The pros and cons to adding a photo to your CV

The pros and cons to adding a photo to your CV

Selfies are everywhere, look on anyone’s Facebook, Instagram or even LinkedIn and you will see selfies (aka photos of the person). While selfies are great for social media are they great for your CV?

While research shows that we all have a natural bias, we gravitate towards people who look like us or who we inspire to look like. When we look at a photo, we automatically have an opinion if the photo if good or not great.

When it comes to your CV or resume should you add a photo? Knowing about a natural bias that everyone has, the jury is still out on if it helps you land the job or does an automatic reject. If you are adamant to add a photo see some tips below. But remember about 50% of recruiters say do not add any photo.

My personal advice is not to add a photo if the role is not client facing. Example if you are applying for a client facing role, then I would possibly suggest adding a professional photo else do not add one.

Top 5 tips if you want to add a photo:

1.    No wedding photos

Yes, we all look great at our wedding, as we a professional photo and our make up done professionally. But you do not look like this every day and it shows bad form to add to your CV.

2.    No clubbing photos

Yes, when we go out to the bar or club we are very happy and some of those photos are amazing! But again, bad form to add that photo as the recruiter can see where the photo is taken. And often the clothes, jewelry and make up you are wearing is not suited for an office environment.

3.    Cutting people out

Often your favourite photo is taken when you are standing next to someone. When you cut the photo to only show yourself, very often a hand or half a face is left. Rather do not cut the photo (read further for a better option).

4.    Selfie at work

2nd best option is to take a selfie at your current work or against a white wall. This is when you are dressed up professionally, with conservative jewelry and make up. And with all the filters and apps you can touch up the photo to ensure your best face forward.

5.    Professional portraits

If you are lucky, you may have worked at a company who hired a professional photographer to take professional portraits. If this has not happened for you, go looking for a professional photographer. You will be amazed how often you can use the photo and it will be worth the cost in the end. You can try in Cape Town.

In my personal search for jobs, I never added a photo to any of my CV’s (even when I was client facing). But I did have a professional photo on my LinkedIn profile. A tip you will need a professional photo, so suggestion when you are looking for a job ensure your Facebook and LinkedIn profile has a professional photo.

Good luck in the job hunting, and remember ‘a smile is a curve that sets everything straight’.