Look gorgeous? I don’t need to know from your resume photo.

by K B , updated on October 24, 2013

should-you-put-your-photo-on-your-resumeShould you really put your photo on your resume?

Yes, well, maybe.

How’s that for being definitive?

OK, I lean towards a no on the resume photo argument.

My hesitation is that it is still not that common to see photos on resumes in Australia.

So if you have a photo on your resume, you do run the risk of running into someone like me. I have to confess that when I was a recruiter I used to see a photo on a resume and say “hmmmm I wonder why they’ve put that on their resume” or “that’s really not a flattering colour.”

Reasons not to put your photo on your resume.

More seriously though, for many years, we’ve all asked employers to judge us on our skills and achievements. That’s why we have EEO legislation in place.

When you put your photo on your resume you are inviting a recruiter with their own set of prejudices, to consider how you look along with what you may have achieved.

Reasons to put your photo on your resume.

The “yes” argument for a photo on your resume is that it humanises you and makes you stand out.

However if you think it will show how you fit an organization, you are also asking a lot of a photo. Nobody looks like their photo. Your fit for an organisation is best judged in interview, where people relate to the energy you give off, the way you interact with people, the interest you show and even the eye contact you make.

If you choose to put your photo on your resume, what sort of photo should you choose?

If you do decide to put a photo on, make it a good one.

Make it discreet and fit the theme of the resume.

I once had someone apply for a consulting position who sent a photo of himself fishing. He had a great set of skills (fishing clearly one of them), but I had to question his judgment about the photo and I was reluctant to take it any further.

In Australia in particular, we do have the “tall poppy” syndrome. We like people to be confident in their talents, but not to brag about them. Somehow a photo on a resume says something different. Perhaps it says more of the “look at me look at me” than many of us feel comfortable with.

But that could just be me. And I do find it ironic that I am writing this while my photo is on my website.

If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your resume based on your skills and experience, click here to try our new iPhone app, myPitch. This will help you craft a powerful opening career objective for your resume and LinkedIn profile.

For more information on resumes read:

Why a career objective on your resume is important
Watch out for these resume red flags
How long should a resume be?
Seven things you don’t know I know from reading your resume
Don’t make these top 10 resume mistakes



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Luke C December 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I’ve never really considered adding a photo to my CV. I’ve not really applied for roles where it could be a deal breaker, though I can see its benefit when it comes to narrowing the field with scruffy interns.

Al October 30, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Interesting article. I think it’s a good thing to put your photo on your resume. It’s not so much about how good looking you are – whether employers will admit it or not your appearance does play at least a small part in forming an impression about who you are (eg. how friendly/approachable you appear to be) and whether you would “fit” with company culture. And after all, you can’t hide your face at an interview. I think it’s becoming more accepted these days especially with Social Media and profile photos – people want faces – a personality behind words. If you are going for a job which also requires also a lot of face to face contact this is especially important – eg. receptionist, marketing/PR/sales etc.

ben May 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I think these days it is needed to have your photo on your CV. You need YOUR CV to be the one to stand out, and whether that be a photo or otherwise it will work. HR have a hard decision ruffling through hundreds of CV’s to find the ‘right’ candidate, but if you have the correct skills needed for the job, the photo could also be the deal breaker over another CV who does not, why? Well, if the position involves selling face to face or interacting with businesses or customers, its harder to turn down an offer from a good looking person. You don’t have to consider yourself vain or good looking to put your photo on your CV but times are changing, and if you think that the employer is not looking you up on Facebook, then think again, so cut to the chase and add a picture!

Mechell Divers November 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

I added my picture to my Resume, thinking it just might help with getting my foot in the door for a interview. Headshot only, very professional, however I’m getting absolutly NO Responses! I also just read an article that in west United States – over 93% of human resource personnel are women & they don’t like to hire attractive women. My Resumes probably have been going directly into the trash. WOW, that was a bad idea! So now I ditched my resume with photo and spent a considerable amount of time rewriting my resume, focusing on my skills & abilities. Now maybe the calls for interviews will start rolling in. My next problem is getting past 93% of women in the HR dept that don’t like attractive women. My guess a BIG removable hairy mole, just might do the trick & I will ditch my contacts and wear my glasses! Lookout world I’m getting hired.

Justine Swingewood April 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm

When I was in recruitment a candidate sent me a CV with his photo on. The photo was him taking a self portrait with an array of toilets behind him.
Bless him.

Anna July 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm

My boyfriend has recently moved to Australia, he is Argentinian with a very foreign name. However he is handsome and everyone comments that he looks like a nice, friendly person (which he absolutely is). He is a programmer so nobody really cares how he looks (he doesn’t care either) but i think so many programmers are anti-social and lots of the job ads have been asking for social skills and Australians only. Do you think this is a case where a photo could help? I’d love some opinions.

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