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Should You Put Your Picture on Your Resume

Are you trying to find a way to make your resume stand out from the crowd?

There was once a time when adding a picture of yourself to your resume was common practice. This was a good way of showing potential employers who you are and engaging with them. However, these days this practice has fallen out of trend. Some people even feel that it could harm their chances of getting hired for a job.

So, let’s take a closer look and find out should you put your picture on your resume?

should you put your picture on your resume

Why Adding Your Photo Could Be A Bad Idea?

A resume is a professional document that is intended to present your educational and professional background. Your resume needs to be correctly formatted so that it is easy for employers to skim. Adding a photo to your resume could distract potential employers from your relevant skills and experience.

Here are some of the other reasons it is best to leave your photo off your resume:

Bias

In the United States, it is illegal to discriminate against people and especially potential employees, based on their appearance. This includes their race, gender, age, and other physical features. Most employers are concerned that a photo on a resume could lead to an accusation of unintentional or intentional bias.

Unprofessional

In most industries, your experience, skills, and education should speak for themselves. Including a photo of yourself when applying for a job in an office can make your resume look too informal. Employers may even get the impression that you are relying on your looks to make up for a lack of qualifications.

should you put your picture on resume

First impressions

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and this will be much stronger in person. Even if they don’t mean to, recruiters can make assumptions about you based on your photo. It is best to work on your body language and make sure you create a strong impression in the interview.

Space constraints

It is best to try and restrict your resume to a single page of A4 paper. You need to pack a large amount of information into this limited space, especially if you have extensive work experience. The space your photo would take up is better used to expand on your qualifications, skills, and experience.

Images are not ATS System friendly

Most companies use applicant tracking systems to filter and manage resumes. These systems are typically instructed to only read text. Adding a photo to your resume could confuse the ATS system and cause your resume to be rejected.

When To Add Your Photo To Your Resume?

While it is not generally a good idea to put a picture on your resume, there are some exceptions. In some cases, your picture may improve your chances of getting hired.

Here are examples of times when it could be necessary to include your picture:

You work in entertainment

Unlike office workers, actors, extras, and a range of other people depend on their appearance to a certain extent. Hiring managers usually search for candidates that match their specifications in terms of appearance. In these cases, failing to include a photo could put your resume at the bottom of the pile.

You are a model

It is essential for models to show that they have the right image for the campaigns they work on. This profession depends mainly on looks, and hiring managers have specific profiles in mind. In addition to including a portfolio of photos, models should add a photo to their resume.

You are a musician

Although your music should speak for itself, image also counts for a lot. Many promoters and other people in the music industry need to make sure their musicians fit their brand. Adding a photo to your social media pages also helps fans to recognize you.

You are applying for an international job

While it is not usually the best practice to include your photo in the United States, the international rules vary. In some countries, employers still expect you to add a photo of yourself to your resume. If you are applying for a job in Germany, Italy, or Spain, it is best to attach your professional photo.

should you put the picture on your resume

The directions request a photo

It is always important to read the instructions carefully when applying for a job. Failing to follow the instructions carefully makes you look unprofessional and unprepared. While it may seem like an unusual request, it is best to add a photo if the instructions specify it.

Choosing The Right Photo

If you have been asked to attach a photo to your resume, you need to choose carefully. It is important to make sure that the photo you attach makes you look professional. Here are some tips on how to choose the right photo for your resume.

Wear a plain top

It is best to choose a top that you would wear for a formal interview. Your resume is likely to be converted to black and white, so it is best to choose a plain colored top. Avoid clothes with slogans, stripes, and bold patterns.

Focus on grooming

You won’t go into an interview with messy hair, so make sure it is combed before your photo. Good grooming means a lot when it comes to professional photographs. Women with long hair should make sure both their hairstyle and makeup is simple and professional.

Smile

A sincere smile makes you look more confident and approachable. Make sure you smile with your eyes as well as your mouth so that it looks genuine.

Going solo

Make sure you are the only person in your photo. The recruiter doesn’t care about your boyfriend, bestie, or your cute puppy.

Stick to a headshot

The photo you attach to your resume should just show your head and shoulders. The format of a standard passport photo is a good guide of how the photo should look. If you have a passport photo that makes you look good, this could be the right photo to use.

Choose the right angle

Because the photo just shows your head and shoulders, the angle is very important. While the right camera angle can make you look like a star, the wrong angle can do the opposite. Being too far above or below the camera lens could give you a double chin or flared nostrils.

