As a job seeker in 2021, you’ve probably come across resume designs with lots of graphics, blocks of color, and headshots. You want to stand out as a professional applicant, so you might find yourself thinking: should I include a photo on my resume?
No, no and no!
You should never include a picture on a resume used to apply for jobs in the US or Canada. In fact, there are several reasons why putting a picture on your resume is possibly one of the worst mistakes you can make.
3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Put A Picture On Your Resume
1. An ATS can’t process a photo
Most employers use an automated software called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to scan your resume. These systems extract information from your resume and determine whether you would be a good candidate for the position.
These systems are unable to read or process images, and that may result in your resume being automatically discarded. That means that getting past the ATS is crucial for any job search.
2. A photo is unprofessional
Having your image–even a professional headshot–on a resume is unprofessional and sends a bad message employer. Remember that the purpose of a resume is to demonstrate to the employer why you’re a good fit for the job. Your appearance is irrelevant and it can come off as a major turn-off for recruiters.
Here is what Facebook recruiter Ambra Benjamin thinks:
“We just want to know about things that pertain to your work history. So please take your photo off your resume. If we want to see what you look like, recruiters can just stalk you on LinkedIn.”
There you have it from someone who recruits for Facebook! A photo on your resume serves no purpose. Leave it off and stick to a clean, concise, and professional resume.
3. A photo can invite discrimination
Having a photo on your resume opens the doors for discrimination. You should never provide an unnecessary opportunity for an employer to discriminate against you for any reason. By including your image, you’re revealing information about your age, gender, and ethnicity. None of these factors are relevant to your job search. For legal reasons, some hiring managers toss out any resumes that include a photo simply to avoid being accused of discriminatory hiring!
Is it ever ok to include a picture on my resume?
The only exception for including a photo on your resume in the USA is if you’re applying for a job in which your appearance is central to the role. Broadcast journalists, actors, and models may all be asked to provide a photo as part of their application.
While a resume headshot may be the norm in other parts of the world, there is no need for a picture on your resume in the United States. In fact, adding a photo to your resume can cost you the job in many instances.
As always, we wish you luck with your job search!