Should You Include a Photo on Your Resume?

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

Mahatma Ghandi

It’s one of the many questions that professionals and job seekers ask: should you include a photo on your resume or CV?

The answer, of course – like so many things in life – is simply: it depends.

It depends on so many different factors. Where in the world are you? What position are you applying for? Even… what photo would you choose?

With all this in mind, let’s weigh these factors and help you come to a conclusion about the right decision for you.

Based on Location

Interestingly, every continent of the world seems to have a different idea regarding what’s appropriate. As someone from the United States, we would never even think of including a photo on a resume. It’s seen as unprofessional and excessive. But with the advent of LinkedIn, which includes a photo, I can understand now that opinions may be changing.

In most of Europe, the consensus seems to be that you should include a photo. In some regions, such as Scandinavia, it’s strongly encouraged. In other parts, it’s typical and generally expected to include a photo. And in places like Spain, it’s often required. However, in the United Kingdom, it’s extremely uncommon to include a photo and job seekers are generally advised against it.

In South America, the Middle East, many parts of Asia, and most of Africa, applicants should generally include a photo. Some of these places do not have explicit anti-discrimination laws that would discourage photos. And in Oceania, the choice to include a photo is yours. It may not be a norm, but it would not be out of the ordinary for you to include one.

Based on Position

If you’re in a place where including a photo is a legitimate option – so, almost everywhere except the U.S. and the UK – another consideration you should make is the position you’re applying for.

Here’s one benefit of not including a photo: it allows your skills, knowledge, and achievements to speak for themselves.

At Brieffin – as professional resume designers and consultants – we generally advise our clients not to include a photo when applying for high-level positions. We want the resume’s content to be the focus, not the photo. However, we do provide our clients with two resume designs – one with a photo, and one without. This ensures that our clients are equipped for any situation in which they need their resume.

Choosing a Photo

If you do decide to include a photo, it’s imperative that your photo works for you, not against you. Keep these things in mind for effective photo usage:

  • Use a high-quality photo – selfie photos are not appropriate for your resume. You may consider hiring a professional photographer, or even set up your own do-it-yourself photo studio in your home and ask a friend to help you take a good shot.
  • Dress according to the role – a corporate banker and a creative director are likely going to dress differently when they come to work, and you can reflect this in your resume photo.
  • Your photo should be an asset, not a distraction – don’t do anything crazy with your hair, makeup, or outfit.
  • Be consistent – use the same photo for your LinkedIn profile to show a harmonious uniformity between the two mediums. Show the employer you have a personal brand.
  • Make sure the photo is an appropriate size – don’t make the photo seem like an afterthought on your resume, but also not the main feature. Use it in a way that enhances your resume’s design but doesn’t steal the focus.

If you’re looking to revamp your resume, you’re in the right place. We’ll give you two resumes – one with a photo, one without – so you’re well-prepared for any situation.

We’re here if you need us.

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Social Media Engagement: Building a Community

True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything.

Paul Pearsall

Social media users know the difference between a brand that engages with its consumers and one that doesn’t. Of those that engage, these social media interactions can make or break the associations that consumers have about your brand – positive or negative.

Although it may seem that negative interactions may have more lasting impacts, positive engagements can go further than you may think. In fact, these positive experiences can build a community of extremely devoted customers, who may be quite outspoken in their loyalty.

Here’s a personal example that I love to share:

I was once on a Southwest Airlines flight to San Francisco with a short layover in Los Angeles. While I was on the flight to LA, I received a courtesy text message notification that my flight to San Francisco had been canceled.

I started to panic. My mother and I were meeting in San Francisco for a weekend together, and I was afraid the trip was ruined. What if I couldn’t get there?

Since I was cruising at 10,000 feet, I couldn’t call Southwest to help me. I wasn’t able to rebook a new flight in my app. I had one option left: I bought the $8 in-flight WiFi service and sent a desperate direct message to Southwest on Twitter.

Within 45 minutes, a social media agent had responded, apologized for the inconvenience, booked me on the next available flight from LA to San Francisco, and checked me in for that flight.

By the time I touched the ground – as other passengers arrived to the news that their ongoing flight had been canceled and took their places in line at the customer service desk – I was ready to continue my journey, stress-free.

This happened more than three years ago, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve spoken about Southwest’s fantastic customer service and recommended them to others. With that service they provided to me, they converted me into a fan for life.

Though not all brands are in industries that can provide that kind of save-the-day service, social media engagement can still go a long way with your target audience to create a community of loyal customers.

Here are some best practices when it comes to social media engagement.

