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Photo on a resume - yes or no?

Veteran

Rita Lung Laurel, MD

I'm in communications (public relations, social media...etc.) looking to transition into corporate social responsibility. It's not exactly a creative feed, but it's not technically driven either. It definitely makes my resume stand out, but I've also been told HR doesn't like resumes that stand out & they want everything to look the same so they can judge the information at a glance.

So...photo on resume: yes or no?

4 October 2019 4 replies Resumes & Cover Letters

Answers

Advisor

Andrew Woodland Orlando, FL

Hi Rita – thank you for your service

There isn’t one right answer for including a photo on your resume, though it’s typically been considered a bad idea for most job seekers. The only exception is for actors and models, whose appearance matters for hiring.

The rationale for excluding photos has been to protect employers from allegations of discrimination based on race, age, weight, gender, attractiveness, or personal style. Plus, many employers are eager to avoid unconscious bias in their recruitment, using strategies like removing college and candidate names from resumes before reviewing them.

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.

5 October 2019 Helpful answer

Advisor

Bruce Marks Long Island City, NY

Rita, I would say no to a picture, especially in today's compliance driven HR world. I would suggest you create a LinkedIn profile if you don't have one already as that would contain your picture in an HR acceptable venue. Best of luck, Bruce

Advisor

Emanuel Carpenter Alpharetta, GA

Rita - The simple answer is -do what helps you get the interview. If that means putting your picture on the resume, so be it. You could run an A/B test. Send 20 resumes with the picture and 20 without. Be sure to document which employers got which resume and see who is calling you for interviews.

As an older hiring manager, I have received resumes with candidates' pictures on them. Although I found it to be a bit odd, it didn't prevent me from reading about the skills and education of the candidate to determine a fit. The thing you have to consider is discrimination. A biased HR Manager could overlook your resume simply because of your ethnicity or your age or because your picture reminds them of someone they don't like. Since this is the age of social media, I imagine the same could occur if they searched your social media pages.

I think the industry you work in could play a part as well. If the position requires a lot of face-to-face interaction (like a marketing rep or a receptionist), the company may lean towards someone who is more attractive in their opinion.

As a candidate, I have never put my picture on a resume yet my pic is all over social media.

I guess it just depends on the situation.

Hope this helps.

Advisor

James Watters Norman, OK

Ms Lung -
Throughout my vocational career, I never understood HR. If you’re resume stands out all the better for you. The things that make you special may bother an HR worker but it will catch the eye of management. The people who don’t standout work in HR. Do your stuff. Include the photo.

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