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Including a photo on your resume can be a sensitive topic and the default assumption should be not to include a photo. These are the criteria you should consider when deciding if your resume should include a photo.

When Not to Include a Photo

In most cases, it is best not to include a photo on your resume. This is especially true in North America, where most companies strongly disapprove of photos on resumes. Even in countries or industries where photos on resumes are common, it is always a good idea to consider the potential drawbacks and ensure that you are not introducing any bias.

When to Include a Photo

There are a few cases where it might be appropriate to include a photo on your resume. For example:

  • Certain countries: In countries like France and Germany, it is common practice to include a photo on a resume. If you are applying for a job in one of these countries, it may be expected that you include a photo on your resume.
  • Specific industries: In industries like modeling or acting, a photo is an essential part of your application. In these cases, it may be appropriate to include a photo on your resume.
  • If requested by the job posting or recruiter: If the job posting or recruiter specifically asks you to include a photo on your resume, then you should follow their instructions.

Choosing the Best Photo to Include

If you have decided to include a photo on your resume, it is important to choose the right one. Here's what you should consider:

  • Use a professional headshot: Your photo should be a recent, professional headshot. It should be clear and well-lit, and should accurately represent what you look like. Avoid using selfies or casual photos, as these can give the impression that you are not serious about the job.
  • Choose a neutral background: The background of your photo should be neutral and not distract from your face. Avoid busy backgrounds or backgrounds with objects that could potentially be interpreted as inappropriate or offensive.
  • Be mindful of cultural differences: If you are applying for a job in a country or culture that is different from your own, it is important to be mindful of cultural differences and dress appropriately. Avoid wearing clothing that could be seen as offensive or inappropriate in the country or culture where you are applying.

Alternatives to Consider

If you want to add a visual element to your resume without including a photo, there are a few alternatives to consider. For example:

  • If you have a personal logo or brand, you can include it on your resume to add a visual element instead of a photo.
  • You can use an avatar or a generic profile picture that doesn't reveal any personal information, such as your gender or race. This can provide a visual element without introducing any potential bias.

Follow the assumption that your resume shouldn't include a photo unless you determine it is expected and you will be doing the right thing.

Last updated on December 14, 2022