For every job that PSCI works on, a job description for that opportunity can be found on our IT job search page. From there, candidates are able to submit their applications to each position by submitting their name, contact information, and resume.
The page receives many resume submissions per day, with each resume carefully reviewed for fit. A trend we’ve recently noticed, however, is that candidates have been including a photo of themselves on their resume.
While a photo may be needed or even required in certain professions (i.e., acting, modeling, real estate), they are decidedly not so in information technology.
While the debate is ongoing, many career experts believe that including a photo on your resume is unnecessary at best, and detrimental at worst.
Below, we review the reasons for not including a photo on your resume.
Why Not to Include a Photo on Your Resume
It May Invite Discrimination
Whether it’s deliberate or not, a photo on your resume could result in discrimination on the basis of race, age, gender, or other factors. To that effect, don’t invite any implicit bias and let employers focus on your skills rather than your appearance.
It Can Serve as a Distraction
Resumes should address your experience and skills in an articulate, concise, and professional manner. Including a photo may distract a potential employer from your experience, skillset, and expertise. With hiring managers spending as little as six to seven seconds reviewing resumes, let them use that time to focus on your experiences rather than your appearance.
They Aren’t Necessary
Generally speaking, recruiters will reformat resumes before forwarding them to employers, and you can bet they’ll be removing that photo. Why? Because they understand what employers want to see, a candidate’s experiences, not their appearance.
A Photo Can Prove Problematic for an ATS
An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment needs, including the filtering of resumes. A photo on a resume can confuse an ATS and cause it to reject the resume by default.
If an employer is interested in your qualifications and is considering moving forward with your application, they’ll likely look you up on LinkedIn. There, they’ll be able to view your photo, where including one is appropriate and encouraged.
If, however, you’re wondering what a professional photo should look like, we do have some advice.
Advice for a Professional Headshot/Photo
When choosing a professional photo for your LinkedIn profile, or for other professional use, consider these tips:
- Use a front-facing headshot on a solid, light background.
- If the photo is taken outside, blur the background.
- Ensure the photo is clear and is shot with a high resolution.
- Make sure the photo is up to date.
- Avoid photos that are taken in group settings or party atmospheres.
- Don’t use avatars, cartoons, or funny photos.
- Remember to smile!