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Should you include a photo on your CV?



A new survey of recruitment and tech experts offers the latest perspective on this age-old question 

In an ever-shifting working world, standard practices around job applications continue to change and evolve. The idea of walking into a business and handing out copies of your CV has more or less fallen completely out of favour, but certain questions have found a kind of staying power. 

Like the question of whether or not you should write a cover letter, discussion around whether or not a photo or headshot is appropriate to include on your CV is something that shifts with context but rarely yields consensus. In an era marked by more deliberate approaches to inclusive hiring, photos on CVs remain a hot topic. 

Making use of a network of recruitment and tech professionals, Frank Recruitment Group, a Tenth Revolution Group company, has collected new data to assess attitudes on this time-honoured job application conundrum in 2023. 

Survey Results 

            Should you include a photo on your CV? 
        Yes     19% 
        No     81% 

Responding to this new survey data, Frank Recruitment Group Chairman and CEO James Lloyd-Townshend commented: “It’s really interesting that the results come down so clearly on the side of not including a photo on your CV. We might have expected a more even split, but the results definitely make sense in the context of the conversation we’re seeing around more equitable hiring practice.” 

“Of the comments we received from respondents,” said Lloyd-Townshend, “some highlighted exactly this – that including a photo can lead to candidates being judged on their appearance, whether favourably or unfavourably. That said, one respondent made the excellent point that recruiters will almost undoubtedly be checking out your LinkedIn page – and a lack of a headshot here can make your profile feel unprofessional or even slightly spammy.” 

“Including a photograph can exert undue influence on the recruitment process, but it’s also true that not including one doesn’t automatically make for a fairer, more inclusive process either. Knowing a candidate’s name or gender, for example, can also bring unconscious bias into play. Fair hiring practice is definitely an important, wide-ranging conversation with more work still to do.” 

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