Is Adding a Photo to Your UK CV The Biggest Career Mistake Ever or The Best Way to Get Hired?
Google whether you should add a picture to your UK CV and you will be met with a deafening ‘NO!’ The general consensus in the UK hiring scene is that adding a photo to your CV can hurt your chances, but I’m going to play devil’s advocate and tell you why you should attach your best pic to your resume. But first, let’s look at why you should be careful selecting your selfie.
Why You Shouldn’t Add a Photo to Your UK CV
1 – Your Application Could Be Thrown Out
Some employers hate it when you send them a CV with a photo of yourself because they want to protect their backs. Any allegations of discriminatory recruitment practices could hurt their business: this includes age, attractiveness, race and weight. For this reason they could end up throwing your CV out straight away.
2 – It Can Seem Unprofessional
Depending on the hiring manager’s personal views, adding a picture can seem super unprofessional. This is especially true if the picture is a casual selfie and not a professional headshot.
3 – It Can Be Considered Unnecessary
For many jobs your appearance is just not essential to the role, so a photo can be considered a waste of crucial space. Some employers are just not interested in seeing a selfie and can be instantly put off.
Why You Should Add a Photo to Your UK CV
1 – It’s Eye-Catching
If the hiring manager has a more relaxed approach, having a photo on your CV is a quick way to make it stand out. The CVs with pictures are automatically more memorable than the plain ones – it’s easier to remember a face than a Word Doc.
Although adding a photo can complicate discrimination rules, it can also work in your favour. If you can find a professional, attractive photo of yourself the hiring manager will automatically have an opinion – hopefully a positive one. The process of choosing who to hire then becomes more subjective in your favour. The hiring team will feel like they know you and your personal brand better.
On the note of discrimination laws: we live in a digital world. Employers are probably going to see a picture of you anyway when they give you a cheeky Google. Why not save them the time?
2 – It Can Seem Ultra-Professional
Adding a headshot photo to your CV can mark you as a professional, if done correctly.
- Imagine you’re taking a passport picture: have a plain background, simple makeup, professional clothing and a clear shot. Make sure your hair is out of your face and that you’re smiling or looking forwards neutrally.
- Add your professional photo to the top of your CV.
3 – It Might Be Necessary
For some roles, your appearance and demeanour are essential for success. If you’re wanting to work in modelling, acting, presenting or PR you should probably be including a photo in every application.
If you’re looking for a job in tech, taking the time to add projects and digital portfolio links can be a handy alternative way to add some personality to your CV. Some people even take the time to add a link to their social media accounts like LinkedIn as a way to get around this photo-fiasco.
So Should You Add a Selfie to Your CV?
The idea of adding a photo to your CV is one that everyone has an opinion about. Personally, I like to take the risk and add a photo – and Forbes agrees with me. In a world where you’re competing with thousands of other applicants, anything you can do to stand out is worth it.
It’s important to remember that there will be real people looking at your CV. Taking some time to add a photo, some handy links, icons or colour can make the difference between a yawn-fest and an invitation to an interview.
At DigitalGrads we take the stress out of tailoring your CV to every job. Sign up to our site and create your engaging profile – complete with a personal photo and video – today to catch the eye of every employer.