Should I add a photo to my resume? Our advice – no!

By Robert Half November 20, 2015 at 12:25am

Along with details such as your nationality, marital status, political or religious beliefs; photos should not be added to your resume.

It’s a question that comes up time and again – should you or shouldn’t you include a photo on your resume?

When it comes to your resume, always consider whether the information you’re adding is relevant or beneficial to your job application. It should address your experience and skills in an articulate, concise and professional manner. For this reason, we strongly advise against adding a photo to your resume.

Below are two key reasons why including a photo is a bad idea:

  1. It’s unnecessary. One of the hardest things about writing a CV is ensuring you fit all your relevant skills and experience within four pages (maximum). Why take up room with a photo that is irrelevant to your job application (unless of course you’re a model or an actor)? Use the space on your resume to sell yourself and your abilities rather than your appearance. As a recruiter, we will always remove it before we put you forward for any jobs with our clients.
  2. It can be used to discriminate. Whether it’s deliberate or not, a photo on your resume could result in discrimination on the basis of race, age, gender or other factors. Your resume is a tool to help you secure an interview – don’t give a potential employer any reason to ignore your skills and experience by focusing on your appearance.

When it comes to adding photos, it is more appropriate to include on your LinkedIn profile. On social media, a photo can help paint a broader picture of who you are as an individual.

When choosing a professional photo for social media, consider these dos and don’ts when shortlisting potential snaps.

  • Do: Choose a professional-looking photo. Favour a front-facing headshot on a solid, light background.
  • Don’t: Use a selfie or a posed, party or group photo taken down at the pub, club or beach.
  • Do: Ensure that the photo is well shot with a high resolution and isn’t blurry or out of focus.
  • Don’t: Use an avatar, cartoon or funny photo. It’s better to go without.
  • Do: Make sure the photo fits in with, and complements, the overall impression of your career experience.
  • Don’t: Use a dated or altered photo. Choose a current one that’s true to who you are today.

You can also read our article on the Dos and don’ts of LinkedIn profile pictures.

Always ensure your resume makes a great first impression and your social media presence supports your application, to hopefully land you that dream job.

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