Choose a neutral background

If there is too much going on in the background of your photo, it is sure to be distracting. While choosing a beach scene can be calming, it could make it look like you are too focused on your leisure time. It is best to select a plain wall in a neutral color as the background.

Use a black and white photo

Bright colors can be distracting and are likely to detract from your resume. However, black and white photos automatically make you look more professional.

How To Add A Picture To Your Resume?

If you are not very tech savvy, you may struggle to attach your photo to your resume. Fortunately, it is easy when you have the know-how. Here are three simple tips to make sure you get it just right.

Select a clean and professional headshot

The first step is making sure your headshot is clean and professional. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get your picture taken by a professional photographer. However, the photo you choose needs to present you in the best way possible.

Size the photo to the top corner of your resume

The last thing you want is for your photo to be so large that it takes up valuable space on your resume. However, the photo needs to be large enough so that it shows who you are. Around two inches wide by two inches tall is the perfect size for this type of photo.

should you put the picture on resume

Consider including a separate portfolio of photos

In some professions, you may need to submit several photos of yourself to a potential employer. The best way to do this is to create a separate online portfolio of photos that you can link to your resume. This allows you to simply add a link to your portfolio rather than making your resume cluttered.

Alternatives To Adding A Photo To Your Resume

Even though there are some circumstances where you could add a photo to your resume, it is best avoided. However, you may still want potential employers to view your photo for some reason. Here are some ways of letting them see your photo without attaching it to your resume.

Include the URL of your LinkedIn profile

This professional social media platform is the perfect place to add a photo of yourself. LinkedIn has a strict format when it comes to photos, and you can change your photo whenever you want.

Research has shown that LinkedIn profiles that feature photos are much more likely to appeal to recruiters. Adding the URL of your LinkedIn profile ensures that recruiters will see your photo and gives them more information.

Add a photo to your networking resume

This is another great place to add a photo of yourself. If you are attending a networking event or conference, you may want to take along copies of your resume. These are great places to meet potential employers and make connections with other people in the industry.

However, you are likely to meet a large number of people at these events and share contact information. Adding a photo to your networking resume helps you to stand out from the crowd. It helps recruiters put a face to the name when they are reviewing your resume later.

Attach a business card with your photo to your resume

Creating business cards with your photo on them is a fairly simple process. When done right, these business cards can look very professional and stylish. When submitting your resume, simply attach one of these business cards so the recruiter can see your photo.

Pretty As Your Picture Resumes!

Whether you upload a photo or not, using a professional format and including the correct content is crucial!

So, check out these amazing online finds such as How to Write the Perfect Resume: Stand Out, Land Interviews, and Get the Job You Want, the Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired, and Your Guide To A Stand Out Modern Resume: Make Your Resume The One That Stops the 6-Second Scroll, the Resume: Writing 2022 The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Resume that Lands YOU the Job! and much much more!

In addition, are the informative reads including Resume 101: How to Write an Effective Resume, LinkedIn Profile, and Cover Letter, or how about The Resume Writing Guide: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Writing a Winning Resume, and The Resume Handbook: How to Write Outstanding Resumes and Cover Letters for Every Situation to get your CV to really shine.

Furthermore, we also recommend using the Knock ’em Dead Resumes: A Killer Resume Gets MORE Job Interviews!, and my favorite, Steal This Resume, or what about the Knock ’em Dead Cover Letters: Cover Letters and Strategies to Get the Job You Want, or The Damn Good Resume Guide, and of course the well-known Resumes For Dummies also available online in 2022.

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, it is best not to put your picture on your resume. However, it can be seen that there are several key exceptions to this rule.

Deciding to attach a professional photo of yourself, means making sure that you choose the photo carefully. If you have the right educational background, skills, and experience, your resume shouldn’t need a photo. It is best to focus on creating the perfect format for your resume and polishing it.

You can always add a link to your online professional profile that includes a photo if you need to.

Good luck with your Resume Photo, and don’t forget to smile!

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About Carmen Smith

Carmen grew up in San Diago but now lives in Boston. She loves traveling, experiencing other cultures, and basically exploring the world, be country at a time.

Her other passion is helping people find the perfect career. We spend 33% of our working lives at work, so it's ridiculous that many people do jobs that they do not enjoy. Carmen wants to change this and thinks that anyone who isn't happy in their employment should keep looking until they find something that they really enjoy. 

She firmly believes that "Everyone's perfect job is out there; it's just a case of continually looking until you find it."

Carmen lives with her husband Johnny, a keen birder who also loves to travel. He finds birds while Carmen makes plans for where they will be eating next...

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