You decided to update your resume to kick off your 2021 job search. Instead of just making a few tweaks, you are completely rebuilding it from scratch; you are crafting a new skills section, updating your work experience, and adding a resume objective. You start to look at templates online to give your resume a little flare and notice some with a space for a headshot. So, you begin to think, “should I add a picture of myself on my resume?” Having your picture on a resume could hurt your job search – here’s why.
Diversity and inclusion hiring efforts
Many companies are focusing on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) in their hiring efforts this year. Companies across the country are implementing new DEI policies to offer safe and fair hiring practices and committing to hiring more diverse talent in 2021. Therefore, adding your picture to your resume could hurt your chances of receiving a callback due to an increased emphasis on DEI hiring. Your image can also trigger unconscious biases of hiring professionals, so it’s best to leave your photo off your resume.
It can be distracting
In 2021, there will be a ton of competition for job seekers. You will be going head-to-head with many other talented people, and you cannot afford any distractions. And that is what your photo on your resume will do – distract. If you put your headshot (or any image) on your resume, it pulls the attention away from your skills, work experience, and background. Many people believe adding a photo of themselves will make their resume stand out in a sea of applicants. However, as a recruiter or hiring manager sifts through endless resumes, the last thing they want to see is a headshot of a candidate. They are looking for your qualifications, not a tiny thumbnail image of yourself. Keep the attention on your skills by omitting your headshot on your resume.
It takes up too much space
When crafting your resume, you only have so much space to convey your work experience and other qualifications. Typically, your resume is a very concise document, with only a page or two (depending on the stage of your career) to share your qualifications with a hiring manager or recruiter. Why take up valuable space with a headshop instead of using that area to add more skills, certifications, or other information? Adding a headshot doesn’t add as much value as your skill sets and experience.
There are a few exceptions
These are three reasons why having your picture on your resume can hurt your job search. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, it is customary for some countries to have a resume picture, such as Spain, Germany, and Italy. In some industries, it may be acceptable to use a photo, too. Although you generally want to avoid using a resume photo in the United States, it’s ultimately up to you. If you are going to use one, please make sure it is a professional headshot.
Here is how and where you should use a professional headshot
A professional headshot doesn’t necessarily have to be taken by a professional photographer – it just has to look professional. Use great natural lighting, have a neutral background, dress for success.
Make sure your photo is from the shoulders up. The point of a headshot is to see your face, not your entire body.
Don’t crop yourself out of a picture with others. It looks cheesy and unprofessional. Sorry, you cannot crop yourself out of a wedding photo with your spouse!
Upload your professional headshot to your LinkedIn profile, professional online portfolio, or add it to your email account. These are all excellent ways to show off your headshot without including it on your resume.
If you want more advice on how to take a DIY professional headshot, check out our guide below!