Have a photo of yourself that you like but you’re not in professional gear? Evelyn will make it look professional to fit your field of expertise. (See below.)
This is a brand new service being offered and it could be very beneficial to you if you don’t already have an executive portrait for use in your marketing materials.
*Read below about when you should or shouldn’t include your photo in your resume.
SHOULD YOU INCLUDE A PORTRAIT?
The answer is there are pros and cons—or at least some considerations to think through—insofar as whether or not to include a portrait shot in your resume.
Including a photograph and personal information of oneself was the norm for jobseekers up until 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Act was passed. People then removed all personal information and photographs from their resumes to prevent prejudice in the minds of hiring managers when reviewing their resumes.
Some prospective employers wouldn’t consider resumes with photographs to ensure they were not out of compliance—though this can be thought to be perceived conversely.
If you decide to include a portrait, you need to be sure that the photo look, your expression, dress, etc. all portray an appropriate image for your profession and does not say something you don’t want it to.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER
It is not recommended to include a photo on just any resume. Although one could argue hiring managers would see your photo anyway when they go to your LinkedIn profile, the primary thought is that including a photo would need to be helpful in some way for the targeted profession. In other words, it should help steer prospective employers toward you, not away from you. Here are some real-life positive and negative examples to help you decide.
Action: Evelyn used a professional photograph which was taken by his previous firm for the purpose of accompanying it with articles which were written about him and/or his firm. His youthful, take-charge, but nonthreatening photo image matched the look we felt was appropriate for the position, so she scanned it in and included it on his resume.
Result: He immediately received a number of interviews and job offers in his field.
Challenge: A marketing professional decided he wanted a higher salary than he was previously making as he had handled a number of functions for his boss, so he was now seeking a higher level position to go with the salary he wanted.
Action: Since Marketing is a creative field, Evelyn designed high-end professional marketing tools (resume and web portfolio) for him that were appropriate for the position he sought, and included a photo of the client on the first page of his resume.
Result: He received interview calls for higher level positions as the resume targeted. However, he felt the positions he was called in for were too high a level and he was not comfortable within that position and salary range, even though that’s what he originally requested.
Analysis: The photo and resume presentation were suitable for the position range he was targeting; however, he found it overtargeted his comfort level.
Modification: Evelyn de-emphasized management information and removed his photo. He felt more suitable applying for positions more at his original level.
Challenge: An Executive Assistant client had a dilemma. Her look and demeanor was so professional that when she was called in for interviews for positions, she often times encountered male executives (her would-be bosses) to feel threatened and intimidated by her, as did her current boss. She did not want to work for a boss who felt this way; the constant tension was irreparable and not conducive to a good working relationship. In fact, she hated her job (the main reason she wanted to leave) as it stripped her from having any authority so that her boss could feel more important and in charge.
Action: I hired a professional photographer to shoot her corporate look. We did soften her tightened bun a bit, substituted her navy suit for a more neutral color, and left her glasses on. She posed in various business functions (with a phone, an appointment book, with and without a smile, etc.). But the purpose was clear: If a would-be boss could handle her corporate look before she came in for the interview, he would be less likely to feel intimidated, and she would feel more comfortable working with an executive who didn’t have this issue. The interviews she might have lost, she did not want. We had nothing to lose.
Result: Two days after she sent out her resume, she got a suitable position working for an executive who appreciated and needed her professional, corporate self.
Challenge: An Information Technology Executive looked quite a bit younger than his background might yield him to be (and than he actually was). For the IT field, Evelyn felt the youthful and professional look would be very much in tune with the progressive position he was seeking.
What image would be the right one for your profession? What should your photo convey? Friendly? Corporate? Professional? Helpful? Young? Older? Take-charge? Multifaceted? Other?
In order to determine the right image, examine the position you are seeking. What are the main attributes that would be an asset to a company? Can you portray these attributes in a photo of yourself? For example, if you are in customer service, you would want to have a smile and look friendly and helpful. If you are an executive, your photo should show leadership qualities, someone who is not standoffish and who could get the job done through others.
Eye contact is a safe assumption; however, if the photo conveys you concentrating on your work, that works as well. (See “Work-in-Action Photos” below.) Also, when your attention is focused to the right or the left, be sure to capitalize on it by including an important element in your layout (such as a mission statement, discussed in Chapter 10) which you are “looking at.” This is a design trick that businesses use and it
works; it forces the reader to look there.
Do you know what type of image, thoughts, or emotions you conjure up in a photo? Before deciding whether to include or not include a photo, you need to know if it works for or against you in your profession. If you want to explore the possibility of including a photo, take a number of shots, select which ones you think are the best, and ask for objective feedback from others.
If your photo says one thing, be sure it says what you want it to say and that it targets your job goal. If unsure or the image does not work for your profession, it’s best not to use a photo in your resume. There are so many other
ways to convey personal branding.
Can you see the difference between images? Same profession. Different People. To give you an idea of how similar profession-specific photos might help or hinder a profession, take a look at the following samples and how they might be “read.”
A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Hearing the Words