Recently I have noticed a trend with candidates putting a snapshot of themselves on their resume (and these aren’t actors or some sort of role that involves facing the public–these are people vying for engineering roles). Some look like slick professional photos–similar to what you might see from one of those promotional speakers at those self-help or make-money-fast seminars. Others look reminiscent of a mug shot photo, and come off as anything but friendly. But, with each picture I find myself often influenced one way or another.
When it comes to interviewing it is important to remove your biases. You are supposed to focus on the candidate’s skills and try to ask questions and evaluate them objectively–otherwise you are capable of missing great candidates (and of course outright discrimination is illegal). When someone puts a picture on a resume I can’t help but think it will bias some hiring managers. It seems like doing this couldn’t possibly help someone get a job.
If you look too good people may doubt your competence (think about all the dumb blonde jokes). If you are too attractive you may seem like you are trying to get a job because of your looks. If you look too young people may see you as inexperienced, if you look too old people may view you as too experienced (afterall who hasn’t met the 24 year old guy who looks 40?). And if you look unattractive or unfriendly they may not see you as a good fit for the culture right out of the gate. So if you are tempted, don’t do it. Pictures on your resume are definitely a “Don’t”.