86% of Aussie jobseekers don't attach profile photos to their resumes

Thursday 29 May, 2014


86% of Aussie jobseekers don't attach profile photos to their resumes

  • Popularity of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn means that jobseekers are increasingly visible when hunting for work
  • A quality resume photo gives jobseekers better control over the image they present to potential employers
  • Including a photo humanises your job application for employers - it should be simple and professional

Sydney, Australia, May 2014 -- Despite our willingness to include profile photos on professional networking sites like LinkedIn, research by online jobs platform OneShift reveals that only 14% of Aussie jobseekers regularly included a photo on their resumes. 

Founder and CEO of OneShift, Gen George, said she was staggered by the results -- especially considering the benefits of adding a quality, professional-looking photo to a resume.

“Candidates who include a photo, these days, have a clear advantage over those who don’t,” George said. 

“You might not think it’s all that important, but at OneShift, when it comes to securing a job, we have incredible insight into what works, and what doesn’t. The profiles that get the most attention from prospective employers are always the ones with professional looking photos attached, and this goes the same for your resume.”

But while adding a photo provides an advantage, George says there’s a right way of doing it and a wrong way.

“The type of photo you include speaks volumes about you as a potential employee. It shouldn’t be an afterthought. A Facebook profile pic is better than no pic, but take some time to consider your audience and the way you come across.”

George says that the photo should convey the type of worker you are to your potential employer.

“Blurry, wonky, and stretched photos look lazy, and holiday snaps can give the impression you’re not serious enough. And if you’re posting a photo of yourself with a beer or a cocktail in your hand -- you’re definitely sending out the wrong message,” George said.

While some respondents confessed they had reservations about including a photo for fear they would be discriminated against, George says that the key function of the photo is to remind employers that they are dealing with a person.

“We’re wired to remember the faces in front of us more easily than just names on a paper. These days even most advertised entry level jobs attract hundreds of candidates, and a photo can help establish a connection by humanising your application.”

George said deliberately not putting a photo on your resume is fairly old fashioned thinking.

“It may have been a good policy a decade or so ago, but that was before social media made pretty much everyone searchable on the internet.

“The vast majority of employers and HR managers these days will actually Google a candidate prior to hiring them, using sources like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and even Twitter to screen them prior to sending out interview requests. During this discovery and research phase, naturally they’ll come across photos of you.

“As a jobseeker, you’re better off taking control of the situation and attaching a quality photo to your resume -- one where you are looking professional, respectable, well-presented and friendly.”

For those who are still unsure about exactly what this should look like, OneShift has pulled together three essential tips for ensuring your photo, and resume, don’t end up in the HR bin. 

1. Keep it about you: 

You wouldn’t bring your friend or boyfriend along to a job interview, so ditch the pic of you and your bestie at her birthday last month. Don’t include miscellaneous objects, pets or people in your photo -- not only does it take the focus off you, but it looks unprofessional. On that note, so does having a ghost arm around your shoulder, so make the effort to take a new photo that’s just of you.

2. Look the part:

You should dress for the photo how you would dress for your first day at work. Men should opt for a shirt and tie, and even a suit depending on the job. Women can go for a sleeved dress, shirt or blouse. Steer clear of busy patterns, and stick to solid, darker colours.

3. Keep it simple: 

The photo you include in your resume is there to help the HR manager or employer remember you more clearly. It’s not there to advertise every facet of your personality. Keep things simple -- avoid flashy jewellery, OTT hair or make-up and (yes we do need to say it), don’t wear sunglasses! No employer is going to trust an applicant who is covering his or her eyes. 


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