Secrets of the Job Hunt


Thursday, July 12, 2007

No Pictures on your Resume

If you've ever considered putting your picture on a resume, forget about it. I recently posed this question to some HR folks. Here are their reponses:

Unless the position was one specifically for facing the public (like an actor, on air personality etc...), I think that photos on resumes are not warranted & would hurt more than help.

Not a good idea. First impressions are so important and a photo is a distraction. Your resume should market your skills, experience and education - not your looks.

I agree that a photo can be a distraction on a resume, and I am a photographer! For Creatives, I would recommend a resume with good graphic and information design that is clear, relevant to the desired position and succinct.

Never a good idea. A good looking person will appear as if they are trying to get a position based on their looks rather than their qualifications. An ugly person runs the risk of frightening a prospective employer.

I would not mind the photo. I'm 100% committed to getting the absolute best person for the job. While there is some information in the photo that some may use in a stupid fashion (make decisions based on skin color, for instance), there is other more meaningful information there as well. I know that if an applicant comes to the job interview looking shoddy, it's not a positive sign. Information that comes across in a photo is just as valid as information that comes across in a face-to-face interview.

Pictures on resumes are problematic for all except actors and models - where people are being hired for looks.

Currently, with anti-discrimination laws and lawsuits, companies are supposed to hire candidates without considering race, sex, age or looks. If you attach a photo to a job application you now have an employer who knows most - if not all of these items. They may now reject you based on knowing this - since the search is supposed to not include these items.

The whole purpose of using a resume is to get an interview. Since, based on my networking with other resume writers, recruiters and hiring managers at companies - a resume with a picture is more likely to screen out, rather than screen in a client - I recommend for my clients NOT to include a picture.


Recruiting Animal said...

The Recruiting Animal agrees. Pictures appear most often on resumes from recent immigrants to North America so perhaps it is a custom in other countries, the same as flowery language in a cover letter which doesn't go over well here either.

Stephen said...

I couldn´t agree more Chris as it certainly can lead to biasness in recruiting. The same goes for video resumes and with all the hype I just cannot see it taking off.

Jewel Bracy DeMaio, said...

Job seekers / candidates / talent, it looks like if the professionals have said it once, we've said it 1,000 times. NO pictures on resumes. I am a Certified Professional Resume Writer specializing in resumes for executives. Placing your picture on the resume could very well mean HR will screen you out because they're not supposed to consider gender or race.

Jewel Bracy DeMaio
Executive Resume Strategist

Anonymous said...

The more I search the Internet trying to find out whether or not to place a photo on a resume the more I notice that most resume writers put their photos next to their credentials. Mr. Russell has his photo place prominantly at the top of this site. A resume is nothing more than an advertisement which is designed to FIRST capture the readers attention. A photo will at least make sure that your resume is read.