Handstand and lips duck: how to choose a photo for a resume

Do you need or not need a photo in your resume? How to choose a suitable photo? We deal with the HR manager of a large bank Natalya Bogdanova.



Why photos are needed in the resume

Someone likes to be photographed and post their photos in the public domain, others do not. But it’s one thing when it comes to a personal page on social networks, and quite another when it comes to a resume. The hh.ru resume form includes a place for photography. Is it obligatory to upload a photo? Why, if the desired position is not related to presentation functions? How do recruiters relate to resumes without photos?

We hasten to reassure: photos are not needed for the "beauty contest". First of all, this is a way to attract attention. The human brain is so structured that it stands out among all possible visual objects. Faces are so important to us that we tend to recognize them in any more or less similar shape, whether it's a sketchy image, a random pattern or even the shape of hills on Mars (the famous visual effect “Face on Mars”). What can we say about images of real faces? Our tendency to turn our attention to faces is very actively used in visual advertising. Why not use this simplest way to draw attention to your resume?

Recruiters skim through hundreds of resumes a day, and those that have a job-seeker's picture can theoretically attract more attention than those that don’t.

Another function of photography in a resume is to position the recruiter to yourself, inspire confidence, and visualize your professional image. This is also a psychological effect, but it is important for him to choose the right photo: it should be at least appropriate, and the facial expression on it should be friendly.



Who needs photos in the resume, and who can do without them

The presence in the resume for leadership positions in photography is the rule of good taste. Top managers are the face of the company: they make presentations, speak at corporate events, their comments are published in the media. Therefore, the ability to look presentable (do not confuse this concept with an ideal model appearance, it's not about her) and to present oneself competently is important for such positions.

The same applies to sales managers who communicate with clients in person, PR managers and all whose functionality involves presentation skills. Again, what matters is not whether the person fits the standards of beauty, but whether he knows how to submit himself.

This does not mean that resumes for relevant positions are not considered at all if they do not have a photograph. But resumes with photographs in such cases seem more convincing.

Linear specialists, whose functionality does not imply presentation skills, and job seekers can easily do without a photograph in a resume, in their absence there will be nothing critical.

In any case, it is worth adhering to the principle: it is better to have no photograph in the resume at all than an inappropriate photo. What is an inappropriate photo, we will analyze below.

Photos from social networks, family archives and for a passport

The main criterion for choosing a photo is that your face should be clearly visible on it. Simply put, pictures in sunglasses or in a hat hiding part of the face, grainy and blurry images will not work.

The second very important criterion is relevance. An inappropriate option may work for a recruiter with a “stop signal”, spoiling the impression of the resume as a whole. What is good for a personal page on social networks or a family album is not always a good choice for a resume.

For example, pictures from a family and friendly feast, wedding, any celebration in an obviously evening dress, with an evening hairstyle and bright make-up, too informal photographs from a vacation or at home, flirty or just too emotional selfies in a resume is better not to use. Also, any pictures that depict not only you, but also someone else will not work.

It would seem that these are obvious recommendations. Nevertheless, these photos are found in the resume quite often. Probably, many people put the first photo they have on hand, according to the principle "any option is better than an empty square." Or choose your favorite photo, which turned out successfully, without thinking about how appropriate it is in the resume. But for the recruiter the most important thing is just the adequacy of the choice.

Obviously, an inappropriate photo, willy-nilly, raises doubts as to whether the candidate is able in principle to feel the difference between business communication and informal, whether he can fit into the corporate culture.

Be careful with photos from social networks. Selfie with a playful expression and any pictures decorated with stickers will not work if you are applying for serious work.

Many people use passport photos in their resumes. This option is better than, for example, a picture on the beach, but also imperfect. It is no secret that in photographs for documents people often do not turn out very well and look unnatural. In addition, a scanned image from the passport page, which got into the resume along with holographic signs, can ruin the impression of a good, thought-out resume text.

Restraint in creativity

The desire to improve your image or stand out against the standard photographs of other candidates can do a disservice. Excessive processing in graphic editors, superimposed effects or extreme color grading even from a good shot will make the leader in the rating of inappropriate photos for resumes.

A creative approach to photo processing can still be forgiven for representatives of creative professions, and it’s better not to risk it. It is definitely advisable for other applicants to leave any experiments for family and friendly photo albums.



What position - such and photo

Applicants for top-level positions should adhere to the most official style in everything related to self-presentation. Photography is no exception.

The demonstration of hobbies or hobbies in the photo in the resume is also not entirely appropriate. If your duties are not directly related to skiing and mountaineering, then do not attach the picture on the ski track or in climbing equipment on a steep rock, no matter how spectacular you look in this photo. The photo should support your professional image or at least be neutral. This does not mean that because of the sports photo you are rejected, but at least it will cause doubts. Perhaps they will be resolved in your favor, or maybe not.

When choosing a photo, it would be good to consider what key requirements are placed on a candidate for a specific position. If friendliness and the ability to establish contact with the client are important, do not stop choosing the picture with a frown. But a smile from ear to ear is also unnecessary. A win-win option for any job - a photo with a calm straight look.



How to take a suitable shot without a photographer

All of the above does not mean that for a resume you must definitely take a professional studio photo. Ask someone from your friends or relatives to take you to a smartphone, just choose the right clothes and decide on the background. It is enough to dress in an official business style, and if the desired work does not imply a strict dress code, it is simply neutral, in a casual style, avoiding both explicit cutouts and obviously sporting things.

Choose a room with good natural or bright artificial lighting and a neutral background - a plain wall in the background is more appropriate than a multi-colored grandmother's carpet, dance floor or a table with snacks and drinks.

The ideal angle for shooting is waist-high or a little higher. Try different options - where you look strictly full-face or a little half-turn, standing or sitting, with a half smile and without, so that later you can choose the most successful shot. By the way, for the final choice, it would also be nice to ask for “hall help”. When we consider our own photos, we tend to focus on the individual details of our appearance that we like about ourselves or, on the contrary, don't like. And others perceive the image as a whole and due to this they can more objectively tell which of the photos makes the most pleasant impression.

Of course, carried away by the choice of a suitable photo for the resume, the main thing is not to forget about the essence: even an ideal studio photo will not correct the impression of a vaguely described experience.

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