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Should I include a photo in my CV?

Including a photo in you CV can help you standout from the crowd, however it can also introduce negative bias and reduce your chances of landing your dream job. Let's explore why.

Should I include a photo?

Including a photo on your CV can help you stand out from the crowd. With some jobs receiving hundreds of applications per role that can only be a good thing right?

Unfortunately not.

Despite recruiters best efforts, unconscious bias can creep into the recruitment process. Whilst recruiters try to assess candidates fairly based on their skills, experience & suitability for a role, bias can unfortunately creep in (usually without the recruiter even realising).

Hiring Managers tend to have a mental image of their ideal candidate and if you don't fit their mental image then that can count negatively towards you. Too young, too old, ethnicity, gender, facial hair, tattoos, the list goes on...

It's usually safer to leave out the CV and let your skills, achievement & experience do the talking.

When is it appropriate to include one?

In some industries certain physical appearances are essential for the role (modelling, acting, beauty) so in these instances it can be expected to include a headshot.

Also, in some countries it is much more common to include a photo. Countries that typical expect a photo include: Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Middle East & Asia.

What sort of photo should I include?

If you have decided to include a photo on your CV then you should:

  • Make sure it is a professional looking photo. Consider getting a professional headshot or at least use a plain background and decent lighting.

  • Make sure the photo just contains you. (No couples or group shots)

  • Dress according to the role. If it's an office job then dress smart. If it's a fashion job, then dress to impress!

  • Wear simple colours.

  • Smile.


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