1. Respond in an appropriate timeframe for your business.

According to a study by Lithium Technologies, 53% of social media users who tweet at a brand expect to receive a response within one hour; 72% expect that response in the same timeframe if it’s a complaint. This is especially true with time-sensitive issues such as a delayed or canceled flight.

However, if you’re like us and have a specialized industry – like industrial brands – a prompt response would most likely not be expected by your audience. If they’re asking a highly technical question about a piece of equipment, you as a social media manager may not be equipped to answer that question. In that case, it’s best to post an acknowledgement of the question and then get in contact with a specialist who can answer the question.

In these cases, don’t worry about speed – the quality of response is more important.

2. Talk with your audience, not at them.

Most young people – Millennials and Generation Z – don’t like being targeted by brands. They’d rather engage with you on their own terms. This is where alternative channels for content creation, such as blog posts, can be beneficial. Provide this audience with useful information without expecting anything in return, and you’ll gain their trust organically.

3. Share the good stuff.

When your consumers are happy and tag you in their social media posts, share it on your own channels! It’s basically free advertising. Whether it’s selfies with LOESCHE Mills or an excited customer that just received a long-anticipated delivery, sharing this consumer-created content shows that you care and you’re celebrating their positive experiences with them.

4. Don’t censor your users.

Some social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, allow a brand to delete other users’ comments from their page. But the internet was meant for the freedom of expression, so instead of deleting a negative comment, think again about the best way to handle the issue. While not everyone may have the experience with your brand that you’re hoping for, attempting to silence those users reflects badly on your credibility.

5. Be authentic.

Some brands – particularly fast-food chains – have recently gone viral for their quick-witted humor and sarcastic clapbacks to consumers and other brands on social media. While some might enjoy this kind of social presence, others feel it gives an air of inauthenticity and “trying too hard.”

Remember to stay true to your brand’s voice. Consistency is important, and while your brand’s personality and tone may evolve over time, customers need to feel like they “know” you in order to feel a strong sense of loyalty.

Our world has always been about connectedness, and today’s technology allows us to connect in a different way, on a larger scale than ever before. By putting in the work to streamline your social media content efforts and engage with your consumers, everyone involved is able to benefit from this new form of connection – a true online community.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Life is a honeymoon phase.” – Shakey Graves (Kids These Days from Can’t Wake Up)

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Creating Your Personal Brand

At the center of your being you have the answer: you know who you are and you know what you want.

Lao Tzu

The first time I learned about building a personal brand was my last year of college. My communication-department senior seminar class was focused on preparing us for the “real world.”

How to write resumes. How to prepare ourselves for the full-time job that is job-seeking. How to stand out. How could we stand out?

You could undoubtedly teach an entire course on personal branding alone, but I got more than a few takeaways from my class. I was inspired to redesign my resume – unafraid, for the first time, to use pops of color and infographics – and ordered a stack of custom-branded thank-you cards.

With my purple accents and clean, sans-serif font, I hoped to portray a little bit of my personality to my potential employers. And this was the first time I’d ever learned that this was okay.

After a few years and spending time in the branding industry, it’s clear steps like those are crucially important. At the same time, they only scratch the surface.

The word “brand” itself can sometimes be seen with less-than-positive connotations. In an era where social media has transformed into more than just human-to-human interactions, there are of course examples of brands trying to connect with consumers and missing the boat completely. These can give off an air of inauthenticity.

But your personal brand is another matter entirely. The best part about it is that it’s 100% YOU. As a positive, creative person with so much to offer to the world, you can’t possibly be anything other than authentic.

Showing your personality is not the professional faux-pas that most of us were taught to believe at one point or another. Personal branding is about turning the essence of you – your skills, your experiences, your passions – into a distinct professional image.

So you can start with the resume – don’t worry, we can help you! But a robust personal-brand presence includes consistency across multiple digital touchpoints: a website/portfolio, blog, a logo, social media, and even your LinkedIn profile and bio.

When starting to think about your personal brand, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

What is my passion?

What is my story?

What are my values?

What 3 words would I want to be associated with?

Who do I want to attract?

What can I offer?

What differentiates me?

Am I following my bliss?

What message do I want to send?

As we say here at Brieffin: Your brand is your message. People will encounter your brand before they ever meet you. This is your opportunity to send them a message. What do you want that message to be?

It’s a lot to think about, to be sure.

But this isn’t something you have to do alone. Personal branding just so happens to be one of our passions, and if you need us – a lot or a little – we’re here.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Calm down, now stop and breathe a second; go back to the very beginning.” – Glass Animals (Agnes from How To Be A Human Being)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe for a second. Namaste.

Industrial social media specialists of the year 2020 - Spain