Photos on a Resume – Should You Include Them?

December 8, 2009 at 12:44 am Leave a comment

A story, came to my attention written by Kate in our local CareerOne paper insert, about a lady who had her photo taken by a recruitment agency to keep on file. Knowing this blog is read from various locations outside the reach of our local paper I thought it worthwhile to comment here.

Is having a recruitment agency take your photo the done or acceptable thing? In a word – NO.

If a recruiter requests to take a photo you can politely decline – but please do so with tact and diplomacy. If you feel the job is in jeopardy by refusing, and one would hope this situation would never arise, weigh up the pros and cons before taking your stand.

Should YOU include photos on your resume?

In the majority of cases, with the exception of dancers, models, televisions presenters etc, photos should not appear on a resume in almost all countries, and certainly not in Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and the UK .

In these countries the risk of breaching anti-discrimination laws is quite high. If you don’t get the interview it may because you were excluded on the basis of some aspect about your photo or you may simply not have been one of the best candiates for the job.

Not only do you have this spectre hanging over your head, so does the employer when you include a photo. You may not have presented as the strongest candidate (even though you were but that is a matter of ensuring you have a powerful resume, tailored to the role), but the employer is faced with potential legal implications even if they have done no wrong.

For all concerned – do not include photos with your resume unless it is totally relevant and specific to the advertised position or industry.

Here’s to writing powerful resumes.


Want professional assistance or no-cost, no-obligation feedback on your current resume – drop by my web site at

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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