Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
JOB SEARCH / APR. 12, 2014
version 5, draft 5

Photo on a Resume: To Put it or Not to Put it?

camera resume picture

Is it good to put a photo on a resume? Well, according to a new study, it all depends on who you are and who is hiring. You probably would have never thought that there is any good or bad effects about resume photos but there is. Your photo could get you or cost you a new job.

When Israeli researchers Ze’ev Shtudiner of Ariel University Centre and Bradley Ruffle of Ben-Gurion University conducted a research to find out whether being attractive or unattractive has anything to do with successful job applications, they never would have predicted the results that they got. They considered the photographs of job applicants along with their intelligence levels and undertook a study to determine whether the photos really matter.

See also: CVs and Cover Letters Advice and Tips

Attractive Men with a Photo on Their Resume Get Extra Points

For the purpose of the research, fake applications were sent to about two and a half thousand job openings. For each opening two resumes were sent – one with a photograph and the other without a photograph. The assumption made was that the resumes with photographs would generate more interview calls than the resumes without photographs.

As far as men were concerned, the premise held true. Attractive men got more interview calls when their photos were attached to their resumes. Unattractive men, on the other hand, got more interview calls when they submitted resumes without photographs.

Attractive Women Less Likely to Land an Interview

What was really surprising that the scenario was completely opposite in the case of female job seekers. Attractive women received lower number of interview calls when they attached their photographs in their resumes. The Economist has stated a fact that an attractive woman would need to send out 11 resumes on an average to get an interview. The number comes down to seven for an equally qualified, but plainer looking woman.

This research paints a rather clear picture that the result could be good or bad by attaching a photo on a resume depending on looks and sex. But why would it happen this way? There is still no clarity in this matter because there was one important element considered before the resumes were sent out. All the resumes were of men and women that are qualified and have good levels of intelligence.

The results of this study are not consistent with the fact that attractive looking women tend to earn more and also grow up in their careers faster. How could this be possible when in this study the more attractive women got less number of interview calls?

The researchers came up with a simple and yet plausible explanation for this behavior pattern. Most of the employees in the human resources departments of companies are women. In the study that Ze’ev Shtudiner and Bradley Ruffle conducted, 93% of the selection team consisted of women. So, it could boil down to plain jealousy and nothing else.

So, if you are planning to put your photo in your resume, think twice. The result could be good or bad depending upon your physical appearance and whether you are a woman or a man. The choice is yours.

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