Can I put my picture on a resume?

There has been a lot of debate online about pictures on a resume. In a visual world, we say yes. Use it as a way to differentiate yourself. There are however HR pros who will tell you no way. So who do you believe?

I suppose the answer lies somewhere in between. If you are good looking it will probably enhance your chances of getting an interview. If you are an ethnic minority it might hurt your chances. There is still a lot of bias in the recruiting process. One might argue that your name is judged more than your picture might be.

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Chances are a recruiter is going to Google you before they bring you in for an interview so they are going to see your LinkedIn or other social media headshot. If that is the case, what difference would it make if you have it on your resume too.

And some industries may look down upon it. Some are more conservative than others. If you work in fields such as advertising, media, acting, marketing, design it will probably be received more receptively than if you worked in manufacturing or accounting. 

Here's what a few people said to me about it.

I've founded a pair of software companies and have hired sales and technical staff for 10 years.Absolutely people should include their profile picture! Why?

1) Europeans have been doing it for years, I'm surprised it took this long for North America to catch up.

2) Your profile picture is EVERYWHERE else - FB, Instagram, LinkedIn, its only logical for it to go on something as personal as your resume.

3) Everyone can take or find a pretty decent shot of themselves

4) Sales is all about differentiation, and selling yourself is no different - whats a better, visual way to make yourself standout than your pic?

Submitted by Darin Herle, CoFounder of Trackmeet.

In my opinion it is never a good idea to have a headshot on a resume. Job seekers have a challenging enough time as it is without being dismissed before they even have an opportunity to interview based on their looks. Yes, there are any number of laws against discrimination, why add to the possibility of potential discrimination based on the headshot provided on a resume? I have over 25 years of experience in Human Resources, have recruited and interviewed numerous candidates.

Submitted by Jacqueline J. Smith, Coach, & Speaker.

Jacqueline's and Darin's comments seem to run along generational lines. Darin is a techie and entrepreneur. She is more of an old-school HR person. 

Here is another thought submitted by Tricia Lucas, from Lucas Select;

I own a recruiting business. I like headshots on resumes and today with LinkedIn profiles it is becoming more widely embraced. My company recruits sales and marketing professionals so like it or not appearance is important. Clients want to know that a potential hire that is going to be interfacing with their customers is presentable and professional.

Photos should be clean, crisp, and professional. That seems like common sense but I have seen loads of terrible headshots on LinkedIn which is THE professional social media network. Blurry photos, cropped out wedding photos or group picture shots, or just inappropriate photos blanket LinkedIn. Downsides to adding a photo include ATS compatibility and perhaps age discrimination.

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Using a picture on a resume is ok in some cases. You'll have to decide for yourself if it's right for you and your potential employers.

SIDEBAR: See Sample Resumes with Pictures.

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