CV photo – how and is it worth adding a picture to your CV?
Learn how to insert a photo into your CV. Read about when you need to do it when you can omit a picture from your CV, and in which countries you shouldn’t add it.
You are preparing your CV for work abroad. You know what to enter in each section of the document, but you are still wondering whether it is worth adding a photo to the document, i.e. CV photo (also called a CV picture).
In this article, you’ll learn how to make a good CV photo, in what situations to add it to your document, and when you don’t need it. You will also read in which countries CV picture is needed, where better to avoid it and why.
Is a photo CV required?
It depends. There is no recipe for a universal CV, although it is of course worth knowing how to write a CV. If you send documents to work abroad, in some countries it is worth adding a photo to the curriculum vitae, and in some countries, it will be considered a CV error.
In Poland, it is most often worth adding a photo to your CV – it’s a good way for the recruiter to remember your application more easily. However, remember that the content of the document is the most important. If you don’t fill in the necessary information in your curriculum vitae (professional summary, skills, and experience), even the most beautiful photography won’t help you.
The case of a CV in English is completely different. If you want to apply for a job in Great Britain or the United States, choose a CV without a photo. These countries have strict laws against discrimination against workers based on race, gender, and ethnic origin. Therefore, recruiters without reading can reject a curriculum vitae with a photo. This doesn’t mean they won’t find out what you look like. Research shows that as many as 70% of HR managers use social media and view candidate profiles.
However, in European Union countries you can boldly add a photo to your CV – it will make you stand out from other candidates. Therefore, for example, in a CV in French and CV in German, it is worth including a photo. You will learn how to do it and what it should look like to make a good impression on the recipient of the document.
How to make a good CV photo?
CV photo should look professional – it cannot be blurred, overexposed, or underexposed. If you do not have the appropriate photo, it is better to leave the document without the photo and focus on the other sections of the CV, first of all, experience and skills.
Match your CV photo to your industry
Different photography will be suitable for a creative CV and another one for a classic curriculum vitae. Of course, you can afford more when applying to work in the art industry, but CV photo must always be professional – avoid selfies and photos from holidays and parties. A bad photo can ruin the look of your CV.
Frame your CV photo well
CV picture should show either the head and shoulders or the silhouette from the waist up. Your face must be properly visible on it, so a photo from a distance, with the whole body, is not suitable for a CV.
Choose the appropriate CV picture format
CV photo must be the right size – it must not overwhelm and take up too much of the document. It’s best to choose a photo similar to official documents, e.g. ID card, driving license, and passport, i.e. approx. 3.5 x 4.5 cm.
Take care of your clothes
What you wear for the photo matters. Avoid flashy patterns and colors, face veils, and headgear. Wear a shirt and jacket or just a shirt – this is called smart-casual style.
Make a CV photo about a professional photographer
Let’s face it, the best photo will be taken by a professional – he will know how to set you up and take care of appropriate lighting, and then he will process the photo in a graphics program.
How do I add a photo to my CV?
Once you have done a decent CV photo, you need to know how to insert them into a finished CV – the easiest way is to use a ready template, e.g. from the LiveCareer.pl CV generator. In the document template, you will find a special place for a photo and insert it with a few clicks. You won’t have to worry about formatting your CV.
When you prepare a CV in Word, a CV in Google Docs, a CV in Canva, or a CV in Photoshop, it may not be that easy. If you are not familiar with document formatting in these programs, it may take some time and the result will not be satisfactory. A good CV writer can make things a lot easier.
CV picture is customarily placed in the upper right or left corner of the document next to your personal and contact information. The photo must align well with the rest of the resume.
Of course, a professional resume doesn’t have to include a photo, even in countries where it can be added to the document. So if you decided to skip the CV photo, see the CV templates without the photo to fill in.
You can also make a good impression on the recruiter by sending a letter with your CV motivational (in English cover letter) – this will definitely increase your chances of recruiting, regardless of whether you create a CV with or without a photo.