28 Nov “Relax, a photo can’t make any difference…”
As documents go, there aren’t many as dull as a CV. Blocks of text and dot points listing prior experience generally don’t make for a thrilling read, so it pays to spruce up your CV however you can.
One great way of doing this is by using the right photo.
But what does the ‘right photo’ mean?
This should go without saying, but some people still need reminding that in a professional photo, you should be professionally dressed.
T-shirts, poor grooming, messy hair and a beer in one hand (or both) aren’t saying “I am a professional” to your potential employer.
A photo of you and the boys from last year’s trip to Bali might look great on Instagram but on a CV, you’ll look sloppy and lazy because you couldn’t take five minutes to set up a decent photo.
That is seriously all it takes. One photo in front of a blank wall with a clean collared shirt or a presentable dress can make all the difference.
Your expression is something of a balancing act. You don’t want to smile maniacally like the Joker.
However, you also don’t want to be stiff and terrifying like an Easter Island head.
This isn’t a passport photo, so by all means look happy and confident. Your photo should reflect the kind of employee you are so if you look determined, positive and professional, your employer can reasonably expect you’ll act like that in the workplace.
Again, this should be obvious but it’s amazing in the age of superb phone cameras that applicants still find ways to attach photos looking like they came from a dungeon.
Try and take your photo during the day to get as much natural light as possible. But don’t overdo it either, lest you cause your employer to follow Manfred Mann and be blinded by the light.
The size of a photo is also crucial. If it’s the size of a postage stamp, it doesn’t exactly send a message that you want to be noticed.
Of course, taking up half a page says you may have a rather high opinion of yourself.
You may have the looks of Chris Hemsworth or Scarlett Johansson but you won’t get the job with just a pretty face (even modelling jobs).
Just make sure your photo is clear and doesn’t get in the way of your CV’s nitty-gritty.
Your legs and feet aren’t very interesting to an accounting business.
They only need a profile of you that gives an insight into your personality, so the right look from your chest and upwards will be perfectly sufficient to show it.
Try not to look uncomfortable or hunched over. Sorry, your primary school teachers were right and you should always keep good posture.
It’s hard to take a poor quality photo these days, but some people still manage to find ways to print heavily pixelated images.
The most common reason for this is taking a photo directly off Facebook or another social media platform. Copying and pasting an image from online compresses it and lowers the quality.
If you can, use the original file from your phone or camera rather than downloading it. It may look just fine on your screen but hard copies are unforgiving to poor photos. A pixelated photo is just another thing to cut corners with, and employers will notice.
So there you have it! Seven handy tips for getting the right photo. You don’t want to get the little things wrong, but so many applicants attach one bad photo that costs them the position. You don’t want to make the same mistake.