It Can Trigger Discrimination
If the first thing someone sees on your resume is a photo of you, it could trigger biases, often unconscious, about who might be the best fit for this kind of job. You want to avoid discrimination, intentional or otherwise, Wethers says.
Though its illegal to discriminate in hiring and other employment decisions based on protected classes including race, sex, age, religion, national origin, disability, and genetic information, it still happens. In the case of ageism, for example, While you may be able to adjust the narrative on a resume to eliminate dates or older history to show an employer what is most relevant and what makes you the best possible candidate regardless of how old you may be, when you include a picture it obliterates that and takes control of your narrative away from you, Godfred says.
To be clear, the goal is not to hide your identityyou probably dont want to work for an employer that would hesitate to hire you for discriminatory reasons anyway. Its about deciding what is the story youre telling and being in control of that story, Godfred says, and not letting someone elses judgments stand in the way of you being considered for an opportunity.
The Case Against Adding A Photo
Its potentially unprofessional.
Some career coaches like U.S.-based Alison Green, who writes the Ask a Manager blog, say a photo never belongs on a resumeunless you’re applying for a job as a model or actor . According to Green, since your appearance has nothing to do with your ability to do the job, including a photo comes across as naive and unprofessional.
You risk potential discrimination.
Northborough, MA-based resume expert Julie OMalley says that job seekers need to consider the potential for discrimination: Its illegal to consider factors like age, race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability status in hiring decisions. So hiring authorities prefer to not officially know whether youre a member of one of these protected classes, OMalley writes. Given the possibility of a discrimination claim, some employers flat-out reject resumes with photos, OMalley says.
That being said, its still relatively easy for recruiters to find out what job applicants look like by simply looking up their social media accounts. As a result, Bugni recommends having a professional headshot on your LinkedIn Profile and including the LinkedIn URL on your CV instead of placing the photo on your resume.
You should also expect prospective employers to look you up on Google. Therefore, run a Google search for your name to see what pops up and amend accounts as needed
Your Photo Could Be Used Against You
While it’s illegal to not hire someone because of their photo , you don’t want to risk your photo being used against you especially if you don’t have a professional headshot. If a recruiter or hiring manager really wants to find out what you look like, they can likely find your photo on your LinkedIn profile instead.
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Reasons To Put Your Photo On Your Resume
The yes argument for a photo on your resume is that it humanises you and makes you stand out.
However if you think it will show how you fit an organization, you are also asking a lot of a photo. Nobody looks like their photo. Your fit for an organisation is best judged in interview, where people relate to the energy you give off, the way you interact with people, the interest you show and even the eye contact you make.
In Which Country You’re Applying For A Job
Some recruiters are okay with candidates putting their picture on resume, but some recruiters think it’s unprofessional and reject resumes because of it.
While it’s very confusing for the candidates, the acceptance of a photo in resume varies from country to country.
Many countries take employment discrimination laws very seriously. For example, in the USA, Companies like Wal-Mart, Abercrombie & Fitch had faced legal problems because of discriminatory hiring practices.
So, it’s crucial for you, as a job-seeker, to understand the law when applying for a job.
To make your job easier, we have compiled lists of countries where putting your picture on your resume is acceptable and where it’s not acceptable.
Countries where you can add resume photo:
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The Short Answer: Dont Include Your Picture On Your Resume
It can be overwhelming to know exactly how to best represent yourself on paper to a potential employer.
And although there are endless ways to write a unique resume, there are a few constants you can refer to when the water gets murky.
If youre stuck considering whether adding a photo to your resume will help you land the job of your dreams, you can almost always bet leaving your photo off your resume wont cost you the job.
In the best cases, adding your photo to your resume wont sway a recruiter one way or the other, but in the worst cases, your creative decision can land your application in the reject pile.
When youre in doubt, keep it simple dont include your picture on your resume, but focus making your resume the best it can be in other ways that show off your best skills instead.
If you feel like writing your resume may not lead to the result you can, we recommend you consider a resume writing service to ease the job search process
Our most recommended resume resources
How To Include A Photo On Your Resume
Including a photo on a resume is an important consideration. First of all, should you include a photo on your resume?
