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ERAS Headshot Photography Guide 2023


ERAS Headshot

Looking to apply for medical residencies in the U.S? If the answer is yes, you’ll need an ERAS headshot! ERAS, which stands for Electronic Residency Application Service, is a platform that allows the application for medical residencies to run as effortlessly as possible. It simplifies the process for the applicants and their programme directors, letter of recommendation authors (LoR) and their Dean’s Offices. Long story short, ERAS makes the process a tad easier for everyone involved. Much like UCAS does for the university application process in the U.K!

Your application portfolio does require a headshot photo. ERAS/medical headshots are to the U.S medical residency programme what actor headshots are to the talent industry; it is a chance to sell yourself to multiple medical residency programmes in the U.S.

Along with the application itself, these headshots are used in several other areas, including the residency itself, fellowship and med school. The bad(ish) news is that the requirements for ERAS headshots are pretty specific. But don’t worry too much; we’re here to help! In this article we’ll be covering what to wear, how to pose, and even what sizing format your medical headshot needs to be in.

Table of Contents

What Shall I Wear for my ERAS headshot?

Although there are many specifications you have to meet with your ERAS headshot, choosing what to wear is pretty simple. Aim to look professional, tidy, and like yourself. You want to ooze professionality but at the same time look approachable and friendly, just like a medical professional. Here are a couple of do’s and don’ts you should follow:

Do wear: Professional attire, similar to what you’d wear for your medical residency interviews.

Don’t wear: Flashy or flesh colours, garish or bright jewellery, patterns, or shiny clothing.

However, don’t stress too much about your attire; keep it simple and professional! If you’re still clueless, here’s a more in-depth article on how to dress for a professional headshot; it might give you some inspiration. Remember that you’re competing with around 40,000 applicants, so this headshot has to make a great impression (no pressure)!

Should I Smile in my ERAS photo?

100%. A smile will signal to faculty members that you are friendly, approachable and easy to work with. A smile with or without teeth is fine; make sure your smile isn’t forced and is convincing as possible! Many studies have proven that smiling can make you happier and impact the mood of those looking at your smile. In turn, a more natural and radiant smile will positively affect whoever is viewing your application.

What Size Should my ERAS Headshot Be?

To keep the application process as uniform and smooth as possible, the sizing of your ERAS headshot also needs to meet a specific standard. It should not be bigger than 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size, and the file cannot exceed 100KB. The resolution should be 150 DPI. Make sure to mention this to your headshot photographer, as they’ll be able to either format your images for you or guide you in the right direction with how to do it yourself.

Where Can I Get ERAS Application Headshot Photos in the UK?

Lumosia offer ERAS headshot photography from our studios in London, Birmingham and Bristol. We provide a fast and convenient service to get you a great professional looking image that will hopefully help with your application. Simply click the Book Now button above and choose one of our option for in studio shoots that suits you best! You can choose a quick photo shoot with one image included or a longer session to get you a few images to see you through the first few years of your medical profession. It’s all up to you!

ERAS Headshots in a Nutshell

Though it may seem slightly complex, we can break it down into a summary of requirements. ERAS headshots must:

  • Be in colour
  • Show a full view of the applicant’s head and shoulders, with your face centred in the middle of the photographs
  • Have a plain background that is white or lightly coloured. Darker backgrounds are favoured less during the application process.
  • Not be bigger than 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size and the file cannot exceed 100kb. The resolution should be 150 DPI.

It’s also very much encouraged that you smile in your headshot. Remember, smiling = friendly and approachable! 

For more info on the ERAS application process visit the links below:

Ready to Book Your ERAS Headshot?

For only £49 our Micro package offers a 15 minute session and 1 edited image. Perfect for your new medical residency headshot!

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With London and Bristol studios as well as on location across the UK,  we offer headshot photography at a great price for all! 

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