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Should Your Resume Have a Picture?

Are you applying for your next acting or modeling gig? No? Then your resume should not include your headshot.

Without even getting into the legal details of anti-discrimination laws, your picture on your resume could choke the system when uploaded to an applicant tracking system, which most hiring managers use for filing. When the odds could already be against in you in a pool of 100+ resumes per position, why would you want to decrease your chances of receiving an interview offer?

“It’s a sure way to ensure your resume never makes it to a recruiter,” says Laura Michnya, the project manager of recruiting systems and process for BAE Systems.

The first impression that you want to make on a hiring manager should be your qualifications, not your glamour shot (or worse, your bikini body). You will have your chance to make a face-to-face impression with a potential employer if you get called in for an interview, based on the professionalism of your resume.

Getting back to legal matters, to avoid breaking any anti-discrimination laws, it’s likely that your resume will get passed over if it includes a picture to avoid any lawsuits.

Bottom line: Unless you’re applying for a modeling, acting, or any other kind of job that is allowed to hire based on looks, your picture doesn’t belong on your resume. Your potential employer will probably be looking up your Facebook, though, so you should focus on cleaning up your online presence before sending out your resume.

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