Job Seekers: Should You Include a Resume Photo or Headshot?

resume photoNo. No you should not. Quick answer, right? Let me explain further why a resume photo or headshot is not a good idea…

For starters, including a resume photo is a big risk. Many jobseekers don’t have professional headshots and will instead choose cropped Facebook photos that make them look way too casual. Terrible idea.

Professional Headshots

Even if you do have a nice looking professional photo, it’s a gamble to include the picture. Why? Several reasons:

  • Employers aren’t used to seeing resume photos, and it’s jarring if your resume contains one.
  • It’s possible the employer’s computer won’t display your photo properly, and you can’t control how you look.
  • Applicant tracking systems may reject your resume or have trouble processing it because you added a photo.

If you want the employer to know what you look like, there’s an easy solution: LinkedIn.

Your LinkedIn Profile Picture

LinkedIn allows you to put a photo in your profile. You need to upload one. That way, employers (or anyone else) can see your smiling face whenever they want. No need for a photo on a resume — LinkedIn is your de facto online resume and contains your pic 24/7.

Before you upload a photo, ask yourself:

  • Does my picture look professional?
  • Is the lighting OK?
  • Does it look like I cropped myself out of another photo? (not professional)
  • Do I “respect” my own photo when I look at myself?

A Comparison

Here’s a photo of me from Facebook:

should i put my photo or headshot on my resume

Looks cropped, right? Because it is. Even though I’m in a suit and tie, the photo still appears sloppy.

should i put my photo or headshot on my resume

Above is a recent professional headshot. Do you see the difference? It’s centered, has proper lighting and is presentable on LinkedIn.

If you’re in the job market, consider hiring a photographer or ask a friend with photography skills to take your headshot. It’s well worth the effort. A picture is worth a thousand words and all that jazz.

And when you have the photo, add it to your LinkedIn profile for the world to see.

But please…leave the picture off your resume. Not necessary or worth the risk.


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Danny_RubinAbout the Author: Danny Rubin is a communications expert and author of the new book, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, a collection of 100+ templates for networking, the job search and LinkedIn. For more of Danny’s insights and sample chapters from the book, visit his blog, The Template, which highlights the career advice in the latest headlines. Follow him on Twitter.



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