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Should I Put A Picture Of Myself On My Resume?

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

For job seekers, having a well-crafted resume is of the utmost importance. It is their first contact with their potential employer, and their chance to make a good first impression.

Resumes are also important as they are the gateway to the interview, which means they need to be good enough to grab the employer’s attention.

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That’s why resume building is sometimes a stressful task, with job seekers asking themselves lots of questions in the process such as, “How much information is too much information?”, and “Should I write down my hobbies or not?”, those are just some of the more common questions job seekers ask themselves while writing their resume.

Another important question is “Should I put a photo or picture on my resume?”. A lot of people think that by adding a photo onto their resume they are increasing their chances of landing job interviews.

Job seekers usually add a photo or picture on their resume to show off, among other things, their personality.

Why Putting A Photo or Picture On Your Resume is BAD?

The answer to that question is: No. You should never put a photo or any picture anywhere on your resume, ever!

The argument behind this answer is not of gender, race, color, physical appearance, or disability, in any way. The argument is purely technical. You see, when you upload your resume online to a job application, it may go directly to the companies’ software system.

The software system will then scan the resume, together with the cover letter, for keywords, kickers, buzzwords, acronyms, abbreviations, and search phrases. If it doesn’t fit the strict content criteria the employer is looking for, your resume will go straight to the recycle bin. If it has photos, pictures, or other media it can’t read, it will go straight to the recycle bin. So you need to craft your resume to be search engine optimized to pass companies software systems.

Software reads your resume first

The first thing that will happen to your resume once you submit it to a job posting, or company, is that it will go straight to the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) system. The ATS is a piece of software which weeds out resumes that do not fit the required format. It sends all the good ones to the hiring managers, and the bad ones to the bin.

So basically, the first thing you need to do is make sure the ATS likes your resume. Luckily for you, ATS doesn’t have mood swings, devotes the same amount of time for every application and reads every single one, thoroughly. Extremely thoroughly.

If a computer program is going to scan your resume, you better make sure your resume is going to be able to pass that software scan by being search engine optimized. Here are the things you should never put in your resume:

  • Pictures

  • Photographs

  • Charts

  • Graphs

  • Tables

The ATS systems can’t read these formats, thus it will render your application as invalid. The software can also render your resume invalid if your resume:

  • Is not properly formatted

  • Isn’t search engine optimized

  • Does not offer detailed information

  • Lacks necessary keywords

  • Does not have key search phrases included

How Does LinkedIn Replace A Photo On My Resume?

Still, this doesn’t mean there is no way of showing your future employer how you look before actually being invited to the interview. The professional dilemma of showing your potential employer how you look is up to you. Some experts will say ‘go right ahead’, while others will say ‘for the love of God, don’t do that!’.

In terms of technicalities, there is a way to show employers your professional photo. The ATS system reads, and accepts links. That’s why job seekers are advised to put their custom LinkedIn URL address on their resume. An employer can then click on the link and see any photos, videos or other multimedia content you’d like them to see. That is, if the content of the resume intrigues them enough to dig just a little deeper.

Never put a photo in a resume

To recap – you should never put a photo, a picture, or any other image for that matter, into your resume. It will first get scanned by the ATS system, and it can’t read photos, so it will just send your resume to the trash, never to be seen by the hiring managers.

If you want your future employers to see what you look like, add your LinkedIn URL to the resume. It will pass the employer’s strict criteria, allowing the hiring manager to see your face.

Not sure how to make your resume search engine optimized? Consult and hire a top rated professional resume and LinkedIn profile writing service.

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