5 Feb 2012

Photographs on CVs….

 This has the potential to be the shortest blog yet.  I’ve been mulling it over for years and I’ve yet to come across a situation where I think it adds any value to put your photograph on your CV.

It’s standard human behaviour for people to judge each other from what they look like and employers are no exception to this.  It doesn’t help that many people who add a picture to their CV, add one which they think they look particularly adventurous/glamorous/interesting which only adds to further judgement or rash and inappropriate interpretations of your character.

In reviewing a CV, clients typically want to know where you work, how long you have worked there, what your skills are, what accounts or clients you have worked on.  That’s what is important in terms of whether you can do the job and whether you deserve a first interview.  It’s more important to spend your time toning up the CV in terms of describing what you do and what you’re looking for,  rather than spending time on selecting the photo which you think best represents you and your character.

This topic can also extend to the use of ‘interesting’ templates, non standard fonts etc, In particular, for a creative, a prospective employer is interested in your creative portfolio, not how fancy schmancy you can make your CV.

Also I’ve seen some very special CVs in my time with adornments ranging from outlandish fonts to hidous clip art.  In summary, my advice is to keep it simple, the purpose of a CV is to inform the employer what your skills are and whether you are a suitable candidate for the role.  I understand the argument about making it stand out but adding any element of subjective judgement to this equation can go either way and in my experience, it’s best to let your skills and experience do the talking.


Don’t get me started on interests and hobbies…. It’s not really worthy of it’s own blog post but seriously think about the skills and interests which will help your application.  Grade 1 violin is an achievement at the age of 8 but a red herring when you hit 35.  This area is full of subjectivity and prejudice, my best advice is to keep it brief and neutral…