Should I Put My Picture on My Resume?

Should I Put My Picture on My Resume? | Tips |

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The purpose of your resume is to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences that make you the best candidate for the position. It is essential to know when to include a picture of yourself on your resume and the best way to add one. Learning when it’s acceptable to add a photo and where to place it can help you create a more appealing resume.

Should you include a picture on your resume?

Including a photo of yourself on your resume usually depends on the job, the company, and the industry. Typically, most employers prefer that candidates do not include a photo on their resume. That way, employers can focus only on your qualifications when they read your resume.

There are also certain positions in which including a photo on your resume is a good idea. For these positions, the job listing or hiring manager may even ask you to include the picture. Even in situations when you need to include a photo of yourself, there are creative ways you can attach it without it becoming a focal point. The key to determining when to include a photo is to understand the value it provides that makes you the best candidate.

When to include a picture on your resume

Here are a few specific situations in which you may include a photo on your resume.

Physical appearance is a factor

There are certain positions where including a picture on your resume is necessary because your appearance can impact whether or not you are the right candidate for the role. In the art and entertainment industry, including a picture on your resume may be appropriate. You also likely need to include one or more photos in your portfolio.

Examples of industries or positions where your physical appearance may be a factor:

  • Modeling
  • Acting
  • Dancing
  • Entertaining
  • Influencing

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.

You are distributing your resume at a networking event

Suppose you distribute your resume primarily at networking events. In that case, it may be acceptable to include a photo on your resume. When you attend professional conferences, seminars, and other networking events, you will likely meet many new people you want to add to your professional network. Including a photo on your resume can help people you meet at the networking event remember who you are. You can also offer to provide them with a copy of your resume without a photo if they plan to forward it to other individuals for formal job screening purposes.

You are applying for a job outside of the United States

There are several countries where employers may expect you to include a photo on your resume, even if they don’t specifically ask you to do so. For example, several countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America consider including a picture on a resume to be standard. If you are applying to a position that will require you to relocate from the U.S. to one of these areas, you might include a photo on your resume.

When not to include a picture on your resume

Here are a few specific situations in which you should not include a picture on your resume.

The employer disregards resumes with pictures

Some employers have guidelines that instruct their human resources department to disregard resumes that have pictures on them. While they may not specifically state this in the job listing, companies with these guidelines do not consider candidates who have a picture on their resume. If the job description doesn’t mention adding a picture to your resume, you can exclude it.

It doesn’t add value to your resume

When you apply to traditional business roles in a corporate environment, it is important to use your resume to show how you can fit the company’s culture. Employers expect resumes to be clear, simple, with only relevant information. Including your picture on a corporate resume could distract the hiring manager from your other qualifications.

Tips for including a picture on your resume

If you need to provide a picture on your resume, here are a few tips to follow:

Include a URL

One option for connecting a picture to your resume without actually adding a photo is to include a website URL in your resume. This website URL can send the person to a social media page, personal website, or your online portfolio. Using this option to connect your picture to your resume allows the recruiter or hiring manager to decide whether they want to view it.

Attach a business card

Another option is to put your picture on your business card and then attach it to your resume. Your business card can also include a logo or a slogan that highlights your personal brand.

Place your picture at the top

If you must include a picture of yourself on your actual resume, try to include it at the top of the page near your name and heading. That way, the rest of your experience, education, and skills are still grouped in your resume.

Use a professional headshot

Any picture employers may have access to should be a professional headshot. This includes pictures you add to your resume and online in public social media profiles. Professional headshots typically focus on your face and upper body, so make sure to wear professional attire.

Make sure it’s up to date

If you make any big changes to your appearance, your resume picture should reflect it. That way, recruiters have an accurate idea of what you look like.

Check your formatting

If you add a picture to a resume you plan to email, save it as a PDF, then double-check to make sure the format is correct before sending it.

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