Is Including a Photo on Your CV a Good Idea?


Is Including a Photo on Your CV a Good Idea?

by CVMaker

  • CV
  • · June 10 2024
  • · 3 min read
photo on a cv

Table of contents

If you're wondering whether to include a photo on a CV, the short answer is no. While this may seem like a common practice, it's noteworthy that according to UK regulations, it is not mandatory. Over time, career advisors have advised against attaching photos for the majority of job seekers. However, the advent of social media platforms, notably LinkedIn, has introduced a layer of complexity. This article will explore the reasoning behind excluding it, and in addition, if you wish to add a photo, we offer valuable suggestions on the best approach to take for a modern CV.

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Reasons for avoiding photos on a CV in the UK

The majority of career advisors strongly discourage the inclusion of a photo on a CV for multiple reasons. These reasons predominantly revolve around the concept of 'unconscious bias'. Opting not to include a photo shields candidates from potential discrimination and safeguards employers from facing allegations of prejudiced decision-making, particularly concerning factors such as race, age, or gender.

  • Many modern companies adopt a blind CV review strategy, concentrating solely on objective job-related criteria. This technique eliminates subjectivity, with some organisations even disregarding applicant names during shortlisting to eradicate bias.

  • Including a photo in your CV might unintentionally divert attention from your qualifications and skills. Opting out of a photo ensures your application is assessed solely on its merits.

  • Certain fields like acting and modelling prioritise appearance, but even within these industries, including a photo remains optional rather than obligatory. Check out our acting CV example for more inspiration.

For more information, check our our related blog article on master vs job-specific CVs to help you customise your application to each position you apply for.

Best practices for including a professional picture on a CV

Should you opt to include a photo in your CV, it's essential to adhere to these key guidelines:

  • Ensure your photo is taken by a professional, capturing you against an appropriate background and maintaining correct proportions.

  • Refrain from using a selfie for your CV as such images can often create a negative impression among hiring managers.

  • Ensure the photo fits neatly within the allocated space, maintaining a balanced and visually appealing layout.

  • Choose a current photo rather than one that appears outdated. Presenting yourself as you are now helps create a genuine and accurate representation.

Ideally, you want your CV photo to reflect well professionally on you. Therefore, it should express your professional acumen and character. Lawyers, for instance, should appear presentable and professional. By contrast, adventure activity organisers like travel agents or personal trainers should appear energetic, engaged and enthusiastic.

If you want to see a good CV example with a photo, refer to our French CV or German CV examples. If you are considering a job abroad, take some time to explore the Europass CV format.

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Alternative ways to introduce yourself

Of course, you don’t have to include your photo directly on your CV - you can include it in your application through other means. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can do something similar. Some candidates, for instance, provide hyperlinks to their pages within the CV. By doing so, you’re providing the manager with additional background information on you and your suitability - this can be useful if you have linked recommendations you’d like to show off.

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Pro Tip

Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches the information on your CV.

Key takeaways

Securing job positions commonly occurs without the inclusion of photos, making it clear that such additions are not obligatory. For the overwhelming majority of roles, your physical appearance holds little relevance. Thus, we advise considering a photo only if its inclusion is mandatory.

For most candidates, crafting a compelling CV through quality writing remains paramount. The ultimate goal is to impress the hiring manager with your expertise in the field and your comprehensive grasp of the subject matter. This, after all, is precisely what they are seeking. Generally, a candidate's appearance holds minimal significance to companies as long as their competence to excel in the job is evident.

Next steps?

Check our collection of useful tools and resources designed to make your job application process easy:

  • If you need to polish inconsistencies on your CV, consult our professional writers using CV Writing Service to help you create tailored and personalised documents.

  • Complement your CV with one of our easy-to-use cover letter templates that you can adjust to your specific job.

  • For more guidance for your specific role, explore 140+ CV example guides and 40+ cover letter examples to help you meet your career goals!

Additionally, read one of our blog articles to help you succeed in your next job interview:

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Does a picture add value to a CV?

A picture usually doesn't significantly enhance a CV and can sometimes introduce biases. Instead, it's advisable to focus on relevant skills and experience instead.

Should I add the same photo for my CV and LinkedIn?

Yes, maintaining consistency between your CV and LinkedIn photo is recommended for a coherent professional image.

For more tips, check out our related article on how to include a LinkedIn profile.

What kind of photo should I add to my CV?

Choose a professional headshot with a neutral background, wearing business attire, and maintaining a pleasant expression.

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Updated June 10 2024


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