Should I Put My Picture On My Resume?

Should I Put My Picture On My Resume?

Once upon a time, I was a dancer! I had a dream of being on Broadway, dancing in the Macy's day parade and working with super famous people. Well, life happens (and foot surgery) and dreams change. Why am I telling you about my crushed dreams (and foot)? I feel guilty and would like to address a mistake that I made back in the day and that you may be making now; putting your headshot on your resume.

Should you plaster your face next to your skills and education?
The answer is maybe. If you are an actor, singer, dancer or magician, you 100% should put your picture on your resume. Outside of those fields, you should probably skip the image. These are two different kinds of resumes take a look at my dance resume compared to my professional resume.

Dance Resume copyFinal-1 K Watson - v.2 6-4-2016

Check out how much more information I can include on my professional resume compared to my dance resume (full disclosure my dance resume is from 2012 so don't judge the format too harshly, and the three fonts).

Why is it a bad idea to include a headshot on your professional resume?

Well, there are two major reasons to skip the pic: bias, and space.

1. Bias:

Under U.S. Law it is illegal to discriminate against someone who is a member of a protected class. Including a picture on your resume can open you up to age, gender, and race discrimination to name a few (unintentional bias is a real thing). Why give people the tools to discriminate against you? You only get one first impression why would you not have that first impression be in person rather than on paper.

2. Space:

A picture also takes up valuable real estate on your resume where you could be listing more details on your job description, education, and certifications. Your potential new employer is most likely going to Google you once you have made it far enough through the hiring process (Check out our blog 80% of Jobs Will Google You Before an Interview) so don't waste your time fiddling with formatting a picture. Instead, spend time customizing your resume for the position you are applying for.

Moral of the story, just skip putting a picture on your resume (unless you are auditioning for America's Got Talent). Having a headshot is a waste of space, can be seen as unprofessional, and can lead to bias. If you have questions about your resume, we can help! Grab a free consultation, and we will give you a call!

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