Should I put my photo on my resume? Our advice – no!

By Robert Half 10 August 2018

"Should I put my photo on my resume?"

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

When it comes to your resume, always consider whether the information you’re adding is relevant or beneficial to your job application.

A resume should address your experience and skills in an articulate, concise and professional manner, so it's about knowing what to include in a resume that is of added value. For this reason, it's recommended to avoid adding a photo to your resume.

"Should I put my photo on my resume?" Here's why you shouldn't

For any candidate asking themselves, "Should I put my photo on my resume?", there are two critical factors to consider:

It’s unnecessary

One of the hardest things about writing a CV is ensuring you fit all your relevant skills, qualifications and experience within two-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)? Knowing what you look like will contribute little to a hiring manager assessing your ability to deliver on daily tasks, manage projects, or deal with challenges in the workplace.

Use the space on your resume to sell yourself and your abilities, rather than your appearance. Recruiters will always remove any headshots added to a resume before it is put forward for any jobs with clients.

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 a job interview – don’t give a potential employer any reason to ignore your skills and experience by focusing on your appearance.

When a professional photo is appropriate

When it comes to adding photos, it's more appropriate to include a professional portrait on your LinkedIn profile. On social media, a photo can help paint a broader picture of who you are as an individual, while in the context of other functions of social media.

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.

Resumes should be a professional insight into what your skills and capabilities are to execute and deliver on a job. A visual representation of what you look like (whether it's available online already or not) not only adds little value to your job application, but can open doors to bias that is not appropriate or reflective of what you are truly capable of in a work environment.

Concentrate your efforts instead on writing a powerful resume (and cover letter) that speaks greater volumes about your career ambitions and why you're best suited for the job on offer.

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