Including a photo on your CV/resume: for and against


If you’re living in an Anglophone country, you’ve most likely been told that including a photo on your CV or resume is a definite no-no. 

However, like most things, it’s not always as black and white as all that. For one thing, the job market is now far more globalised than it once was, and workplaces are more multicultural. Old traditions die hard, however, and why would you do something that could negatively affect your chances of being hired?

There are arguments on both sides; here we outline the cases for and against:


1. It will get you noticed
If nothing else, including a photo on your CV is a way to stand out from the crowd. It gives a glimpse into your personality, and research shows that CVs or resumes with photos receive more attention from prospective employers.

2. We’re living in a visual age
Times change, and images are fast replacing the written word as the storytelling medium of choice. Take the increasingly ubiquitous Instagram gradually overtaking the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other, wordier social media platforms in terms of popularity. Even the go-to job-seeking site, LinkedIn, strongly encourages every profile page to carry the member’s photo.

3. Choosing your own photo puts you in control
With today’s every increasing digital footprints it’s naïve to think that your prospective employer won’t be able to locate your face on one of the various online platforms where you feature. By putting your picture on your CV you can at least control the recruiter’s initial perception of you.


1. It makes it easier for employers to discriminate
While there are strict rules that prevent employers from discriminating against candidates based on factors such as age and ethnicity, they aren’t always easy to enforce. Chances are the organisation you’re applying to will do things by the book, but why would you risk it?

2. It’s an unnecessary distraction
A photo takes up a lot of valuable space on what is usually a fairly short, two-page document. More to the point, recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a CV before making an initial judgement – surely you’d prefer this time was spent evaluating your skills and experience rather than your appearance?

Ultimately, whether or not you include a photo or resume on your CV comes down to personal choice. It’s certainly not the heinous crime some make it out to be, and it could even give you an edge over the competition in the right circumstances. On the other hand, this may be a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – so if in doubt you may be best off sticking with the tried and tested.

Source: HN Global