HR manager looking at resume in shock

Ask an HR Pro: What Should I do if I Receive a Resume with the Job Seeker’s Photo on it?

Lisa Shuster, SHRM-SCP, SPHR and President of PeopleWorks answers your tough job search and hiring questions.

ask an hr pro lisa shuster

Job seekers are increasingly savvy today and most are aware that it’s a big no-no to include a photograph of themselves on their resume (unless, of course, they are applying for a position such as a model, actor, or other job where a specific personal appearance is a stated requirement and – let’s be honest – most are not).

On rare occasion, however, you will receive a resume with a photograph. What are you, as a hiring manager, to do?

You are a keen hiring manager and know that it’s important to be engaged by an applicant’s knowledge, skills, experience, and ability to do the job. You know that you may not make employment decisions based on appearance, race, gender, age, and other categories protected by labor laws.

On the other hand, you are also aware that every one of us has our own biases that subconsciously come into play when we look at a person (or a picture of a person), causing us to make judgements of people based upon their physical appearance.  

It comes down to this: what do you do with the information? You have seen the picture and can’t un-ring that bell.

The answer is that you will do nothing with that information/picture. You certainly aren’t going to make a decision based on the fact that your applicant does or doesn’t look as “expected.” You’re going to examine the resume as you do every other, identifying if the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities for the job. And, you’re going to make any decision based solely on that information. Put aside/overcome your biases and remember your key objective: find the best candidate for your open position!


Want more hiring advice? Check out additional blog posts or visit our resources page for articles and templates.

by: Natalie Winzer, iHire
August 31, 2016