In some countries , you shouldnt add a photo because of anti-discrimination and labor laws. Furthermore, there is an 88% rejection rate of resumes with photos in these nations.
However, remember that in some countries a photo is optional, while in others, its expected. Always tailor your resume for the job market youre applying within.
If putting a photo on a resume is optional in the country where youre applying for jobs you need to weigh up the pros and cons. Images can make a resume look more attractive and it can help to market yourself. There are also certain professions for which image is important, such as salespeople, bartenders, shop assistants, and recruiters.
However, by having a photo on your resume you may put yourself at risk of discrimination. A photo can reveal a lot of personal information about you which has no relation to your ability to do the job. Your gender, age, ethnicity, religion, and physical characteristics should be irrelevant. Photos can also take up valuable space which could be used to showcase your actual abilities.
Whether you decide to include a photo or not, using a resume builder is a time-effective way of producing a professional-looking resume.
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A Cv Photo Shows Im Well
As an employee, the way you look is a reflection of your employers business. In theory, employers will favour applicants who are well dressed and neatly groomed.
But can you really tell if someone will always be well dressed and neatly presented, just from one CV photo? Personally, I think this is a stretch.
It Distracts From The Content Of Your Resume
If youve heard the statistics about how long a recruiter spends doing an initial read of a resumea 2018 eye-tracking study found it was an average of 7.4 secondsyou know that every second counts.
A photo immediately grabs the eye and takes you away from words on the page, Godfred says. Your goal should be to draw a recruiters eye as quickly as possible to information that demonstrates what a great candidate you are for this particular opportunityand for the vast majority of jobs, your photo is not it.
I know they say a picture a thousand words but you dont want those thousand words to get in the way of the ones you have on your resume, Wethers says. You dont want anything to distract from putting your accomplishments front and center.
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Why Is Adding A Picture On Your Resume A Bad Idea
Recruiters get merely six seconds to go through each resume. Do you really want a recruiter to waste their valuable time on your photo?
Instead, use that space to clearly address your skills and experience to grab the recruiter’s attention.
When it comes to a professional resume, it should not include any information which does not directly benefit the job application.
If you’re still asking yourself, “should I put my photo on my resume?” Here are five reasons why you should not.
Im Attractive With A Cv Photo Im More Likely To Get An Interview
It pains me to admit it but honestly, including an attractive CV photo might get you an interview with a few;employers, particularly if your qualifications and experience are also up to scratch. There really are a few of those employers out there. Would you want to work for them?
On this point, some people put forward the argument that if the employer has two applicants with similar qualifications and experience one is attractive, one is unattractive the attractive applicant is more likely to get an interview. I dont buy this not only is the scenario unlikely but most employers would invite both applicants for an interview.
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When And Where To Display Your Professional Headshot
There are some jobs, such as acting or modeling roles, that call for a picture on your resumeand in those cases, you certainly should include one. There are also some places in the world where resume pictures are customary. If youre still on the fence, consider what a resume picture will add and what is best practice in your local job market before deciding.;
If youre looking for a place to display your professional photo, a personal website or your are great places to do so.;
Its true that recruiters and hiring managers will eventually come across your smiling face as you advance in the hiring process. But we still believe its best to keep your experience, skills, and achievements front and center when applying to jobs. As hiring practices are constantly evolving, well keep an eye on the resume picture trend and update you if the industry recommendation changes.;
You can see how your resume stands up against applicant tracking systems and learn how to optimize your resume here or scan your resume against any job description below:
Headers Footers Tables Images Or Charts
These fancy embeds will have hiring managers thinking, “Could you not?”
While a well-formatted header and footer may look professional, and some cool tables, images, or charts may boost your credibility, they also confuse the applicant-tracking systems that companies use nowadays, Augustine tells Business Insider.
The system will react by scrambling up your résumé and spitting out a poorly formatted one that may no longer include your header or charts. Even if you were an ideal candidate for the position, now the hiring manager has no way to contact you for an interview.
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Option : Include The Url Of Your Linkedin Profile
LinkedIn profiles regularly incorporate a photo and are widely utilized by candidates in their job search and by recruiters sourcing talent. If you believe your appearance would be an asset for your target job,;;is a safe and acceptable way to showcase your appearance.
