A photo is an important part of our CV. If you include a photo on your CV, make sure that it works for you, not against you. You write your CV – okay, let’s go. Name and surname, address, photo … You are browsing the folder with photos on your computer. Vacation photo, knee-deep in the sea. Selfie in a new shirt. A photo with her mother from her birthday – not too bad, maybe it could be cut out like that…

You are browsing your profile pictures on Facebook… And you think: where should I get a good picture for my CV? And what kind of photo should I put on my CV?

1. Photo with your face

In the CV we do not give a photo where we can only see part of the face, and the rest is out of the frame – covered with hair, palm leaves (the latter looks nice on Insta, apart from social media in CV especially – not anymore).

I want your face visible. So that the recruiter can recognize you in the interview. So much for the topic.

You don’t like to show up, do you have an ugly photo? If you don’t have time to make a new one, you can simply put a small size photo on your CV. There are different types of templates in the CV builders and in some of them the photo field is small compared to the text field.

Research shows that about 50 people respond to one position offered. It is true that a recruiter spends an average of 4 minutes reading a CV, but it is the first 6 seconds that decides whether the application will be rejected or read further.

2. Look serious but not stiff

And no, seriously, it does not mean threatening or tough or tough or a businessman or a business shark (even if you apply to a corporation). You know what a typical businessman looks like, right? He stands with his arms folded, he looks proudly and defiantly at the camera lens as if the whole world already belongs to him, he is dressed in a suit … The same goes for a businesswoman, just give her glasses.

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Does such a “serious” person look appealing? Answer yourself. (No, it doesn’t look inviting, but more like someone bloated or fake and too serious, do you think so too? Cool, thank you for agreeing with me) Really, take off these glasses if you do not have a visual impairment. No, you don’t look smarter or more mature in them. Seriously.

So what is the attitude to the photo under the CV?

The one with the arms across is not so bad. Although you may have heard that it is called a closed position – then a person looks confident, but more focused on competition than cooperation.

  1. Hands freely lowered along the body – this is a fairly natural, neutral posture. It will look good – as long as you can relax and stand “normally”.
  2. Taking aside – such a person looks confident and determined, but at the same time not conceited. Her body says “well, then I can get to work!” A very good option.
  3. With hands behind your back – like an open position, like a culturally upright man … But when did it happen? At school, while reciting a poem. This attitude is not the worst, but you may find it awkward. You’ll seem even more embarrassed if you keep your hands in front of you at the height of your waist or crotch.
  4. Seated position – you sit at the table (with a laptop, a book, a mug of coffee) – not bad, if you are still the most visible. You are sitting on stairs, on steps somewhere in the city (this is probably a trend, because I see photos like that more and more often) – linden. Why? Because would you normally be sitting on the ground? Perhaps, but it’s a pity for nice pants or a nice skirt. If you want to sit, take it culturally on a bench or in an armchair and that’s it. 🙂

Which attitude should I choose? The one that is comfortable and natural for you.

If you like to stand with your arms crossed and still look nice, then go ahead and take your CV photo in this position! And if you have a photo where you look good but your entire body is visible, then… take it and cut it.

As for the outfit… any garment will look good in the CV photo – as long as it’s clean and ironed. Of course, it depends on the industry. A graphic designer can boldly give a photo in which he is dressed in sports or loosely, he does not need to have a suit. And such a man from a bank would have to look more elegant. And no matter how he is standing in the picture and what he is wearing, remember – SMILE! Really it’s important. Smiling people are perceived not only as nicer, but also prettier and more cared for.

Besides, as people we have the reflex to respond to a smile with a smile – and smiling, in turn, causes chemical reactions in the body responsible for the feeling of happiness … So with a smiling photo you are already plus the start.

See below some examples of good CV photos

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and those not necessarily accurate …

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3. Show yourself

The photo itself can tell a lot about a person. About his character … Even about his interests!

Note: this protip will not work in every industry!

When applying for a position in administration, for example, it is safer to give a “regular” photo, taken according to the above guidelines. In the creative industry, however, we can allow ourselves to express ourselves and show more – a photographer who has a camera in the photo in his CV; A barista with a drip in his hand or a graphic with a stylus behind the ear can still look professional, and even people with passion!

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4. … or maybe without a photo?

You can try. However, I recommend sending a CV with a photo – why?

Psychology gives a number of arguments “for”:

  • human has a built-in facial recognition system (yes, it’s just like some phones – and yes, that’s why the lady “saw the face in this rainbow”)
  • it is easier to remember a CV when you associate its content with a photo (but also with other special elements – an interesting graphic layout, colors – that’s why it’s nice to use CV wizards, because they have many different designs, including in CraftCV you can choose a different color palette for each design – so such a CV is both aesthetic and distinctive, and therefore easier to remember)
  • the brain reacts differently when seeing a person’s face than just reading about him – I mentioned the “contagiousness” of a smile above. Besides, makes its first impression – the image affects us more than the text (because for the brain these letters are a system of symbols that is converted into speech in the head – yes, it happens quickly, but it hits faster to us a photo than its description)

Is it good or bad that they can reject us just after the photo? Well, it’s just natural.

Some headhunters say they have a nose or an intuition for people, and they know who is suitable. Scientifically, we can explain this intuition by the fact that we catch non-verbal messages – not only those from body language, but also from facial expressions.

You can see for yourself whether someone smiles sincerely or forcibly. You can see it in the photo too.

To sum up: the CV photo should be:

  • present you in a good quality frame look professional from the waist up
  • show what you are – i.e. encourage the recruiter to invite you to an interview!

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