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Naturally, adding a photo to the resume looks like the right choice, especially if the job requires a good-looking appearance.
This could be helpful in many ways:
- The headshot will give the recruiter a personalized feeling when reading it
- They will not confuse your resume with someone else’s in an interview
- The photo will communicate your personality even before you meet the potential employers
Still, adding a photo on your resume is a terrible idea in many instances.
Now, you got the answer. Should you skip the rest of the article?
Here’s the good news. You already know that there are many benefits of having a picture on your resume. In this article, you will learn how to tap into those benefits while not including a picture on the resume.
Not only that, but you’ll also learn:
- Why it is not advisable to add resume photos?
- Which countries would allow you to have a photo on your resume?
- Should this be followed in all industries?
- What is the right way to include a photo if you do?
Meanwhile, if you are planning to write a perfect resume for your next job, check out our ready-to-fill resume templates that suit any profession or industry, created to global standards.
This is Why You Shouldn’t Include a Picture on Your Resume
Some countries have strict anti-discrimination and labor laws, making them susceptible to lawsuits. The hiring process of most companies is transparent in these regions, requiring them to prove that they are unbiased in terms of gender, race, religion, age, and appearance.
The same laws are limiting companies from advertising their jobs stating age limits, gender, or race.
The regulations were placed in order to protect the candidates from potential discriminations in recruitment with the logic that it could lead to unconscious bias from the employer in the selection process. Nevertheless, this has increased the risk of discrimination lawsuits for employers.
In short, nobody wants to be accused of discriminating against candidates by any means.
Therefore, regions with strict regulations do not accept your resume or cover letter with your pictures.
Countries Where a Photo on The Resume Is a Capital Sin
Some regions in the world strictly follow these guidelines and trash the resumes that have not followed the standard. You need to be aware of this fact in your job search.
If you're applying for a job in any of the following job markets, NEVER include a picture of yourself on your resume:
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, there could be. However, if the employer has not explicitly mentioned a headshot in the job advertisement, be on the safe side by not including one.
Countries Where You Can Actually Put a Photo on The Resume
In many countries and regions in the world, these employment laws and regulations are not strict. Therefore, the employer may wish to see a photo of the candidate before calling them for an interview. Here’s the list of countries where you can include your picture on a resume:
- South America
- Latin America
- Middle East
If your country is not listed here, it might have mixed standards when it comes to the subject. To be on the safe side, avoid putting a photo in such cases.
Even if you’re applying for a job in one of these countries, if the organization is a multinational for instance based in the USA, they may still prefer the photoless resume templates.
Generally speaking, it's always safe to not include a picture in your resume.
Did you know, even if you include a photo in your resume, it could still end up in the trash? Why?
Because you haven’t followed the right resume format, not used a modern resume template, or not customized your resume to the job. Maybe our ready-to-fill resume templates could help you there to avoid the trash and secure an interview for your dream job.
Is it Okay to Put Resume Photos if You are a Model or an Actor?
How could a director shortlist resumes for acting jobs without seeing the appearance of the candidates?
There’re some industries where a picture of the candidate is crucial to make a hiring or a shortlisting decision such as in the film industry to find an actor, in the fashion industry to find a model.
Should you include your photo in such cases?
Still, the answer is “NO” if the geographical area you’re considering is either the USA, UK, Canada, or Ireland.
That sounds a bit extreme but we are not here to change the laws – there’s a way to showcase your photo to the hiring manager without breaking it.
How Can the Same Benefits be Reaped Without a Photo?
Including a clear headshot of the candidate in the resume provides many advantages to the candidate as well as to the recruiter.
However, the laws related to anti-discrimination threaten hiring managers to assess job applications with photos, which led to many employers completely rejecting resumes that come with a resume picture attached.
If you’re applying for a job in a market where a picture should not be placed on your resume, there are still a few ways to stand out from the rest and provide the recruiter a way to see you before setting up an interview:
- Put the link to your LinkedIn account or any other social media you are active in the header section of your resume
- Put the link to your website about page/ portfolio
Now when you do this, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Put a clean headshot as your profile picture
- Also update the cover photo, about section, and description as some recruiters may go through them as well
- Check the links in the final MS Word document or the PDF to see whether the links work
- Change your username to something simple to memorize and type: some recruiters use the paper version of the resume where they type the web link manually
Eg: Linkedin usernames often follow the format: www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca
If your username is a long one – www.linkedin.com/in/rebeccz26klw, this will make it difficult for a recruiter who has to type it on the address bar to see you
Make recruiter’s life easy so they will do the same for yours
How to Put a Picture on the Resume – Resume Photo Tips
If your region allows you to attach a photo on your resume or the job advertisement has asked for one, follow these Do’s and Don'ts to provide a picture that stands out from the rest. In fact, the right picture will give you a great first impression.
- Dress accordingly: you don’t have to be over-professional. Be yourself in the photo
- Consider hiring a professional photographer or go to a studio: proper lighting setup can do all the difference and it’s worth the investment
- Use the same or similar looking photos throughout the internet without confusing the recruiter
- Use an appropriate background color
- A professional photo should showcase your head and shoulder only
- Make eye contact with the camera lens
- Smile and showcase your personality
- Do not use selfie images
- Do not use photos taken with groups or family: don’t ask your recruiter to find you among five of your cousin brothers
- Do not make any distracting hairstyles or fashions
Can I include a logo instead of a photo on my resume?
Including a logo is a great way to set yourself apart from the rest especially when a picture is not allowed. Make a simple logo using your initials and the company's brand colors as the background.
For a more sophisticated and branded logo, consider hiring a designer on Fiverr.
How to create a professional resume without a resume picture?
Many resumes look dull when a headshot photo is not included. If you are applying for a job in the USA, UK, Canada, or Ireland, including your picture in the resume could even disqualify you instantly.
Therefore, to maintain the appeal of your resume, you should pick a great-looking template and customize it to match your personality. Check out our resume builder. The right resume awaits you.
Can I attach my business card to the resume instead of a resume photo?
This is a strategy some job seekers use when anti-discrimination policies do not allow them to include a headshot in their resumes. They tend to attach a business card with a photograph.
However, this highly depends on the industry you apply and in most cases, this is not a professional approach to showcase your picture. Instead, update your LinkedIn profile with a professional headshot and put that link down in your resume header.