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Are you including your headshot in your CV? Think again

21 October 2021 at 4:23 pm
Maggie Coggan
We share three reasons why including your headshot will actually put you on the back foot in your job search 

Maggie Coggan | 21 October 2021 at 4:23 pm


Are you including your headshot in your CV? Think again
21 October 2021 at 4:23 pm

We share three reasons why including your headshot will actually put you on the back foot in your job search 

While a professional looking headshot is important, it’s necessary to think about where you’re using it. 

While it was once commonplace to include a photo at the top of your CV, talk to any recruiter these days and chances are they will tell you to get rid of it. 

To find out why, we sat down with Lois Freeke from NGO Recruitment. 

It wastes valuable space

On average, a recruiter spends about six seconds looking at the top third of your resume. So it’s really important that you fill this valuable space with information on why you’re the best person for the job, rather than what you look like. 

“It’s really important that you communicate your value and your relevant skills and competencies that will position you well for the job,” Freeke said. 

“A picture will really distract from that.” 

Including your picture is old fashioned 

An important attribute of the modern job seeker is how up-to-speed you are with current trends in the job market. Including a photo in your CV signals that you are out of touch with digital trends. 

Another thing to note is that including a photo in your CV can actually confuse applicant tracking systems. Freeke said there is a chance your CV will be tossed out without ever reaching the hands of a recruiter. 

“There’s a lot of applicant tracking systems on the market, but generally speaking, if it picks up a photo it won’t read it and will score that image a zero, which is a waste of your space, time and energy”

It leaves you open to discrimination 

These days, recruiters receive a lot of training and education around avoiding unconscious bias. This means that if you pop a headshot in your resume, there’s a chance recruiters won’t even want to take a look at it. 

“Some recruiters will not want a photograph or they will not be able to look at your application,” Freeke said. 

“Diversity and inclusion is becoming a real key hiring issue, so you really shouldn’t set yourself up to any kind of bias which could be age, or your ethnicity.

“You have to remember that recruiters and line managers will find your photo online via your social media if we want to see it, so you really don’t need to put it there in the first place.” 

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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