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Should I Include a Photo on My Resume?

Published: September 4, 2012 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Job Hunting - Resume Tips

When you are creating your resume, it can be very tempting to include a photo, particularly if you have a template that has a space for it. While at first glance it may seem as though putting your photo on your resume will help it stand out and put a face with the text, it is generally something you'll want to avoid.

Won't They See My Photo Anyway?

At Clearpoint we often find that candidates who are relatively new to job seeking, like recent grads, feel accustomed to including photos in their social media profiles. In building a resume they naturally want to include one there too. We advise them to get out of that habit fast!

It's true that some employers will view your LinkedIn profile and maybe other social media profiles too as part of their evaluation. For that reason, always give your social networks a scrub before you start sending out your resume to make sure all the photos they will find are professional in nature. But at most companies, a photo is still considered to be a resume faux pas.

Resume Photos Can Work Against You

In some cases, using a photo on your resume can actually work against you. As a job-seeker you want to focus on your skills and qualifications instead of your appearance on paper. Your resume must represent your past work and prove that you are the ideal fit for the position. Use it to showcase your past results.

In addition, using a photo on your resume can be seen as a poor attempt to curry favor, particularly if you are attractive. Some job seekers make this mistake in hopes that it will give them an edge, when in reality the candidate may be penalized for appearing to trade on looks instead of ability.

If you are a seasoned professional who has been seeking employment for a while due to economic downturn, you might feel that including a photo will help employers perceive you as youthful and relevant.  At Clearpoint, we find that most photos on resumes do not give a positive impression. To make matters worse, they open the door for illegal discrimination.

When It Is Appropriate

If you are applying for a position where your face will be in the public eye, this is the only time that it is appropriate to submit a photo. To avoid the issues mentioned above, however, you should include an actual headshot separate from resume.

Have a question about creating your resume or finding a new job? Let the experts at Clearpoint help you today!

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