Interviews Tips: Should You Use a Photo on Your Resume?

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Interviews Tips: Should You Use a Photo on Your Resume?
In your quest to land your dream job, a lucrative career or a position to support your home and family, you likely want to procure a paid role as soon as possible. Part of achieving this goal is having a strong resume, and you may wonder whether or not you should include a resume photo. An unequivocal answer that applies to every situation does not exist; instead, you must consider certain criteria.

Understanding Context
In general, including a photo on your resume is an uncommon step to take. Resumes do not typically include photos. Usually, you are listing your job experience and contact information. However, as time has changed, so have resumes. Stapling an old Polaroid to a paper resume is not the same as a modern document with a polished image. In other words, some jobs may require photos as part of the application process, and today’s technology makes the submission of this criterion possible in a professional manner.

Evaluating the Job
Whether or not you include a resume photo is going to have much to do with the job itself. One step involves evaluating what the actual job is. For example, if you are applying for a modelling job, the interview committee likely needs to know what you look like before you are called in for an interview. In a position where appearances play a prominent role, you may have no choice but to include a resume photo.
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Reviewing the Application Criteria
Still though, including a photo on your resume is generally appropriate only if you are asked to do so. When you see a listing for a position in which you are interested, you may hastily submit an application. However, the position listing may clearly note what material you are to send and how to include all of the requested items. The listing might state that you are supposed to submit a link to your online portfolio as opposed to including a picture on the document itself. Failure to follow instructions is a major mistake when submitting application materials. You’re unlikely to land the job, and with application tracking software, the human eye may never even see your application package.

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Understanding Application Documents
You also need to know the difference between a resume and a cv, or curriculum vitae, when applying for a job. The former is generally a shorter document while the latter lists a more detailed history of your professional experience. A CV is usually requested for academic positions only. Therefore, the chances of having to include a CV photo are fairly low. You are unlikely to need a CV photo as appearances do not typically play a role in academic positions. Make sure that you do not accidentally submit the wrong type of application document as doing so is sure to seriously decrease your chances of obtaining the position.

Selecting the Right Photo
Including a photo on your resume is a step that you might have to take. While certainly more rare, you may also need a CV photo at some point. When this situation arises, consider looking into a professional photographer so that the photo fits with the formality and professionalism of the scenario. Also, know what features to highlight in your professional resume photo. For example, if you are applying for a position as a model for hair products, you don’t want to tightly wrap your hair back in a bun. Show off your locks in your professional resume photo so that the committee can determine if you are the right candidate.

When you’re trying to decide if you should include a professional resume photo or not, these criteria can help you to make the right choice. Don’t forget about the wealth of resources to help you. For example, you could work with a professional job-application writer, or you could consult with the career center at your college to determine the best approach to this process.