Advice on how and when to add a professional photo to a CV


Advice on how and when to add a professional photo to a CV

by CVMaker

  • CV
  • · November 01 2022
  • · 2 min read
photo on a cv

Table of contents

Should you plaster a photo of yourself on the front of your CV when applying for a job? It’s a big question. One that’s asked frequently. But frankly, not one that’s easy to answer. Does the hiring manager really need to know what you look like to get a job? After all, It’s your skills that matter, right? Well, that depends.It turns out that there isn’t a single right answer to this question. How hiring managers react depends very much on their professional expectations and company hiring policy. Historically, career advisors advocated against including photos for most job applicants. But  with the rise of social media (LinkedIn in particular) nowadays it’s not so clear cut.

Looking to create a professional CV?

Start now

Why you might not want to include a photo on your CV

There are several reasons why most career advisors advise against putting photos on CVs. Overwhelmingly, they have to do with ‘unconscious bias’.

Not including your photo protects candidates from being discriminated against and employers from allegations of discrimination - based on race, age or gender to name a few.

These days, many companies review CVs blind - looking at objective job-related factors instead of subjective matters, such as a candidate’s appearance. Some even go as far as not looking at an applicant’s name when compiling shortlists to avoid any bias. Adding a photo to your CV in this situation, therefore, is probably not the best idea.

The exception to this being for actors and models where appearance is a key part of the hiring process. For example, Robert Downey Jr can’t reasonably play the part of Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Danny Devito can't become a catwalk model. Industry standards forbid it.

How to include a photo

If you ultimately decide to include a photo in your CV, be sure to follow some sensible rules of thumb:

  • Get your picture taken professionally with the correct background and proportions.

  • Don’t post a selfie on your CV: hiring managers will usually judge you negatively for this.

  • Make sure that the photo fits squarely in the space provided.

  • Don’t use a dated photo - keep it as current as possible.

Ideally, you want your photo to reflect well professionally on you. Therefore, it should epress your professional acumen and character. Lawyers, for instance, should appear presentable and professional. By contrast, adventure activity organisers should appear energetic, engaged and enthusiastic. You get the picture (pun intended).

Other ways to introduce yourself

Of course, you don’t have to include your photo directly on your CV - you can include it into your application through other means.

For example, some people attach a photo business card to their resume. They do this so that their new employer can pass on their details easily to people while networking. However, the primary purpose is to get your photo to the hiring manager, past all the usual filters.

If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can do something similar. Some candidates, for instance, provide hyperlinks to their pages within electronic CVs that hiring managers can click. By doing so, you’re providing the manager with additional background information on you and your suitability - this can be super useful if you have linked recommendations you’d like to show off.

Looking to create a professional CV?

Start now

Some final advice

Most people land jobs without including photos of themselves, so it is by no means a requirement. It doesn’t matter what you look like for the vast majority of roles so we recommend only using a photo if it’s a compulsory requirement.

Most candidates should just focus on quality writing when constructing a CV. You want the hiring manager to come away with the impression that you’re an expert in your field, and you really understand what you’re doing. After all, that’s what they want to see. Most companies don’t care what you look like, so long as you can do the job well.

Start creating your CV

Create a professional CV quick and easy with our advanced CV Builder

+ Create CV

Updated November 01 2022


Written by

The CVMaker platform offers a complete career platform for jobseekers with handy tools and valuable information. Are you ready for the next step in your career? Create your CV now

Land the interview for your dream job with CVMaker

Effortlessly create your professional CV within 10 minutes and download it whenever and wherever you want!

AddSmallCreate your CV

Increase your chances landing your dream job with CVMaker.