The Resume Picture: Yay or Nay? What Experts Say Will Surprise You!

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Jul 20, 2018

Jul 20, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

A picture is worth 1,000 words, but does the same go for a picture on your resume?

Looking for a job is stressful enough, having to think about where your money will come from, where to apply, and what your next position will be. You don't need to swear the little stuff. Once you're informed, you'll be able to confidently apply without the worry.

Should You Include a Resume Picture When Applying?

LinkedIn profiles get twenty-one times more views if they include photos. LinkedIn is basically your resume online, but is it the same as putting your photo on your resume?

Traditionally, No

If you're not a model or an actor who literally needs to put their photo on their resume, then it's not necessary at all to include yours.

People warn against putting photos on resumes because it can cause discrimination from the employer, whether intentional or unintentional. With a photo included in your resume, it's easier for them to discriminate on age, race, gender, weight, personal appearance choices, or attractiveness that all have nothing to do with how well you may be able to perform a job.

You may actually be decreasing your chances of landing a job interview without even knowing it when you choose to include a photograph on your resume.

Resumes with headshots also still come across as somewhat unprofessional. We live in a world where a brief search of your name online will likely reveal photographs of yourself - you don't need to add an extra one to a text-based document.

If you really want people to see you but you're still hesitant, you can choose to include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume. Most people don't print resumes out any longer, so you can consider hyperlinking directly in your resume.

Some professionals do have a slightly unfortunate viewpoint on whether or not you should include a photo on your CV. If you're traditionally attractive, it's possible that including a photo might set you apart.

If your resume is literally the same as another qualified candidate, the fact that you're attractive could potentially set you apart for a select few employers. However, they may never admit it and you may never know that's the reason you're hired.

Make Your Resume Stand Out, Not You

Some professionals say that wanting to include a photo on your resume could be indicative of a larger problem. You might think that your resume is not good enough and that because of that, you need to make it flashy and include a picture of yourself.

Your resume should be easy to read, and completely clear from start to finish. It's possible that adding a picture could clutter the appearance of the resume and distract from the factors that people really should care about - like your impressive work experience.

Professional resumes should also have consistent formatting throughout. Maybe your resume is professional and consistent, but that photograph is throwing off the groove. If you do choose to include a photo, make sure that it's streamlined and placed appropriately so it doesn't make the entire resume look messy.

It should also not include extraneous information or details that aren't necessary for the job. It's debated whether or not a picture could be seen as an extraneous detail. Some argue that it's definitely not necessary and take away space from the things that you really do need to include.

Use a resume template if you're having a hard time coming up with what kind of formatting to include on your resume. Make sure that you customize within the template so that it fits your personal skills and doesn't look like all you did to create your resume was stick to a copy and paste format.

If you're still completely lost on how to fill out a successful resume and whether or not you should be including a photo in it, ask an expert for help. If you're in college, you can go to your career center often get resume help without any charge. Other professionals specialize in looking over your resume and coaching you on how to streamline it to make it most effective.

If You Said Yes

After considering all the points, you might lean toward wanting to include a picture on your resume.

It's important that you don't use just any old picture. HR professionals will see the photo right away and immediately get the first impression that you're not taking your resume seriously.

You need a professional photo taken if you're going to include one on your resume. 

Make certain that the photo that you include is current. Because if you actually do get selected for the interview based on your resume, you want to appear like you do in your picture.

Again, be cautious with your picture. Make sure you wear the right clothes. If you don't get hired for the job, some companies are wary of you filing a discrimination claim because you might contest that you didn't get hired for some persona appearance factor.

Consult with a resume professional to decide where you should place your picture on your resume, and whether or not you need to include one or not.  Typically, the picture is placed at the top left of your resume, but sometimes can be seen in the middle.

Snag That Job

Eight-five percent of people worldwide admitted that they hate their jobs. That astronomical number might be depressing, but it also might be your reality.

Stop sitting around hating your job because you think that it's too difficult to get anything else. You can set up job alerts that come to you so that you don't even have to think about searching for a job - they can come to you.

Now that you know whether or not to include a resume picture when applying for a job, you'll be more ready to conquer the job world. You can confidently apply once you know just what people are looking for.