Should You Include a Photo on Your Resume?

Should you add a photo to your resume? Will including a photo enhance your chances of getting hired? After all, your photo is on LinkedIn and your social networking site profiles. What difference does it make if it’s on your resume?

Should You Include a Photo on Your Resume?

There isn’t one right answer for including a photo on your resume, though it’s always been considered a bad idea for most job seekers.

  Depending on your circumstances, it can be no, maybe, or even yes. Or you can consider a creative solution for showing a prospective employer your smiling face.

The Traditional Answer – No

The traditional advice regarding placing photos on resumes has been an emphatic “No”, except for actors and models. The rationale for excluding photos has been to protect employers from allegations of discrimination based on race, age, weight, gender, attractiveness or personal style.

While this perspective is still embraced by most experts and human resources professionals, there are now some nuances worth considering in the present multimedia age.  There are also ways you can get employers to view your picture without having to add your photo to your resume.

Review these options for including – or not – a photo on your resume. There are some exceptions to the “no picture” that might work for you.

Option: Include the URL of Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn profiles regularly incorporate a photo and are widely utilized by candidates in their job search and by recruiters sourcing talent. If you believe your appearance would be an asset for your target job, incorporating a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume is a safe and acceptable way to showcase your looks.

Though a certain appearance is essential for actors and models, an attractive, trustworthy or approachable appearance can also be an asset in many other fields.  Sales representatives, receptionists, bartenders, financial planners, public relations representatives, recruiters and many other service providers can benefit from projecting a certain image.

Option: Add a Photo to Your Networking Resume

Another possible exception to the accepted wisdom regarding the inclusion of photos is when you are utilizing your resume mostly for networking purposes.  If you are distributing resumes at conferences or other events where you will be interacting with many individuals, a photo can help new contacts to remember you.

In addition, if you are being referred by your contacts to other individuals who don’t know you, you might include a photo on your resume if you believe your appearance would be an asset.

You can mention to networking contacts that you would be glad to furnish a version of your resume without a picture, if they would like to forward your document to other individuals for formal job screening.

Option: Attach a Business Card With Your Photo to Your Resume

One more option for in-person networking is to include a business card with a photo that you’ve made just for your job search.

If you share your resume and your card with your contact information, both can be passed on if you’re being referred for a job or to another networking connection.

Where to Put the Picture

If you do opt to add a photo to your resume, the recommended place is at the top of the page. The photo should be a professional headshot, similar to or the same one you used for your LinkedIn profile.

Be Careful if You Need to Add a Photo

Even though you can add a photo in some circumstances, it doesn’t mean that you should. It could get your resume knocked out of contention for a job if the employer doesn’t think it’s appropriate. Consider what value a picture will add, if any, before you start reworking your resume.


Leave a Reply