Photo in the resume yes or no? Here’s what you need to know

Your photo in your resume is often the subject of discussion. Photo in the CV: yes or no? This is one of the great questions of the century. For some, inserting it is not very useful because candidates must be evaluated exclusively based on skills, for others, it is an identity element, necessary to know the person more accurately. The truth lies in both possibilities: the choice must favor the background but knowing the face serves as a complement to knowledge.

Specifically, here’s what the picture in the resume is for:

  • give a face to the application so as not to be anonymous and to be easily forgotten;
  • support the emotional impact, complementary to the rational impact of the information entered;
  • transmit values, attributes, and positive personality traits such as precision, reliability, seriousness, professionalism, self-care, precision, brightness, beautiful presence, etc…

Its importance and the resulting competitive advantage are essential, with the same skills. There is no need to think that you prefer to give priority to skills because appearance is also important, being part of the personality. All in all, during the interview, we are also assessed for our appearance and how we present ourselves. It would be impossible to try to obscure this very important side. Therefore resumes without photos create suspicion and, in the end, are the first to be penalized.

So, returning to the central theme of this article:

Photo in the resume: no

The first element to clarify immediately is that the photo must be as professional as possible. So no grimaces, bad clothes, and questionable poses. Always keep in mind that the recipients could be your future bosses or colleagues and that your resume will be seen by people who don’t know you: the first impression is precious. To avoid:

  • The selfie photo. Avoid overly prepared, “influencer” photos. Unless you are applying for some profession whose aesthetic value is the basis, always prefer simplicity.
  • Photos with other people. In this case, it creates confusion in the mind of the recruiter, to whom it is not clear who the potential candidate is. Furthermore, withdrawing from other subjects could also mean personal insecurity and lack of seriousness.
  • The photos with a poor appearance. In most of the photos we take every day, we certainly have something wrong: hair a little messy, shabby makeup, very casual clothes, and so on. It is also worth noting the importance of the background which, in these same photos, can be of interest to a home environment. During everyday life all this is fine, we can be ourselves freely, without being too demanding. However, such photos, if included in the curriculum, can give rise to reactions in contrast to the hiring objective. If you want to make a good impression then it is necessary that the background is a strictly solid color and that the subject has a settled look, preferably wearing formal clothes.
  • Photos that are out of focus or visibly cropped. How many resorts to historical artifacts, taken by desperation, to find “decent” photos? It is a very common habit that however does not lead to great results, on the contrary, it is almost always noticed that the photo has been cut and reused both because of the poor quality and because of the pose of the subject (sometimes it has the torso turned to one side ).
  • Photo with sunglasses. Being anonymous generates suspicion and distrust. Sunglasses have always been a symbol of impenetrability. The eyes are identifying and help create the first contact with whoever is in front of you.
  • Photo with grimaces. Taking a professional photo yourself is not easy at all. Often the excessive concentration for the realization of the photo makes us tense and makes us look unpleasant or not very photogenic. The secret is to smile right, not over the top. While hinting at a half-smile may be the least spontaneous thing you’ve ever done before, do it anyway. The result will pay off.

Resume examples | Hudson


  • Retouched photos. Given all the difficulties mentioned above, many might think about resorting to photo editing, also considering the countless graphics tools and free apps available on the market. This way could bring advantages but also disadvantages. Using these programs to remove, for example, some hair that is out of place or some disturbing element, such as an unwanted shadow, can be a great solution, but changing parts of your appearance, such as the color of your eyes, the shape of your nose or the lips, can cause a negative reaction in the eyes of the interviewer during the interview, who will see a totally different candidate from the one in the image on the resume. He may even think he is dealing with a shrewd person, lacking common sense and loyalty.


There are photos that, when included in the resume, help to make an excellent first impression. For example, the representative photo of your profession. This is a clear personal photo that portrays the subject in the course of his work. If you are dealing with accounting, inserting an image taken while you are at your desk doing the calculations is both original and consistent with the application.
Sometimes it takes less than you think to make a photograph that lives up to expectations.

In some situations, however, the profession does not allow you to take a good photo and for this reason, you can use the formal photo. In this case, it is enough to propose yourself in professional clothes, while still conforming to your profession and to what you aspire to.

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