Should I include a picture on my resume?
When you are carefully crafting your professional resume, this question might have crossed your mind over and over,
"Should I put a picture on my resume?"
"Is a picture on resume a good idea?"
Some say putting a professional picture in your resume is a nice touch of personalizations.
Others argue that in 2021, most recruiters will Google candidates' names to check their social media profiles. And they are going to see your picture eventually. So it does not make sense to add a profile picture to your resume.
But there is no definite guide that tells you if you should include your picture on your resume or not.
In this blog, we are settling this once and for all! In this blog, we are going to talk about:
- Why adding a picture on your resume is a bad idea
- What you should ask yourself before adding a photo in resume
- If you still want to add a picture on resume, how to do it properly
- Some alternatives to picture in resume.
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.
Photo is not ATS-friendly
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Resume with pictures can potentially work against you. Most recruiters use an applicant tracking system to sort resumes. It scans resumes based on keywords and decides whether you're a suitable candidate for the job or not.
But ATS software can not process resume pictures. It may confuse the ATS software and result in complete disqualification of your resume.
It may cause discrimination
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Many HR professionals agree that including a photo on a resume may lead to discrimination based on age, race, gender, or other factors.
It may not be deliberate. Recruiters are human. And it's a human tendency to judge someone based on their appearances.
That is why, in countries like the USA, many recruiters discard resume image, name, address before passing them to the clients to avoid discrimination.
Some recruiter consider resumes with picture unprofessional
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Many recruiters think that putting pictures on resumes is unprofessional. It sends a wrong impression of the candidate to the employer.
Your resume should only contain information about professional skills and demonstrate how you will be a valuable asset to the company. A resume photo does not provide any of this information and can be a major turn-off for the employer.
Resume image doesn't address your skills
Unless your appearance brings any value to your job, you should not include your picture in your resume.
Recruiters don't understand your ability to perform daily tasks, project management skills, skills to deal with challenges, previous work experience from your photo.
In the end, you have to decide whether the job you are applying for requires a photo on your resume or not.
When your look does not bring any value to the job you're applying for, we advise you not to include your photo on your resume.
Resumes with picture are distracting
As we said earlier, recruiters spend on an average six seconds to go through each resume. That means you only have so much time to stand out from the competition and sell your skills.
Recruiters mostly go through the resume headlines to quickly gauge the competence of the candidate.
While sorting through the resumes, if the recruiters see your photo, it may distract them from your skills and achievements.
Instead, we suggest you use this extra space to emphasize your skills and give the recruiter a chance to understand your abilities.
All in all, adding a photo to resume is not always a smart idea unless your appearance is an essential factor for the job.
However, the global job market is slowly inclining towards a non-discrimination policy, so the practice of including pictures on resumes is becoming obsolete day by day.
But, we are not discouraging you from including your picture in resume. If you want to add it, just do it.
But before you add a picture on resume, make sure you have your reasons straight.
Ask yourself these questions before adding a picture on resume
What job are you applying for?
Consider the job profile before adding your picture on resume. Unless the job you're applying for puts heavy emphasis on your appearance, it's better to not use a cv with photos.
However, if it's a job where your appearance matters, such as customer service, brand ambassador, acting, or modeling jobs, here you can use resumes with pictures. It may convince your recruiter to put you in the front line for an interview.
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:
- South Korea
- Scandinavian countries
Countries where you can not use resumes with photo:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- The Netherlands
If your country is not on either list, don't worry. In many countries, there is no strict preference regarding pictures on resumes. But it is advisable to not use a picture on a resume where it is not needed.
If the company requires it, they will specifically ask you for your picture during the application process.
On top of that, recruiters usually search your name on Google or social media channels. That means they will see your picture eventually. No point wasting valuable real estate on your resume with your profile picture.
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Dos and don'ts of resume photo
If you still want to add a picture to your resume, make sure it is professional and give the recruiter an excellent impression. After all, it's your first impression.
Do not use unprofessional photos in resumes such as selfies, group photos, cropped photos, etc.
Here are some dos and don'ts for resume photo:
- Hire a professional photographer to take your picture
- The photo should have good lightning
- Your face must be clearly seen
- You should look straight towards the camera
- You should have a friendly face in the photo
- You should dress professionally according to the role
- The resume photo should match your Linkedin profile picture
- Do not use a selfie as a resume photo
- Do not use a photo taken at an angle
- Do not use a photo where your face is not visible clearly
- Do not use a photo where you look uninteresting
- Do not use a photo where you're wearing a casual dress
- Do not paste a large photo on your resume. Use a small passport-size picture
If you carefully use these dos and don'ts to your resumes pictures, it will drastically improve your chances of landing an interview.
Don't want to use a photo on resume? Here are two options for you
Let's say you've gauged the pros and cons of a resume photo and decided to not include it in your resume. But you still want recruiters to easily recognize you.
Here are two ways you can do that.
Attach your business card to resume
You can not put your photo on your resume. That's fine.
You can complement that by attaching your business card with your resume.
Recruiters who wish to see your appearance will get what they want.
Recruiters who don't like to see your face can discard the business card and keep your resume.
It's a win-win for both you and the recruiter.
This is particularly useful if you are meeting the recruiter at a networking event.
The business card with a resume will help them remember you, increasing the chance of getting an interview.
Put your Linkedin profile link on your resume
Most recruiters nowadays check the social media profile of prospective candidates to know more about them.
Make it easier for them by providing a link to your Linkedin profile on your resume.
If you carefully optimize your Linkedin profile with a professional headshot and good summary, it will create a good impression on the recruiter’s mind about you.
Here are a couple of tips for your Linkedin profile photo:
- Have a friendly smile
- Squint a little
- Dress professionally
- Look straight to the camera
- Have a closeup picture
- Have a clear background
- Use high-resolution photograph
- Avoid selfies
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If you're still unsure about the question, “should you put your picture on your resume?”, here are key takeaways from the blog:
- Do not add a picture on resume unless it's relevant to the job description
- Before you add a picture to resume, understand the employment discrimination law of that country
- If you wish to put a picture in your resume, make sure the picture is professional and makes a good impression on the recruiter
- You can bypass adding a picture on resume by attaching your business card with your professional resume
- Also, you can include your Linkedin profile link on your resume. When recruiters want to search your profile online, they will check out your Linkedin profile and see your picture
With that, we have come to the end of this blog. We hope you have got all of your questions answered. If you want to create your professional resume, you can visit our Online Resume Builder and get your ATS-optimized resume within minutes.
Have any questions regarding resume pictures? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.