I have always been on the fence whether adding your photo to your resume is a good idea or not. Recently I read this article “Attractive Women May Be Less Likely To Get Hired” and started to think of the pros and cons of adding a photo.
Making A Good Impression
I think we can all agree that the resume is your first contact with the recruiter and or hiring manager. Making a good impression is very important and having a well written resume is definitely a good step forward but does adding a photo help or not?
I have seen photos on resumes that look like a “glamour shot“. These photos look more like prom pictures and makes me believe that these people think that they are applying to a beauty contest and not looking for a job.
I have also had a person attach a picture of themselves skiing. Well this was useless because they were wearing a ski jacket, snow pants, helmet and goggles. The only thing this photo was good for was that it maybe proved that this candidate enjoyed skiing as a hobby. Not only did I not care but it made me think that the photo may not have even been the candidate, so why did they include it? What value did they think the photo added? (just to be clear the job the person was applying for was not a ski instructor).
The most interesting thing about photos on resumes is that its usually from people between the ages of 20-35. I rarely see a grey hair or wrinkle.
What Value Does The Photo Bring?
For the most part I think photos are not a good idea because the recruiter should judge you by your resume and skills rather than your hair do. The same goes for personal details. Some people add their marital status, how many children they have and what salary they earned at their last job. All this information is too much. You don’t want to show the recruiter all of your cards. If I see that you have 4 children and are divorced I might think you’ll be late to work, need to leave early, or maybe not even show up because of babysitters, daycare and a sick child. A resume or a job application is not the same as filling out a personal add. Some information employers do not need to know.
If you are a minority and/or have a disability I think adding a photo is a great idea. Most companies want to or need to have a more diverse workforce. Unfortunately most people with a disability rarely make it known on the resume. Having a picture of a candidate in a wheel chair or with a support dog for example will guarantee an interview.
Getting Your Foot In The Door Tactics
The article talks about recruiters not choosing some resumes because they were women who had attractive photos of themselves on there resumes. I have worked with both men and women recruiters and believe that the men recruiters, if single, would be more effected by a pretty photo then a women recruiter.
I’m starting to believe that people who add their photos to a resume believe that they can get the job only by their looks and probably do not have all the skills needed for the job. Is this a bad thing or a good thing?
The most important thing is to get your foot in the door and land that job. Right? Some people try to find out the name of the hiring manager or recruiter and send them flowers, chocolates, expensive gift baskets etc. This might sound weird and I don’t suggest people do it but I’ve seen different tactics work.
Why not try your own experiment out. If you are looking for a job and have had no responses in a while why not add your photo and see if your phone starts ringing.
If you have decided to include your photo on your resume than at least have a great photo of yourself. Here’s 100 Ways to Take Better Portrait Photographs
Photo by: AKA Dilweed