They say a picture paints a thousand words. Let's just say that, for many people who choose to put their photo on their resume, those words are not going to be good ones. Last week, we received a resume with a picture included in which the girl was very clearly topless. Sure, she was a pretty girl and has lovely shoulders, but in a resume? I can assure you, we are not recruiting for any roles that require nudity. It is almost impossible to take a resume seriously where there is a photo that is so grossly inappropriate. Further back in time, a woman sent in her resume where her photo was a full body shot of her standing in her lounge room. Unattractive décor and fluffy slippers completely distracted from her skill set and experience. If someone is going to spend more time reviewing the fabric of your cushion choice than your job history, then you have a problem. If you would like to include a photo on your resume then keep to these simple rules:
- Make it head and shoulders only.
- Make sure the background is neutral (no dodgy selfies in the bathroom of the local pub).
- Make sure you are dressed appropriately – we might only be able to see your head and shoulders but the shoulders should be covered with appropriate clothing.
- Think about your piercings. Nose, multiple ear, eyebrow, cheek, chin, or lip piercings are going to put some people off before they even look at your skills. Don’t make things hard on yourself; take them out for the photo!
This applies to your Linkedin profile too – people WILL search for you on LinkedIn, and a photo of you with your pet poodle or smooching your boyfriend/girlfriend/any friend at all is not going to send a professional image. Finally, if in doubt, do not include a photo at all. People should be focusing on your skills and experience at the application stage, not your haircut, facial hair and 'good' looks. Let a potential employer/recruiter become engaged with your ability to do the job on offer.