Should you include a photo on your CV?

Good examples of photos for CV

If you are wondering whether or not it is a good idea to include a photo on your CV, here are a few things to consider.

  1. Some countries have strict anti-discrimination and labour laws

If you are applying for a job in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden or the United States, you should not add a photo to your CV. The simple reason being that companies in those countries must be able to ensure that their hiring processes are free from any bias. This means that companies in those countries are usually very cautious and prefer to see CVs without photos.

You can, however, include a photo on your CV if you are applying for a job in other European countries. This means that here in Spain, the decision is entirely yours.

  1. Some employers and recruiters argue that a CV with a photo provides a more complete representation of the candidate.

Some company owners and recruiters in countries where photos on CVs are customary will usually expect applicants to add a photo irrespective of whether they have asked for one or not. This means that not adding a photo might sometimes result in your application being disregarded and discarded. It is also important to keep in mind that potential employers or recruiters will normally search for you online and therefore, they will be able to see your photos on your social media platforms even if you haven’t included one on your CV. You should always make sure you keep a clean online image if you want to be considered for a job interview. A good photo can also help you build your brand, especially if you have the same image on your media profiles.

If you think you would like to include a photo on your CV, please consider the following tips:

  1. If you can, use a professional photographer

A photo taken by an experienced photographer will help you look the part and guide you on how to best project a professional-looking image.

  1. Use a headshot

A headshot is all you need. Think of it as if you were having a photo taken for your passport. Try to look friendly but professional. Your photo should be recent, with a neutral background.

  1. Dress appropriately:

Consider the role you are applying for and the type of company. This will help you decide what clothes to wear. A smart jacket for men and an elegant blouse for women are usually the best options.

  1. Don’t forget your hair!

It’s important to remember your hair! Make sure it is not covering your face and that it looks tidy and elegant.

  1. Keep it simple

This should be a photo of just you against a solid-coloured background. Friends, partners and pets should not be included!

  1. Keep facial expressions neutral

One thing is to look friendly and approachable and a very different thing is to overdo it. Pouting, squinting and hand gestures should be avoided at all costs! This is not a photo for your Instagram account!

  1. Avoid props

This means that you should not include photos of yourself having a drink for example. Sunglasses and hats should also be avoided.

  1. Neutral makeup is always the best choice

Keep an “at the office” look rather than a “Saturday night out” look. Excessive makeup and too many accessories can sometimes convey a negative image depending on the company culture.

Good luck!