A reader writes:
I work in the human resources department for a state agency, and we recently posted a job listing for a clerk typist position. We received one resume this morning that caught my eye, but not for a good reason. The top of the resume prominently featured a photo of the applicant, which I thought was weird enough, and then my eyes inevitably went to the focus of the photograph: her tattooed cleavage.
This is one of those situations where it’s so hard not to give unsolicited advice to the applicant! First of all, why would she think it was a good idea to use a photo on her resume? And second, why that photo? I want to tell her that any job that regards her choice of photo as a positive will not be the type of place she really wants to work.
I’ve had another applicant encourage me to visit her facebook page “to see what she looks like.” (Which, I have to say, made me want to look at her facebook page out of curiousity, but didn’t help her at all on the actually getting a job front.) Is this trend of including a headshot with other application materials going to catch on? Or is it just another gimmick?
There have always been a small number of job applicants who do this, and it is a really, really bad idea. It makes them look naive and unprofessional, raises questions about why they think you’d want to see their photo, and just generally … no.
It is neither trend nor gimmick, just silly naïveté. Although I do wonder if LinkedIn, where profiles often has a photo has made some people think that this is a normal part of applying for a job.
People: Do not send your photo when applying for a job, unless you’re a model or actor (or in a small number of non-U.S. countries where this is more common).