Does Your Resume Need a Picture?

Young smiling man holding his resume applying for a job

Adding a photo to your resume can be a good idea if you keep things simple and professional. After all, you want to be taken seriously. Make sure your resume is up to date (including your photo) and represents your desire to be treated with professional courtesy.

When You Need It

Some employers require a photo as part of your application process. Even if they don’t require it, any hiring manager worth their salt will do a Google search of you and find photos that may show you in a more casual setting. Why not control for that variable and add a photo that shows you in a very professional light? You will also need a professional headshot if you plan to publish on platforms, such as LinkedIn or any professional blogs. Once you get your headshot taken, be sure to update all of your professional profiles for consistency.

Where Do You Get One?

It’s important to get your resume photo taken by a professional photographer. You want to be photographed in great light by someone who can correct for shadows and put you in a posture that will help you look your best. In addition, post-production touch-ups, such as correcting for skin imperfections, should be part of your headshot package. Many times, headshot photographers will touch-up your hair or do other things to improve your cosmetics. To get a great budget headshot, check in with local dance studios or theatres to see where the performers get their photos done. They may have contacts who can do your headshot for a lower price than a studio photographer can, depending on requirements.

Bias and Discrimination

We all hope that HR professionals will make their choices based on skills, education, and work history. However, they are human and may be more biased than they realize. Can a photo help you overcome that bias—or will it cost you? In the case of age discrimination, a photo can help a lot. If you’re just out of school and looking for your first professional job, your social media photos are likely to show you doing what young people do. A professional headshot in high-quality, professional clothes can help you build your brand as a serious employee who will bring value to your employer.

While many American companies don’t require a headshot, many European companies do. By adding a headshot to your resume, you can promote the fact that you are a well-educated potential employee who has the skills to work anywhere.

Looking to read another article? We suggest this one: How to Prevent Workplace Discrimination