move on to something else,” she said.
“This is making a really big impact. You see that in text on the screen. But when the folks here say, you know I want to give you a hug you have no idea what this means to me,” said Leonard Anderson, one of two photographers offering headshots at the Park meadows Mall in Lone Tree.
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Anderson started his journey in photography when he was in the Army. He started concentrating more on headshots about a year ago.
“It’s more than just smile and do this. It’s kind of the entire experience that we’re trying to give them. The first thing I’m supposed to do is get you to relax,” Anderson said.
He was hoping to take pictures for about 50 people. Safely distanced Katie Warnke from Green Earth Photography was also working through 10-minute windows. A similar location with four photographers was taking place at the Southwest Plaza in Littleton on Wednesday.
Anderson says a study showed it was 21 times more likely for someone to get noticed on LinkedIn with a professional headshot than one without.
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“Headshots are expensive for really good headshots, anywhere from $250 to $1,500 if you can believe that. But headshots can be a make or break for a lot of people getting a job,” he said. “I do hope we’re making a difference. We had some feedback from people coming back and thanking us, one gave me a card and wanted to offer me money. We’re doing this for free. This is our giveback to our community.”