posted on April 05, 2010 21:39
Every so often, I see a photo on a resume and cringe.
But to be fair, I can (perhaps) understand why the subject has decided to include the photo. The decision to include this piece of information may be resulting from bad advice or was the norm in a certain country or industry, but I have to ask, when you include a photo on your resume, what are you hoping to achieve. What is the purpose?
Before we continue, it must be said that some industries, such as the airline industry, will require a photo. They want to gauge your presentation and perhaps get an idea of your age as they have a certain image to uphold. And this seems to be an accepted norm.
As for the rest of the job market, a photo is absolutely unnecessary and will do nothing but potentially damage your career opportunities. You may ask why I take such a strong stance on 'photos on resumes' and here’s why:
- It is a commonly known fact that the more attractive you are, the greater your hiring value. Yes, this is discrimination working at it’s best, but a very true fact. Unless you have looks of Miss Universe, do not include your photo.
- You do not know the recruiter/employer. You do not know their background, their temperament, their personal opinions and values. Perhaps your photo will be a dead giveaway of your nationality and your cultural beliefs. The employer may have completely unjustified opinions of people of your origin and as a result, your application will be swiftly culled.
- Perhaps the employer has had a bad experience with someone and you look uncanningly like that person. Whilst perusing your resume the recruiter may not even realize the reasons why your application has deemed as ‘not a good fit’, but the fact is - you have missed out!
- Perhaps the employer is from the ‘old school’ and has a preconceived notion of who will be working in their organisation - perhaps a young, blonde female with certain physical attributes. Yes, I hear you, this could well be someone you wouldn’t want to work for anyhow!
With only 15 – 30 seconds to sell you and what you have to offer, make the most of it and ensure those 15 -30 seconds are not spent analysing your photo! In summary, a resume is a marketing tool which sells the candidate (you) to the potential employer. A resume should highlight your best assets, your skills and what you have to bring, so unless you're 100% confident in your looks and presentation, and you feel you intimately know the personal opinions, values and beliefs of every recruiter – do not include a photo!