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Should You Include A Photo With Your Resume?

Including a photograph with your resume is acceptable in many countries, but the United States is not one of them. Even though potential employers will probably view social media profiles, you should not include a picture of yourself with your resume. You will, however, want to make sure that any pictures you do have posted online will not result in a bad impression.

When you are in the process of searching for a job you should focus on outlining your skills and qualifications and leave your appearance out of it. An ideal resume will demonstrate that you are a good fit for the position by representing your work and accomplishments. Adding a photograph to the package can create potential for discrimination, make you look unprofessional and is also a waste of space.

Opens the Door for Discrimination

Job recruiters may have a problem with a resume that includes a photograph for different reasons, but one chief cause is tied to discrimination laws. Since it is illegal for an employer to consider certain factors in hiring decisions, such as age, race, religion, gender, national origin or disabilities, a photograph may provide insight to this information and leave them vulnerable to a discrimination claim. This is why some companies will simply toss out these resumes to avoid possible accusations.

Lack of Professionalism

A resume that has your picture on it can cause recruiters to see you as unprofessional. If you are physically attractive, this can be an additional mark against you. It can be seen as an attempt to gain favor with your looks and may distract from the rest of your resume. Even if you have an impressive list of skills, incorporating a photograph will generally not lead to a positive impression.

Waste of Space

Employers gain their first impression of you from your resume and cover letter. You should try to keep your resume no longer than one page, and it is difficult to do this if you include a picture. A photograph will take up valuable space that could be used to include relevant information and promote your skills, which is what should ultimately get you the job. Avoiding the photograph, and spending more time on creating a well-crafted resume will take more time, but will also be more beneficial to you.

Unless the job you are applying for requires a photograph, such as a modeling or acting job, resist the temptation to include one. You don’t want employers to throw out your resume before they take the time to look over the skills that make you the perfect candidate for the job.

For a proper resume sample, click here, and find out how to properly build a resume.

Lannette Price

Lannette Price is a senior consultant at Resume.com where she helps users build and edit their resumes online. Lannette enjoys helping job seekers perfect their resumes and find their dream job.

2 comments

  • Wow, you are saying that in 2013, the era of Facebook and Linked In! As a person who has reviewed many resumes (IT specific) and interviewed many applicants, I can tell you that a smiling, genuine face on the resume adds a lot to the decision to bring someone in. As a matter of fact, I am looking at your photo attached to the news article (ironic btw) and thinking you are someone personable, a good people person. I don’t think for a minute that you look unprofessional or that your physical attractiveness would deter in your ability to get the job accomplished. I often go to find a photo of the applicant just to get an idea of the type of person they are. In many jobs, physical attractiveness is an asset that women and men use to great advantage, giving them opportunities in interacting with otherwise recalcitrant people and getting an opportunity to pitch a sale that otherwise never would have given other people the time of day. What that says about the human psyche and evolution, I leave to you to decide.

  • I agree with the above comment. I think that if you’re confident that including your photo would create an unconscious bias in your favour you’d be stupid not to include it. Especially if you can manage to bypass HR and recruiters and put your CV directly in front of the person who is looking to hire someone to do a job.