I recently redesigned my resume to make it easier to read and edit, by removing nested tables, moving certain areas, and combining others. Part of what I did was replace some of my personal information with a scan of my e-ID. They look like this:

Example of a Belgian e-ID

This replaced my gender, my name, my date and place of birth and my nationality, and also meant I had a picture of myself on my resume. I also partially put it on there because it is sort of an eye-catcher, while still being somewhat neutral. Since Belgian e-ID cards require you to have a card reader and a pin code to do anything remotely useful with them, I don't think it's a huge security risk.

However, I'm wondering if putting it on there might bring other risks along. Other questions on here mention that putting a picture of yourself in your resume could lead to you being discarded right away to avoid any potential discrimination lawsuits, but also that some regions actually expect a photo, and that men are more likely to get a callback if they put one in. That's also specific to putting a picture of yourself, and the effect could be different (for better or for worse) if the image actually contains crucial information for my resume.

  • 4
    What benefit do you expect to gain from this tactic?
    – Kevin
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 20:23
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    @DavidK I already mentioned that other question and the remarks they had in there in my own question, and how this is different. I don't think it's a duplicate.
    – Nzall
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 20:27
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    You also give your age, and a copy of your signature. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 20:28
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    @Nzall - you may see your personal information as "bland text", but the hiring manager see it as non-distracting and easy to read. Why draw so much attention to your name and other personal info when what you really want the employer to see is your experience? Further, For an electronically submitted resume, I might want to copy-and-paste your personal information into an email to a colleague "Hey Judy, can you contact XXXX at YYYY to set up an interview", but if all you've provided is an image, I can't do that so you've increased the chance of me making a typo that makes yourself unreachable.
    – Johnny
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 1:04
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    Are you in Belgium? My understanding is that in Europe it is common for CVs to contain a lot more information than is typically present in the United States, so for US readers keep this in mind (it'd be crazy to include this information on a resume in the United States). I was shocked when reviewing some CVs for colleagues in Germany to see how much information they put on them.
    – enderland
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 2:19

5 Answers 5


Don't do it.

Apart from the obvious standard "don't include your photo unless it's a model/actor CV" rule, like listed in Will putting my picture on my resume help me get the job easier while I'm not clearly asked to include it?, consider the fact that you're replacing good indexable, copy-pasteable, searchable text content with non-computer-readable images.

You'd be doing yourself a disservice by making all that text notably less accessible, whether from a jobsite indexing point of view, a recruiter or HR department CTRL+F searching for content hidden in the image, or simply site SEO.

  • Some places expect photos on CVs. But "photo" means a photo, it doesn't mean a scan of your ID card.
    – Brandin
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 6:22

I personally would worry about identity theft (they have your name, your birthdate and nationality) using this approach aside from the fact that it is a bad choice to use a picture unless it is the cultural norm in your country. Why would they care about your birthdate? That could cause discrimination as well. You are reaching the age whene age discrimination can be very real.

Plus if the information is actually needed in your country for the resume to get past HR, putting it into a photo means that it will get discarded by many automated systems because it is not in text.

Personally I would not recommend this approach.

  1. It just feels weird and you have no reason to do so, I don't think it stands out positively. Scanned documents don't look good anyway.
  2. Scanning documents is in general a bad thing. You're exposing your signature, your document number, your birth location, the validity dates. That's all unnecessary information, and exposing your signature when not necessary is not a good practice considering that it can still be used in certain cases to pay with a credit card. The same goes for other information, it can be abused.
  3. Text on a photo is not searchable and copy-pasteable, that's horrible and might make a pdf CV in the archive unsearchable or cause HR extra work since they have to copy the information by hand.
  4. If it's a custom in your country too (probably considering that it's almost the same on most of continental Europe), you'd still have to write about your civil status, so you'd have one single information standing alone.

Just put the photo on the CV and write the data in normal text. You can play around with formatting if you want.


Disclaimer: I am not a professional recruiter.

I think it's bad idea.

  1. Information that is useful is not accessible - color patterns don't make legible backgrounds
  2. There's lots of information that isn't useful ("Belgian ID card" in 4 languages, the microchip)
  3. There's information that is not only unnecessary, but also should be kept private (ID card number, signature)
  4. The picture is relatively small and obscured by watermarks
  5. Not rure about rest of the world, but EU requirements for passport photos make virtually impossible to look good on one. Even if I wanted to put my photo on my resume, I wouldn't choose my passport one.
  6. Probably, when printed on standard office laser printer, it would appear as a black rectangle
  7. Personally, if I see your resume printed, I'd assume that someone printed your CV on reused sheet of paper with ID photocopy or the other way round.
  8. Personally, I think it is just unusual in a negative way.


Think of it in their shoes, they are going through a pile of resumes and are trying to figure out if you can do the job in the shortest amount of time possible. When they come across your resume with all of that color, patterns, shapes, information sprawled across it like that they aren't even going to glance at your skills, it's immediately going in the trash and they are going to the next one in which they can go to the information they need to see.

You don't want to 'catch their eye' that's essential the same as 'trapping their eye' and you want them to see your skills and your experience, not a bunch of government printed gobly gook.

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