All this “controversy” about a recent study on having your photo on your resume and whether it can hurt or work for you has really got me thinking. The short answer is yes either way however, there is no really defined answer. If you have the skills and right attitude and are going to be screened out by a person judging you from a “professional” photo attached, do you actually think that you would want to work alongside that person? They have really done you a favour, not a disservice. What can appear as a great job or career could turn into the worst workplace you have been to based on having to work with that person and their circle of influence.
I mentioned the word “professional” when writing about your photo. I have seen so many people take care with their resume, format it nicely, check spelling and then… attach a really inappropriate picture of themselves. Some memorable photos attached to resumes have included:
- The old “cropped from a group night club shot” – she is drunk isn’t she? We get quite a few of these!
- The “pixelated” photo from a 1/2 Megapixel camera – I didn’t know that a Lego man was applying for our role?
- The “Guy with the fully sick Nissan Skyline” – we will hear him coming for interview
- The “Yes it’s cold and I’m in a swimsuit” girl – yes I really received this for a reception position. No, we did not meet!
I assist candidates with creating resumes to give them the best opportunity when applying for a new role. I often get asked whether to add a photo and I give my opinion at the time as it depends on the type of position and whether the person has an appropriate photo. Working on the client side, I actually like receiving applications with photos as it gives a personal feel and helps me picture how that person could work for the company.
Let’s really put things into perspective though, our role as a recruiter is to select the right person for the role. We are seeking the right skills and training, the right experience, right presentation appropriate for the role and the right attitude to fit with and work alongside our client and their employees. I take photos on resumes with a grain of salt, I want to know who you are, what you bring to the role and what your intentions are for the role.
This is what really counts!