In other countries, putting your photograph on your resume is a lot more acceptable, but in Australia, it’s a big no-no. Join me for this episode as I explain why you shouldn’t put  your photo on your next job application.

Links I mentioned in this episode:

34. Stop putting your photograph on your resume! – Transcript

[00:00:00] Hi, there I’m Bec McFarland the host of the Pop Your Career Podcast. As a career coach, I’m most passionate about helping my clients to discover their own personal flavour of career fulfillment. In this podcast, we are going to be exploring ways that you too can feel more fulfilled by your work. So strap yourself in, get ready for the ride. The tips around here are fast and in abundance.

[00:00:29] Hello. Hello, it’s Bec McFarland here helping you do better and be better in your career. Today’s episode is super quick. I’m not gonna bang on about this one for a long time. I just want to lay my points out and then I’m hoping that you will listen to me, I’ve got my fingers crossed. So today’s message is stop putting your [00:01:00] photograph on your resume, okay?

[00:01:03] A few episodes ago, number 27, we talked about unconscious bias. And look, that’s largely the reason that your photograph has no place on your resume. If you’re a model or an actor or in some way your physical looks impact on your capability to do a role, then that is a different situation. You can go all out. Hand over as many headshots as you want to, or you need to absolutely go to town, but pretty much for anybody else, it is completely irrelevant what you look like. In most jobs, your looks have no impact on whether or not you can do a job and on how well you can do a job. So including your photograph on your resume is just completely [00:02:00] irrelevant.

[00:02:00] There’s just no need for it whatsoever. Now I can understand why people might get confused by this. Firstly, there are a lot of templates that are available now. I know I use the software Canva for absolutely everything. If you have not yet used Canva and you want to check it out, I will leave my affiliate link in the show notes for you so that you can jump on over there and take a look.

[00:02:25] It is a really great piece of software that is for beginners, for graphic design. It’s drag and drop. It makes things really easy and it means that basically anyone can create really beautiful, well designed documents. And a good way to start doing that if you’re new to design is by using templates. A lot of the templates that are available on Canva and on other similar pieces of software include a spot for you to put your photograph.

[00:02:53] Now, this is a design choice, I guess in some cases. Maybe they think it looks [00:03:00]good, whatever. I’m telling you now that regardless of any template that you find of anything that you see online, there is absolutely no need for you to provide your photograph with your job application unless your looks have an impact on your capability to do the job.

[00:03:22] What I will say is that I am aware that in other countries people are encouraged to put their photographs on resumes. If you are looking to apply for jobs overseas, then perhaps you need to check up local customs. But here in Australia, It is really something that’s very unusual. It’s usually frowned upon. It’s not at all very common.

[00:03:44] What I can tell you is that, you know, having been in recruitment for a long, long time, when we as recruiters receive a resume with a photograph on it, honestly it’s usually passed [00:04:00]around and everyone has a little look and sometimes a little bit of a giggle. Right? That doesn’t sound very nice to be laughing at somebody else’s photograph or anything like that. I’m just being really honest with you here. That is the type of behaviour that I have seen, and it truthfully, it’s because of the fact that putting your photograph on your resume is just so uncommon that usually it creates this question of like, who the hell is this person? And why do they think we care what they look like? Right?

[00:04:33] Again, I’m not saying that behaviour on behalf of the recruiters is, you know, really appropriate or positive. It’s definitely not something that I would be proud of, but I’m telling you from a total place of honesty so that you know, you know what you could be encountering on the other end behind your back without even really realizing it.

[00:04:56] In other episodes I’ve talked about the other information that you [00:05:00] don’t need to include on your resume. Basically, anything personal, anything that does not impact your capability to do the job, just leave it off and use that valuable real estate for something that is actually going to be able to help you sell yourself as the most capable and the most suitable candidate for that particular role that you’re applying.

[00:05:21] If you are in doubt before this episode, I hope that I’ve cleared that up for you. Don’t put your photograph on your resume. Best of luck with your job applications, and I’ll see you in the next episode. Bye bye now.

[00:05:33] Thanks so much for listening to the Pop Your Career podcast. I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s tips and that you found value in what I’ve shared with you. If you like your career advice quick and entertaining, I would love for you to subscribe. Also leave me a rating and a review. If you wanna continue the conversation, come and join me over on social media. You can find me everywhere at Pop Your Career. I’ll see you [00:06:00] soon.


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About the author 


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.