Making a strong first impression is the top priority for all job seekers, and the best way to do that, is through a strong, ATS-friendly resume.
This is probably why we try to research and analyze every aspect of a resume before submitting them to the opportunities we like.
While tailoring a resume is always crucial, some of its fundamental aspects stay the same. But, one of the most confusing debates around resume is whether you should add a profile picture to it.
So, we are here to settle it once and for all.
Drumrolls, please!! 🥁🥁
The answer is- NO! You should not add a picture to your resume.
While there are no black-and-white rules about adding pictures on a resume in India, there are many reasons why adding your image on a resume is a bad idea (Unless specifically asked ).
In this article, we will discuss in detail why you should not add your photo to your resume and three creative and cool ways to get across your picture to recruiters.
Also read: How to Tailor Resume to a Job Description?
Reasons to not include pictures in your resume
Here are some reasons why adding images to your resume may seem like a bad idea!
1. Pictures are NOT ATS Friendly
Most recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to shortlist suitable candidates for their organization by matching the keywords on the resume to that on the job description.
Using relevant keywords on a resume can get you closer to your dream job, but where does a picture of you fit in with ATS?
While ATS is a smart tool, it does not process images, making them irrelevant to the shortlisting process.
Also read: Tips to Write an ATS friendly resume
2. Exposes you to discrimination in the hiring process
Despite the increased awareness and consciously drafted policies that ensure equality in hiring, recruiters can get influenced by the human tendency to form a notion about people based on their picture.
Adding a picture to your resume can expose your candidature to the possibility of bias and discrimination. These biases can be formed subconsciously based on age, race, gender, and other factors.
To avoid profiling of any sort, companies often try to avoid looking at images of the candidates, making it a bad idea to include pictures in a resume unless specifically asked.
3. Pictures can distract recruiters from skills and education
Recruiters spend an average of 7 seconds on a resume, making it crucial to draw their attention to your skills, work experience, educational background, and other crucial aspects.
But since 65% of people are visual learners, (as per a study by the Social Science Research Network , adding pictures on the resume can distract recruiters from what’s important, leading to them remembering only your face and not your skills, education, work experience, etc- things that make your candidature stick.
4. Limited space on a resume
A resume is a brief document that conveys your education, skills, and accomplishments to the recruiters in a summarized manner.
Since a resume should ideally be 1-2 pages long, it has limited space to contain all the crucial information.
Adding a photo to an information-loaded resume may take up the space that should be used for more crucial information, and make it look cluttered and messy, which could lead to the recruiter not wanting to explore your resume beyond the first few sections.
5. Many recruiters consider it unprofessional
Adding images to the resume is one of the most debated topics among job seekers. Since images on a resume do not add much value and have more negatives than positives, adding pictures on a resume may seem unprofessional to recruiters.
Also, when recruiters try to hire the most suitable candidate for their organizations, the pictures of candidates seem irrelevant. They are interested in your credentials, education, and skills, and the picture adds no value to it.
So, make sure your resume only has details about your professional skills and highlights your suitability for the job role.
6. It is not acceptable in some countries
While India has no rules about adding pictures to resumes, it is a definite no-no in many countries.
Countries like the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), and Ireland frown upon adding images to resume due to their strict labor laws and anti-discrimination policies.
In these countries, companies are required to prove that their hiring processes do not profile candidates and are discrimination-free, making it necessary for them to process resumes purely based on their skills and qualifications.
Adding images negates this in every way, making it unacceptable for companies to process resumes with pictures.
For jobseekers applying to jobs in India, the rules are not so strict, but given the cons of adding images to a resume, it is better to avoid adding profile pictures to it.
Besides, there are other ways to introduce yourself to recruiters. In the next section, we discuss some creative ways to get recruiters to notice you!
How to share your picture with a recruiter without including it in your resume?
So, you want recruiters to recognize you beyond your resume. Sounds like a great plan! But how to do it without adding images to the resume?
Here are some easy tricks to share your picture without actually sharing it!
1. Add links to your professional networking profile
Professional networking sites are one of the most popular ways for recruiters to gauge and analyze candidates. Make it easy for them by adding the link to your profile in the resume.
This will make it easy for the recruiters to explore your career journey, and the best part- they will be able to see your picture after all!
Some things to keep in mind before including your professional networking profile are:
- Review your profile and update all the relevant fields
- Add a picture that is not too busy- has a clear background, proper lighting, and shows your face clearly
- A crisp but informative bio that gives more perspective to the recruiter
2. Include your online portfolio or blogs in the resume
Another great idea is to showcase your work through portfolios and blogs and reveal personal information about yourself through an About Me page.
That will give you ample space to talk about your skills, and work process, and give you a proper platform to share your picture.
3. Send a video resume
Want people to remember your resume? Join the bandwagon and make a Video Resume.
A video resume helps you stand out from the crowd as it allows you to add a personal touch and gives you a platform to talk about yourself briefly, but freely.
Most importantly, it will introduce you to them and the recruiters will associate your face while discussing your resume. So adding a picture to the resume is not even required.
Not to mention, a video resume provides you with one of the rare opportunities that a traditional resume cannot provide- to talk about yourself with preparation and without the interview pressure.
Also read: How to Create a Video Resume?
A resume is the first point of information for recruiters, making it crucial to get it right! Not adding pictures on a resume is not only an aesthetic choice, but as we can conclude, it adds no real value to your selection process.
Chances are that it may hurt yourchances of getting hired. So, do not include a picture in your resume unless your recruiter asks for it.
You can explore more resume tips here!
All the best!