Should you or shouldn’t you add a picture to your resume?
When writing your resume you might have come across the “picture-dilemma”. “Do I really have to add a picture?” And you continue thinking “hmm, yes. That way the recruiter has a better idea of who I am.” Or hmm “no, just to be sure.” Or maybe (you are so confident that) you have not asked yourself this question and you just went ahead and added your picture. Whatever the case, it is good to clear the air about the topic once and for all.
There are arguments for both “yes” and “no”. We will discuss them now, and finish by explaining how we think about the matter.
No, do not add that picture.
Let’s go back to the essence of the resume. The raison d’être of any resume is primarily to show your potential next employer who you are (in the strict sense: your name) as well as what you know and what you can do: your knowledge, experience and your skills. Stop, that’s it. That is the essential part of the resume. Now, for some jobs your picture is essential too, for instance for a modelling job or a job as an actor or actress. But, other then that, a picture is not necessary, since hiring decisions should not be based upon it.
Furthermore, pictures might cause (unintended) discrimination, bias or favouritism. Recruiters could be consciously or unconsciously base their decisions on what a person looks like. This, unfortunately, is something that is more real then we want it to be. Some companies that want to avoid any discrimination claims or law suits, maintain a zero tolerance principle on adding picture on applications, either by not accepting resumes with pictures, or by having pictures (and other irrelevant a priori information such as last name, address and gender) erased before the resume is presented to their recruiters. This is a way to cover themselves from being sued over discrimination allegations and it promotes a bias-free recruitment process.
Lastly, since it is already so hard to put your professional and academic experiences and skills on two pages, why would you add something that is irrelevant and takes up so much extra space? An often-used argument is also that recruiters might check your social media pages anyway, so why would you bother adding one on your resume. You could even add a link to your LinkedIn profile. That way, you give the opportunity to discover your profile and you keep some space on your resume.
Yes, add that picture.
Our last argument of the previous paragraph is also an argument for actually adding a picture: recruiters visit your social media, so they might discover the picture anyway. Why not immediately add it then? It adds authenticity and makes the resume more personal. Furthermore, in a row of multiple resumes, one with photo will potentially stand out of the crowd, compared to two resumes without picture. Especially, if it is a nice, professional, inviting and attractive picture (read: nice and attractive to the one that hires). It won’t have a negative effect and can only work in a positive and contributing way.
At Rainbow Resources Group candidates can choose whether they apply with or without a photo. At our offices, we always take a professional picture of the candidate, because we know of experience that this will increase chances to be invited for an interview with the client. The reason for this lies in the fact that something ‘imagery’ is always more inciting than something without any images. Furthermore, we only work with clients that share our values. Discrimination is not one of them. At Rainbow Resources Group we embrace diversity. That means, that for us, the question of whether or not you should add a picture should not be an issue in the first place. We base our decisions on skills, competences and attitude.