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Should You Include a Photo in Your CV?

9 Oct 19 by Jason Bishop

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Should you include a photo on your CV? We have had many candidates ask this question during their IT job search, as this was once considered best practice. While there are still some industries where a professional photo is still accepted, today, they are few and far between. So, when it comes to a CV photo, our advice is to leave them out. Here’s why:

It’s Not Relevant

A well-written CV will include the pertinent skills, qualifications and experience that showcase why you are the best candidate for the job you’re applying for. All of this vital information needs to fit within a couple of pages, so why use that precious space for a photo that is ultimately irrelevant to the role? Will knowing what you look like add any value to your ability to carry out the position’s tasks? Certainly not.

Instead, utilise that space to sell your personal brand through related achievements and abilities. Let your CV leave a lasting impression through quality content and the skills that align with the job description – not your appearance.

It May Trigger Unconscious Bias

Despite their best intentions, there is a chance that a CV photo could lead to unconscious bias on the part of the reader. An image may lead to assumptions on the basis of appearance and distract from your actual skills and experience. Let your CV stand as a tool to secure an interview for the job you’ve always wanted by shining light on your capabilities and accomplishments as opposed to how you look.

The Alternatives

Although your CV should remain image-free, there are a few times when adding a professional photo is appropriate. On social media platforms such as LinkedIn, posting a photo can actually help build a more comprehensive career profile and assist with networking within your industry, as it makes you more personable. The same also applies to professional websites.

There are some factors to consider when choosing a photo for such platforms to ensure they serve their purpose effectively. The image needs to be well-lit and of a high resolution, as well as taken without a distracting background. Dress suitably so that the photo is aligned with your career and is preferably cropped around your head and shoulders. Getting the photo taken from a professional should tick all the right boxes and will optimise the quality.

Summary

Your CV should offer an insight into the attributes you can potentially bring to an IT job. Ultimately, a CV photo adds little value to your application and is irrelevant when it comes to promoting your skills and experience. If anything, it can lead to an unconscious bias that may sabotage your chances of securing a position rather than allowing your capabilities to shine through.

For more CV writing tips or if you’re looking for your next IT job, get in touch with the IT Recruitment team at Sourced.