Adding a headshot to your resume is certainly one way to set yourself apart from other job seekers. But the decisive question is whether a photo makes you stand out in a positive or negative way. The answer depends on different factors.



  • Resumes with pictures get much more attention from recruiters. Hiring managers are drawn to images.
  • A photo humanizes you and makes you stand out.
  • It will help you build your brand.
  • Adding a photo on a resume is important if you want to apply for jobs in Europe as well as in Japan or China.



  • According to the United States resume format, applicants are not supposed to include their photos in a resume.
  • You risk looking unprofessional.
  • Space is limited.
  • When you choose to put a photo on your resume you are inviting a recruiter with their own set of prejudices. Keep in mind that you can be discriminated.

If you decided to include a picture in your resume, you should know how to get a great photo.


Here are some helpful tips:

  • Your photo should have great quality, lighting, and high resolution.
  • If possible, it should be representative of the job you are seeking. Think of appropriate attire. You can choose it depending on your profession. For example, if you are aiming for a corporate role, wearing business attire will be best.
  • To make a great first impression, pay a professional to get a photo. You may pay approximately $50 – $250.
  • Choose a neutral background.
  • Face straight towards the camera. 
  • Look directly in the camera.
  • Smile friendly.
  • If you are a woman, “play” with your hair to achieve the most appropriate result. 
  • You can also wear glasses to look more seriously. 
  • Your photo should convey your positive energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism.


Don’t use a photo if:

  • it’s a selfie
  • it’s taken at an angle
  • it has bad or harsh lighting
  • you look bored or unenthused
  • you’re wearing inappropriate attire

If you struggle or have significant doubts about which photograph to select, utilize a site like Photofeeler, which uses data about how you’re coming across to others to help you choose a professional photo. You can upload professional photos to the site, and users will vote on how you come across in the images, ranking you on competency, likeability, and influence. 

Regarding your resume design, the recommended place for your photo is at the top of the page. Make it discreet and fit the theme of your resume.

If you want to write an outstanding resume, check out our new online video course “How to Write a Job-Winning Resume.”

How to Write a Job-Winning Resume

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