Should You Include a Photo on Your Resume?

Photo on Resume: Decoding the Photo Debate!

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Posted by Aarna Tiwari Aug 25, 2023

The job application procedure has grown more difficult in the current digital era. Job searchers are always seeking methods to differentiate themselves from the competition and make an impact on prospective employers. Whether or not to put a photo on your resume is one approach that has generated a lot of discussion. While some contend that including a photo can improve your application, others are of the opinion that it might introduce bias and result in discrimination throughout the hiring process.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of including a photo on your resume, cultural differences in resume photos, and industry-specific considerations.

Understanding the Purpose of a Resume

Understanding the function of a resume is crucial before getting into the photo debate. A resume acts as a personal marketing tool for you, displaying your abilities to prospective employers. It usually represents the hiring manager’s first impression of you and is very important in choosing whether or not you will be called for an interview.

It is critical to remember while creating a resume that it is more than simply a record of your employment history and educational background. It is a tactical instrument that should successfully convey your qualifications and show why you are the best applicant for the position. A well-crafted resume can make a strong impression and increase your chances of being shortlisted for an interview.

Resume Format For Freshers

Photo on Resume: The Never-Ending Debate

Now let us turn our attention to the debate surrounding whether or not to include a photo on your resume. This controversial topic has divided opinions among job seekers and professionals alike.

When it comes to including a photo on a resume, there are valid arguments on both sides of the spectrum.

Pros of Including a Resume Image

A photo in your application may humanize it, according to those who recommend it, and leave a lasting impression on hiring managers. A skillfully picked image may exude confidence, expertise, and individuality. It can also give your application a visual context, enabling potential employers to put a face to the name.

A photograph may be a crucial part of the application process in various professions, such as modeling or acting. In these fields, where appearance is so important, providing a photo might demonstrate your suitability for the job.

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The Pros of Including a Photo include:

  • A picture may add a personal touch to your resume and help potential employers associate your credentials with a face. It may enable you to stand out and make an impact.
  • In certain nations, such as France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, etc., including a photo is customary and even expected. It is crucial to research the standards of the labor market in your target nation.
  • In a sea of words, a carefully picked photo may improve the visual appeal of your resume and make it more interesting and memorable.
  • A photo can demonstrate your suitability for the position in careers like modeling, acting, or customer service positions.

Cons of Including a Resume Picture

By posting a photo, there is a chance that hiring managers will develop unconscious prejudices based on looks, which will result in candidates being treated unfairly. Due to this, organizations may unintentionally engage in discriminatory behavior and struggle to promote diversity and inclusion. A candidate’s age, gender, race, or physical appearance can be seen in a photo, which should not be taken into account while judging their credentials.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that a snapshot cannot always adequately depict a person. Making recruiting judgments entirely based on a photo might be deceptive and can disfavor eligible applicants.

ATS Resume format

The Cons of Including a Resume Photo include:

  • Including a photo may unintentionally result in prejudices based on your looks, age, gender, or ethnicity, which may harm your prospects.
  • Your resume should emphasize your abilities, credentials, and greatest achievements. A picture might detract from this important information.
  • A poor photo selection or an unprofessional demeanor could negatively impact your prospects and perhaps overshadow your credentials.

Industry-Specific Considerations for Resume Photos

When deciding whether or not to include a photo on your resume, it is important to consider the specific industry you are applying to.

Creative Industries and Resume Images

In creative industries such as fashion, design, or entertainment, a photo can be highly advantageous. These industries place a strong emphasis on personal branding and visual presentation. Including a well-composed and professionally taken photo can help you showcase your unique style and creativity.

Corporate Industries and Resume Photos

In corporate industries such as finance, law, or consulting, the inclusion of a photo is generally less common. These industries tend to prioritize qualifications and experience over appearance. Including a photo may be perceived as unprofessional or unnecessary, potentially detracting from the overall strength of your application.

Firstnaukri Free Online Resume Maker: An ATS-Friendly Resume

In general, keep in mind that images occupy a significant amount of “real estate” on a resume and might draw attention away from crucial elements like your resume summary. Additionally, many resume layouts with pictures are incompatible with ATS. Consider that while selecting a choice, and keep in mind that a powerful, well-written, personalized resume will put you in front of the pack at all times.

For freshers and college students seeking a tailored and impactful resume, Firstnaukri’s Resume Maker tool is an invaluable resource. It’s completely free, ATS-friendly and you can download your resume in PDF format in real time. 

Here’s how Firstnaukri’s Resume Maker can enhance your job hunt:

  • Professional Templates: Choose from a variety of professionally designed templates that suit your industry and preferences.
  • Customization: Easily input your qualifications, skills, and experiences, and let the tool create a well-structured resume for you.
  • Guided Content: The tool prompts you with sections relevant to your profile, ensuring you don’t miss out on important details.
  • No-Photo Option: If you’re unsure about including a photo, the tool provides an option to create a photo-free resume, allowing your qualifications to take center stage.
  • Real-Time Editing: Make changes and updates to your resume as needed. The tool’s user-friendly interface ensures a hassle-free experience.


Finally, the choice of whether or not to put a photo on your resume ultimately comes down to a number of variables, such as cultural expectations, business standards, and personal preferences. While in certain cases a photo might improve your application, it can also present prejudice and limit equal opportunity. Be sure to thoroughly consider the advantages and disadvantages of using a photo on your resume before making a choice.

Ultimately, demonstrating your qualities, abilities, and experiences that make you the greatest candidate for the position should take priority in your application.

Related Reads:

FAQs on Photo on Resume

Should I include a photo on my resume?

Including a photo depends on industry norms and cultural context. In some regions or roles, it’s common, but ensure it aligns with the job you’re seeking.

What are the pros and cons of putting a picture on a resume?

The pros include a personal touch and cultural expectations. Whereas, the cons include Bias risk and focus shifts from qualifications. Decide based on industry and role demands.

When is it appropriate to add a photo to a CV?

Add a photo if it’s customary in your industry and geography. For acting, modeling, or client-facing roles, a professional headshot can enhance your application.

Read: Difference between CV and Resume

Do recruiters prefer resumes with photos?

Preferences vary. In some fields, a photo can establish a connection. However, ensure it doesn’t overshadow your skills and qualifications.

What type of photo should I use for my resume?

Choose a professional headshot in business attire. Ensure good lighting, a neutral background, and a friendly yet confident expression.


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