Before the advent of the digital age, the answer to this question would have been a straight no. Writing a good resume and whether you were going to use a resume writing service, was all you needed to consider.
But advancements in technology and social networking may require us to reconsider our answer to this question.
Shun the snap?
Some employers will reject a resume that shows a photo of the applicant. This is because it is illegal to make a decision on employing someone based on their gender, looks, or age. A photo will often reveal details such as this, and so as to avoid being accused of discrimination, some employers may choose to avoid resumes containing photos.
If they have invited you for an interview and they then don’t offer you the job – the chances are, that it isn’t going to be because you added a photo to your resume. But employers are still rightly nervous about getting themselves into a situation that could result in a claim of discrimination.
Adding a photo could look unprofessional. If you haven’t selected the right kind of photo, you run the risk of appearing unprofessional to your prospective employer. Adding a selfie from a recent night out isn’t the way to go.
If you do include a photo, you need to ensure that it shows you off to be a smart and professional individual.
In my personal opinion, a photo isn’t necessary. I like looking at a resume having no preconceived ideas about what a person may be like. We all know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by the cover, but unfortunately, we do.
So you might not want to give your prospective employer the opportunity to judge your capability before they have read your resume.
Include the image?
The chances are your prospective employer is going to look you up on some form of social media, be that Facebook or LinkedIn.
Unless your settings are incredibly private, they are going to see a photo of you. So the bottom line is, if they are going to see photos of you anyway, why not provide them with a photo that shows you in the best light and a professional manner.
If you don’t want to add a photo to your resume, you can always include a link to your LinkedIn profile. This enables them to see your professional profile online, without them Googling or Facebooking you and finding photos you don’t want them to see.
From an employer’s perspective, it’s quite nice to know the face you are looking for. Often when I do interviews, we are interviewing multiple people one after the other.
When you get the call to say your interviewee is here, it’s good to be able to recognise them when you collect them from reception. I almost interviewed the wrong person for a job once because two candidates had very similar names.
If you can’t decide whether to add a photo to your resume, consider whether it will add anything. You don’t want to add a photo if it is going to take away from your resume but if you are writing a resume for school leavers, it may be beneficial considering they tend to have less content. Just as you tailor the wording of your resume for each application, you should tailor the photo.