Resume Photo?
by Michael Mayher

I am often asked whether it’s necessary or advisable to have your photo on your resume. Generally speaking my short answer is no, it is not necessary and in my opinion neither is it advisable. I just don’t see it as an impactful addition and more often than not, having a photo included on your resume can be detrimental and actually negatively affect your best efforts, depending upon the judgment of the person reviewing and evaluating your document.

If you put forth the effort to assemble a good resume or CV and you choose to include a photo, then ensure it’s worthy of the document, which is a professional representation of yourself. Make the effort and minor investment by getting a good quality portrait-style photo. Smile or don’t smile, no matter, but it needs to be a professional photo in proper attire. Poor quality photos, cropped images from some social or company event you attended, or a vacation photo is not professional. Glamorous photos such as the type you give to those with whom you are romantically involved, look cheap on your resume and as a result, cheapen you. As for selfies - don’t get me started on selfies; selfies on a resume are ridiculous, immature and unprofessional as well as emblematic of a half-assed effort. There is no such thing as a good selfie worthy of being on your resume - unless you are still under the age of 16.

However, often times when you respond to a job post online, you may be required to send a photo with your application, so it’s likely you are going to require a professional photo at some point in time, regardless. For more about what kind of photo I am describing opinions vary, ask yourself, what kind of photo you would want to appropriately represent you on a company website as a guideline.

In my experienced opinion, a photo can be a distraction from your qualifications. If you are to be invited for the interview it should result from the content of your resume, period. Your personal appearance, besides the basic ability to dress and present oneself appropriately, is irrelevant as an initial consideration for your qualifications. 

About the Author: Michael Mayher has been an international direct search recruiter on two continents for over 22 years. A consultant, published author, lecturer and blogger, he re-introduces professionals to critical Soft Skills lost in our digital age and necessary to effectively navigate their careers. You can find more information by visiting his blog and website.)

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