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Should I or Should I Not Add a Photo on My CV?

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To include or not to include that suited headshot you had taken minutes before a presentation on your CV is a lifelong dilemma. Whether applicants should submit a CV with a photo has sparked considerable debate among job seekers and career experts alike. 

Should I Put a Photo on My Resume?

The short answer is NO you should not put a photo on your resume or CV (unless advised otherwise in a job description).

If you’re submitting your resume or CV to an employer based in Australia, New Zealand, USA or UK, you should definitely refrain from adding a photo on your CV. 

A few of the reasons why recruiters discourage submission of a CV with photo are –  

Professionalism and Objectivity

Including a photograph in a CV can introduce subjective judgments based on appearance, potentially diverting attention from the candidate’s professional qualifications and achievements. Opting for a photo-free CV maintains a focus on merit and ensures a more objective evaluation by recruiters and hiring managers.

Bias Reduction

The recruitment process strives to be fair and unbiased. However, the inclusion of a photo may inadvertently introduce biases related to gender, age, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics. To foster a diverse and inclusive hiring environment, omitting a photo helps mitigate the risk of unconscious biases influencing the selection process.

Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural norms regarding CV submissions vary globally. In regions where including a photo is less common or even discouraged, attaching one might be perceived as culturally insensitive. Opting for a photo-free CV ensures broad applicability and avoids potential misunderstandings in diverse and international job markets.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Compatibility

Many organisations employ Applicant Tracking Systems to streamline the initial stages of recruitment. These systems may not be designed to handle or interpret photographs effectively, potentially causing compatibility issues. A photo-free CV ensures seamless integration with ATS, improving the chances of accurate parsing and evaluation.

Legal and Privacy Concerns

Data protection laws and privacy regulations govern the collection and use of personal information in the hiring process. Including a photograph may raise legal and privacy concerns, especially in jurisdictions with stringent regulations. By refraining from attaching a photo, candidates can navigate the recruitment process while adhering to applicable legal frameworks.

If you’re still worried about ways to leave a visual impact on employers during the hiring process, there are many other ways employers can see who you are even without a photo on your resume. 

Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile

In the absence of a photo on your CV, your LinkedIn profile becomes an invaluable tool for conveying your professional identity. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is comprehensive, up-to-date, and aligned with your CV. Use a professional headshot on your LinkedIn profile to provide recruiters and employers with a visual representation. This not only complements your CV but also allows for a more holistic view of your professional brand.

Create a Portfolio of Work

For roles that involve a tangible demonstration of skills, consider creating a portfolio of your work. This could include samples of projects, reports, or other relevant artefacts that showcase your expertise. Providing tangible examples allows employers to gauge the quality of your work and envision the value you bring to the table.

A well crafted CV can take you a long way when it comes to standing out in the ever evolving and competitive Australian job market. Get your CV drafted by an expert Australian CV writer, or contact us today to get a FREE CV Review.

Ben Wood
Ben Wood

Professional and executive Career Coach with seven years of experience providing CV writing and career services to 400+ professionals and executives, with specialist knowledge in public sector appointments, executive profile development, and tech/telco careers. Background of 20+ years in IT includes 10+ years at Telstra where he managed engineering and product development teams with up to 100 staff.

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