Though a certain appearance is essential for actors and models, an attractive, trustworthy, or approachable appearance can also be an asset in many other fields. Sales representatives, receptionists, bartenders, financial planners, public relations representatives, recruiters, and many other service providers can benefit from projecting a certain image.
What Impression Do You Want To Make
Are you aware that most HR managers give each resume only about a 6-second look before discarding it?
Ask yourself: Do you really want the HR manager to spend those valuable six seconds distracted by your appearance?
Instead, direct the HR managers focus towards your work experience and accomplishments, and impress them with your hard and soft skills.
Struggling to make your work experience seem impressive? Learn how to create convincing experience bullet points with our how to write a resume guide.
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Alternatives To Including A Photo On A Resume
If you think that a photo will help your chance of getting a job but, for whatever reason, you dont want to include it on your resume, there are alternatives. Many candidates include a link to their LinkedIn profile which normally has a photo which employers can see.
Similarly, if you have a personal website which includes your picture, you can include a link. Other candidates choose to send a photo attached as a separate file rather than putting it on their resume.
It’s Distracting And Takes Up Valuable Space
These photos also take up space and distract people from actually reading your resume.
That physical space could instead be used to emphasize other accomplishments or career highlights, says Yang. People may focus on rather than your experience and credentials.”
It can also take the reader’s focus away from more important details. A recent study from Ladders found that recruiters spend just over seven seconds reviewing a single resume on average. In that time, HR managers tend to look for specific keywords, experiences, companies, and educational backgrounds, Belyna says.
“You want the employer to pay attention to your accomplishments,” adds Copeland. “So you don’t want to waste it on a photo.”
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A Job Posting Must Contain:
The Job Listing Or Hiring Manager Requests A Picture
Sometimes, the job listing will state that including a photo in your resume is optional. ln this situation, you can choose to add your picture if you believe it adds value that will help your resume stand out. Although rare, recruiters or hiring managers may specifically request that you include a photo on your resume or in your application documents. In this case, review the job description to determine what type of photo; would be best to include to ensure they consider you for the role.
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Should You Put Your Photo On Your Resume
One of my executive resume clients asked me to include their photo on their resume.
My initial reaction? Not a good idea.
My reason? In North America, it is not common practice to include a photo on a resume. It is often discouraged by employers.
A photo can set a job seeker up for discrimination, and many employers do not need or want a picture to accompany this file.
However, what if a job seeker insists on including one? Should it be allowed ? Can a photo be more personal and help someone stand out in their job application, or is it a major disadvantage?
I took this question to LinkedIn to ask the experts and here is what some of them had to say:
Bob McIntosh :;NO! While we advise our clients to sport a photo on their profile, it is of no benefit to include one on your resume. This can hurt you in so many ways based on differences in ageyoung and oldgender, race, facial appearance, etc. Just a bad idea Yet another consideration is HR and recruiters being wary of lawsuits, as some have expressed regarding LinkedIn profiles.; In terms of the LinkedIn profile, whos to say how many people have been immediately eliminated because of their photo. Photos are just a bad thing all around. Now if were talking about certain occupations that rely on ones looks, thats a different matter.
Meaghan Dill : Too personal! I am more interested in what you can do and what you have done dont use precious space on something that cant tell me what youre capable of.
Any Unnecessary Obvious Words
Amdur says there is no reason to put the word “phone” in front of the actual number. “It’s pretty silly. They know it’s your phone number.” The same rule applies to email.
Other superfluous words like “responsible for”, “oversight of”, and “duties included” unnecessarily complicate and hide your experience, Gelbard says.
“Be direct, concise, and use active verbs to describe your accomplishments,” she suggests. Instead of writing, “Responsible for training interns…”, simply write, “Train interns…”
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Option : Add A Photo To Your Networking Resume
Another possible exception to the accepted wisdom regarding the inclusion of photos is when you are utilizing your resume mostly for networking purposes.;If you are distributing resumes at conferences or other events where you will be interacting with many individuals, a photo can help new contacts to remember you.;
In addition, if you are being referred by your contacts to other individuals who don’t know you, you might include a picture on your resume if you believe your appearance would be an asset. You can mention to networking contacts that you would be glad to furnish a version of your resume without a picture if they would like to forward your document to other individuals for formal job screening.