Should I Include a Photo on My Resume?

When applying for a position, should you add a photo of yourself to the resume?

As few as just 10 or even five years ago the answer was a resounding, NO!!

The main reasons not to include a photo were a) it smacked of unprofessionalism and b) you risked being discriminated against (discrimination you could probably never prove) due to your sex, your age, your race, your weight, your hair color, even the type of photo you sent (head shot equals more professional, shot on the beach with friends equals loser who doesn’t understand the job search process). A photo-free resume was supposed to hide such discrimination-worthy facts about yourself to a hiring manager, having him or her call you in for an interview based only on the skills, background and accomplishments highlighted on your resume.

But things have changed. Today, your photo is easily accessible all over the Internet. Your social media sites no doubt include at least one photo of yourself. So leaving your photo off of your resume doesn’t mean a hiring manager won’t see your photo at some point in the application process.

So should you include or omit a photo today?

It’s probably wisest to keep the photo off the resume most of the time for most positions if only because a photo on a resume still is an oddity. Many HR recruiters and department hiring managers have been in the workforce for a decade or more and so they’re not used to seeing photos. It may appear “odd” to them and you could run the risk of appearing “unprofessional” (because photos were considered unprofessional years ago).

But you may be able to add a photo to a resume for positions in the more creative industries such as marketing, advertising and so on. They may be more open to resumes that are a bit different.

But tread carefully. You want your application to stand out, of course, but you don’t want to jar anyone. You want your qualifications, accomplishment and background to stand out, not your looks.

So, as mentioned above, until it becomes much more widespread (and the next two or three years will prove if the photo-on-resume phenomenon has sticking power), it’s probably wisest to leave the photo off your resume.

If looking for work in San Bernardino or Riverside counties, send your (photo-free) resume to the recruiters at Arrow Staffing. We’ve been matching great workers with some of the Inland Empire’s top companies for more than four decades and we’re happy to help you in your job search. Contact us today.

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