Should You Put Your Image on Your Resume?

should you put your image on your resume

Depending on where in the world you are located and the job you are applying for, the notion of including a professional photo of yourself on your resume or CV may seem a bit odd. The need to put your photo on your resume, as well as the need for putting your address on your resume, has been up for debate in recent years.  

In much of the world, job seekers write a resume that includes a photo of themselves. However, if you are seeking a job in the United States, United Kingdom, or Ireland, professional resume writers advise against it. Including your photo on your resume in these countries can open hiring managers and recruiters up for discrimination lawsuits–the only exception is if you are applying for a job in entertainment, such as for an acting or modeling position. In this case, your image or headshot would be necessary.

There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to using a photo on your resume, especially if it’s a resume for your first job. Fortunately, these photos can be used for other professional platforms, such as LinkedIn, or for your staff biography once you are hired. 

How to Take the Perfect Professional Photo 

Job seekers who have only worked in the U.S., U.K., or Ireland may not know exactly what is needed to take the perfect professional photo. That’s where we come in!

Dress for the Job You Want

This age-old advice still applies today, even in 2023! You want your appearance to align with the culture of the workplace. If you are applying for a high-profile role in finance, wearing a suit in your photo shows you are prepared for the professionalism the job demands. 

While many workplaces now hire for remote positions, it is still important you research the job and industry you are applying for. If you are working as a creative, it is perfectly acceptable to let your individuality shine in a professional way. You don’t want to include any obscene or offensive imagery or anything that would distract from your expertise and ability as an employee.

For your photo, you will want to look at the camera head-on and smile. Recruiters should be able to clearly see your face with a pleasant expression–this gives the impression that you are approachable and professional.

Hire a Photographer

If you have a friend who is a professional photographer, phone in a favor. If not, this is an instance where it makes sense to spend a little money to make more money. Your professional headshot should not be a selfie–yes, recruiters can tell if it is, even if you use a ring light and have the newest iPhone. Taking the time and effort to have a professional photo taken shows hiring managers you take the role seriously and are willing to put in the added effort to put your best foot forward.

Consider Consistency

If you’re thinking about getting a drastically different haircut next week, save your photoshoot for after the makeover. If you’re working on growing out your beard, make sure your photo shows you with facial hair. If you show up to an interview looking dramatically different from your resume photo, it could make hiring managers think you have not updated your information and let major details slide.

Your LinkedIn photo should also match the photo on your resume. Again, discrepancies show recruiters you are not paying attention to important details.

In Summary

If you are applying for work outside of the U.S., U.K., or Ireland, you will want to include a photo on your resume. In this situation, your photo is an extension of your professional self, so it is worthwhile investing in a professional photo.

If you are applying to an organization that specifically asks that photos not be included, we advise you to abide by their request. Including your photo on your resume in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland could also expose recruiters to the possibility of a discrimination lawsuit, because they may have to prove that their hiring processes are not influenced by bias based on the race, gender, age, and appearance of applicants shown in photos.

Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.

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