Career services professionals urge students to include a professional picture with their LinkedIn profile, but what about on their resumes?
In a recent NACE Community discussion, most participants said a picture doesn’t belong on a resume in the United States. Their reasons included:
- Recruiters could be accused of bias if a someone submitting a resume with a photo is rejected.
- A photo on a resume is not typical for engineering and technical fields.
- A resume with a photo submitted to a public institution may be rejected or the person who submits the resume may be asked to remove the photo.
- A picture takes up space that could be used to add skills, achievements, and experience.
- Some applicant tracking systems may distort the picture, making the job applicant look odd.
One employer said that his organization hasn’t had a problem uploading resumes with photos. Another said that he, personally, didn’t mind receiving photos. A career services practitioner said that an employer requested photos to help jog his/her memory when reviewing resumes later.
“Ask a Manager” blogger Alison Green advises that students leave the photo off their resume unless they are applying for a job as a model or actor. Their appearance, she says, has nothing to do with their ability to do the job and including a photo on a resume could come across as unprofessional.
A recruiter noted that she had identified a recent graduate, who had included a picture, for an entry-level role in her company. The hiring manager wanted the photo removed from the grad’s resume before reviewing it. The new grad, who was the number one candidate, was adamant that the photo remains on the resume. The graduate lost out on the job.
The solution? Said one director of career services: “[Students should put their] LinkedIn URL on [their] resume—and leave [their] photo on LinkedIn.”