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Should I include a photo in my CV?

Posted about 2 years ago by Julia Williams
Photo Cv2

In an age where personal branding is more important than ever, putting a photo on your CV may seem like the best option when it comes to getting your profile and image out into the market.

But it can actually be more harmful than you think.

On average there’s reportedly an 88% job rejection rate if you have a photo of yourself on your CV. And though this statistic appears harsh, including photo’s on CV’s have been shown to create a variety of issues in recruitment.

  • It opens the field to discrimination - Recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly conscious about avoiding discrimination in the recruitment process, and may avoid and not pass along CV’s with photo’s to try to reduce bias’s. This could include variety of factors including age, race, gender and visible disabilities.

  • It can confuse ATS - Larger organisations are known to use automated applicant tracking systems which can become confused by the formatting of CV’s if photos are included, increasing the odds of rejection.

  • It distracts the hirer/recruiter - Though we like to say we spend longer on CV’s, most hirers and recruiters spend an average of 5-7 seconds scanning for key information. Including a photo could distract from this time and lead to key bits of information being missed.

But what do our recruiters think?

"If they are professional photos/look professional then I don’t see the issue … BUT I don’t recommend them as general practice.” - Julia Williams

Sometimes being able to see the person helps brings them to life, BUT they have to be professional/reflective of the market they work in. Snapchat filters and looking like you’re heading for a night out can give the wrong impression to a hiring company or recruiter” - Heidi Moreby

The verdict

Overall we’d advise that you avoid putting a photo on your CV if possible. But if you do then keep it professional and relevant to the industry you’re applying for, think about how you’d present yourself in an interview and replicate that in your CV picture.

Image credit:

Header:​ Image adapted from Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels