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Photo Resumes: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words... Or Is It?

Wendy Toth-Notarnicola -- If you want to improve your chances at getting called in for a job interview, don't take a chance that your resume will be rejected before it is ever read. Leave the glamour shot for your social media page or your spouse's wallet and keep it off of your resume.

As a resume writer, I am often asked by clients for whom I am preparing resumes whether I think they should include a photo of themselves. Without exception, I always tell my clients that in no uncertain terms should any job candidate ever include a photograph of himself unless he is applying for a job as a model or an actor. To put it in simple terms, there are no good reasons to ever include a photo on a resume, but there are several good reasons to leave it off.

To begin with, many human resources managers and interviewers believe that job applicants who include pictures of themselves are vain. When an employer sees a photo of an applicant on a resume, he gets the impression that the job candidate is not truly serious about the job or that he feels he should get the job based upon his looks rather than upon his experience and abilities.

In the second place, most companies generally discourage the practice because once a hiring manager has seen a photo of an applicant, information about his or her race, ethnicity, weight, age and -- even in some cases, a disability -- can be discerned. The last thing that any company or employer wants is to be faced with accusations of discrimination or to be threatened with a lawsuit. Accusations of discrimination in hiring can seriously damage a company's reputation and, as hard as it is to defend against a lawsuit for job discrimination, winning in the court of public opinion can prove far more difficult for an employer. It is precisely for these reasons that many organizations have implemented strict policies of rejecting outright any and all resumes that include a photograph of the job applicant.

When it comes to your resume, your best feature is your experience, not your hair, your eyes or your nose. Let your value as a potential employee speak for itself. Concentrate your efforts into creating an impressive resume and attracting an employer's attention by highlighting your educational background, job history and experience, and your skills and abilities.

So remember; if you want to improve your chances at getting called in for a job interview, don't take a chance that your resume will be rejected before it is ever read. Leave the glamour shot for your social media page or your spouse's wallet and keep it off of your resume.

The author is the owner of Blue Note Editing & Writing, a proofreading, copy editing, and resume writing business. For more, visit http://bluenotewriting.wix.com/editing.

© 2014 Wendy Toth-Notarnicola

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