Yes or No: should you put your photo in your CV?

Well, to be frank, the jury is very much out on this. A quick survey of Team Challenge elicited the following comments:

  • “I love the ones where the candidate has cut out the other person in the photo so you just have random hands on shoulders.”
  • “My favourite was a resume that started with an opening page with just a photo and sparkling border around it.”
  • “I am irresistibly drawn to candidates who include photos of themselves either with animals, or at parties.”
  • “One candidate inexplicably included a photograph of himself standing in front of the Burj-al-Arab, at sunset, holding a cocktail.”

On a more serious note, though, Melissa, our Temporary Recruitment Consultant, lived and worked in Paris during 2009 and 2010. Based on her job-seeking experiences there, she had the following to say: “Regarding including your photo with your CV, my general opinion is no, too, but it is certainly a cultural thing and we should not hold it against some of our European friends. For example, in France it is common to have your photo in your CV. Most of the jobs I applied for requested it, so I did it (cringe!).”

And what does the Australian industry research say?

Consider the following from Jim Bright and Joanne Earl’s bestselling Resumes That Get Shortlisted:

“Do not include one. Our reasons are:

  • Not everyone looks like a supermodel, or photographs like one.
  • Sending a photographs is telling employers: ‘I want to be judged on my looks and not on job-relevant characteristics.’
  • We recently did a survey of a large recruitment firm’s archive of resumes and could not find a single photograph attached to a successful resume.
  • (In another study) we compared identical resumes that included a photograph of a person who was independently judged to be attractive or unattractive. The results were depressingly inevitable: attractive candidates were judged more suitable for the job and were more likely to be shortlisted compared to unattractive candidates.”

What is Challenge Consulting’s recommendation? In short, it is not necessary to include a photograph. If you opt to, or are required to for reasons specified by a particular employer (eg a modeling agency), then make sure you present yourself professionally – no mates, no pets, no holiday snaps and no cocktails! It’s a job application, people!