First of all I searched for this question on the net, and I found some links in which there were all pointing out that putting your picture on your resume will show that you're unprofessional and it will look irrelevant to your work as an employee, unless a job asks for your picture.

But then I found something else in a language other than English that explained the results of a research in which the writer mentioned putting picture for women in resume can not help them get the job easier and it can help men to get job more easier.

So I think I have to ask the question again, will putting my picture on my resume generally help me get the job easier while I'm not asked to include it?

  • 13
    What country are we talking about? Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 21:39
  • Based on the OP's profile, it looks like he may be in Iran.
    – alroc
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 1:03
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    That's right, Iran! But I didn't mean a specific country, I would like to hear this even about your own country!
    – Manoochehr
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 6:03
  • 4
    I worked into different countries: In Germany the picture is expected and it's the norm. In the US it's frowned upon and no one does it
    – Hilmar
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 17:40
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    Allow me a bit of self-promotion, I wrote a blog post about this: http://www.mistriotis.gr/2012/09/11/your-cv-header/. For UK it's a no-no. It hits on some laws and business practices, so an HR person might thrash (UK: bin) your CV just to feel safe. Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 16:49

6 Answers 6


Generally, no (barring those occupations where your appearance is a legitimate occupational qualification for the job).

Assuming you are talking about job hunting in a Western country (the US, Canada, much of Europe, etc.), there are generally a number of anti-discrimination laws that should make any hiring manager extremely nervous to get a photo of a candidate on a resume because that makes it much easier for someone to argue that they were discriminated against. Lots of HR departments or hiring managers will discard such a resume out of hand rather than risk that someone interviews the pretty girl because she's pretty rather than qualified or that someone declines to interview a candidate because of their race or disability.

Beyond that, anything you do that is out of the ordinary tends to work against you because it makes you a riskier hire. The manager that hires someone from a good school with a conventionally formatted resume that dresses well and was personable on the interview suffers far fewer negative consequences if that hire turns out to be a poor fit than the manager that hires someone that was obviously odd in some way. Sure, on occasion, the candidate with the odd resume that never went to college and wore jeans and a t-shirt to the interview is worth the risk because he or she is so perfect for the job in other ways. But if you're playing the percentages, you're much better off following conventions.

  • 4
    Yup. I've had this explained to me before - a picture opens a company to all sorts of legal problems if you are not hired, especially about discrimination issues...
    – enderland
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 0:24
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    @Manoochehr -From HR's standpoint, gender is irrelevant. They're concerned that someone will make a decision (or that someone will sue because they think someone made a decision) based on some information gleaned from the picture. That could be race or ethnicity, it could be gender, it could be weight or disability or any other protected class. They'll discard resumes with photos out of hand to avoid the potential discrimination suit. Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 6:13
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    Note that the case is different for German-speaking countries as outlined in my answer. Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 13:12
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    (-1) Although I fully agree with the rest of the answer, implying that anti-discrimination laws make pictures sensitive in “Europe” is too much of a generalization and flatly incorrect. Pictures are not necessary but not illegal as far as I know in a number of European countries and they are even expected and sometimes expressly required in Germany.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 20:46
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    This answer is really entirely wrong for many European countries. It makes the assumption that UK=Europe.
    – Étienne
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 8:24

You have essentially answered your own question, in that in some cultures a picture may be more acceptable than in others.

It is worth remembering what your CV/resume is for, in this context. The goal is to get you to the next appointment stage - an interview.

In general, the studies I have seen suggest that someone is more likely to be rejected on the basis of something people don't like on a photograph, than accepted on the basis on a positive reaction.

Some studies have even shown that where the CV is sent into an HR department, an unconscious bias can kick in, which is a good reason to avoid it. Again, there is a cultural imprint in these survey results.

From the linked study :

  • Up to 34% of people responded negatively to women's CVs where a picture was used, compared to just 12% who responded positively.

  • Attractive males received a 19.9% callback rate, almost 50% higher than the 13.7% response for plain men and more than twice the 9.2%
    response to those with no photo.

  • Women with no photo had the highest call back rate – 22% higher than plain women and 30% higher than attractive women.

On a personal level, it is unusual for a photograph to be attatched in the culture I operate in (New Zealand). On that basis I would interpret it as a person trying to make their CV stand out on the basis of image, as opposed to substance.

  • Very good GuyM, I think the mentioned research must have been this one!
    – Manoochehr
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 6:07
  • The fact that it is an unconcious bias is perhaps why as Justin comments it is unpopular in some cultures, as it could present legal issues.
    – GuyM
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 21:46
  • "On that basis I would interpret it as a person trying to make their CV stand out on the basis of image, as opposed to substance." Agreed; when I was involved in interviews I only cared that you could do the job, what you look like has nothing to do with it.
    – Andy
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 18:42

The other answers correctly assess that in most countries photos do not help.

However, in German-speaking countries the opposite is true. While legally employers are not allowed to dismiss someone for this because of anti-discrimination rules, this is not reflected in practice. Not including a photo in your CV is seen as very strange and will many times directly disqualify your application.

For example, in a 2013 how-to article about resume photos, the SPIEGEL asked German recruiters about their importance. While they say photos are becoming less important, they are still a big deal.


Don't know where you're located, but here in the US it is generally frowned upon unless you're an actor, TV reporter, or in a similar profession that depends upon your looks and appeal.

Edit -

There are many questions and concerns about possible discrimination as a result of placing a picture on a resume. This goes right along with not putting your birthday, religion, or sexual orientation on a resume.

See Justin Cave's answer for the whys.

  • 2
    Why is it frowned upon? Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:12
  • Is it because of the problems that is caused for the picture of women?! Will the same problem happen for picture of men applying for a job?
    – Manoochehr
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 6:08

Doing anything unusual is taking a risk.

As many of the answers have noted, including a picture creates all kinds of problems for the perspective employer. For one, you are putting image data into a process designed to process text. For another, you are providing information that could be the basis for discrimination. This would probably give most employers reason enough to simply discard your resume rather than give it the exceptional handling it would require.

On the other hand, I'm sure you can research the internet and find a story about someone who included his picture on his resume, or printed it using green ink, or put it on grey paper, or showed up at the interview dressed in some unusual way, or sang a showtune during his interview, and was told that this is what put them over the top in getting him his dream job.

These stories stand out because they are in fact exceptional. Most people get their jobs through more mundane means -- developing the qualifications for the job, presenting them in a clean resume, leveraging their personal network for contacts within the company, and presenting themselves in a solid, professional manner in their interviews.


You have to ponder this carefully because it's very culture-sensitive.

The public on here is mostly anglo-saxon, so beware about assumptions about Western countries because this is an area where the similarities stop.

From what I read over the years, in anglo-saxon countries it's a no-no. In the US, there even are legal limits regarding information you can ask applicants to provide.

In Switzerland (not just the german part), it's expected that you include your date of birth, civil status, and sometimes a picture (it's sometimes explicitly stated, but otherwise it's your choice to include it or not, but e.g. Manpower says it's better to include it and I would). This applies to most of Europe, Germany for sure. And it's not a dying trend.

So whichever country you are applying in, you should research the norms in that specific country, maybe even use a translator to translate job search tips from local websites.

  • -1 This does not add anything to the information given in older answers.
    – user8036
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 7:49
  • @JanDoggen it does, it describes the situation in Switzerland, which is exactly what I was looking for. It also mentions that it goes beyond just photos.
    – arekolek
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 18:12

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