If you are currently in the process of writing or updating your CV, you may be considering adding a photograph for that personal touch. Surely a photograph would make you stand out in a sea of faceless CVs and show a prospective employer what a thoroughly lovely, creative, well-groomed sort of person you are? Or would it…?
Although photographs on CVs are quite common in some parts of continental Europe they are generally frowned upon in the UK and regarded by many employers as unprofessional. Even if you have a beautifully produced headshot with salon-styled hair and a brand new outfit, we would discourage you from adding it to your CV because, simply put, it will be little more than a distraction.
Your CV should clearly detail your experience, qualifications and skills. It should be well laid out in an easy-to-read font that will enable the person reading it to quickly determine that you have all the necessary qualities for the job. Adding a picture, writing your CV in Comic Sans or adding a floral border will not make a future employer think you are a unique individual. Remember, the person looking at your CV may also be viewing 50, 100 or even 300 CVs for the same role on that day. They simply do not have time to hunt-out information. You may think a picture will help you get noticed - and it may - but it will probably be for all the wrong reasons! You want your potential employer to focus on your suitability for the role not to be distracted by your latest holiday snap or your choice of wallpaper if you’ve snapped your selfie at home!
So, save your selfies for social media - although we can’t guarantee your future employer won’t be looking you up on Facebook or Instagram! Despite disliking pictures on CVs, research suggests that many hiring managers will Google potential employees. If you are actively looking for a new job, make sure you alter your security settings and hide any picture/posts that may be less than flattering. Your friends may think the picture of you drunkenly dancing around with a traffic cone on your head is hilarious but your future boss may not!