The decision to include or exclude a headshot on your resume has been a topic of controversy for some time. However, this controversy has reached a resolute conclusion (in the US at least). Unless you are applying for a position for which your physical appearance is specifically relevant — i.e., modeling, or acting positions, you should never include your photo on your resume. If you need convincing, below are a few reasons why a headshot on your resume is a bad idea.
It Wastes Employers’ Time
Wasting potential employers’ time is something you want to avoid doing at all costs. Employers spend about 7.4 seconds reading each applicant’s resume. That number does not increase when considering resumes with headshots. This means that if you include a photo, your potential employer uses up precious seconds looking at your face rather than considering your qualification. This is not good news.
It Is Not Relevant Nor is it Necessary
Your face is not relevant. It is as simple as that. Your resume should, ideally, be one page. This means you have a very limited amount of space to convey your skills and qualifications. If you have written your resume correctly, you have only included the essentials. Your face is non-essential. Many employers will google your name whether or not you include a photo. If they want to find a picture of your face, they will; so, it is supremely unnecessary to include a photo on your resume.
It May Raise Issues of Discrimination
Here is a big reason. Including your photo may lead to discrimination, unconscious, or otherwise. You have no idea what bias or favoritism may be living unnoticed in the subconscious of your potential employer, so why risk harming your chances by including a photo. The same advice (given by HR experts) applies to having your age, sex, race, disability, or even home address on your resume.
The Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Civil Service Reform Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act all made asking for a photo on applicants’ resumes illegal. In fact, to avoid discrimination claims, many HR departments simply throw out resumes with photos.
So stick to your skills and the facts. Let your resume speak for you; and let them see your face at the interview.