CV Photo: when to use it and how to take it

Should you put a picture on your CV? How should a CV photo look like? The answers to these questions are not straightforward, and a mistake could cost you the job of your dreams. This article will explain you everything you need to know about a resume photo.

CV Photo: when to use it and when not to 

Different countries have totally different views on CV photos. What’s common in your own country might be unacceptable somewhere else.

The main reasons for these differences, are privacy and discrimination policies. In fact, some countries believe that not having a picture on your CV will prevent employers from selecting people based on their ethnicity or gender. Other countries argue that, since your employer will see you face to face during the interview, a CV photo won’t make any difference.

Regardless of your personal opinion, you need to comply with local standards to get a job! Remember that, in some countries, employers have to reject your application if your CV picture doesn’t meet the requirements! You can visit Jooble to find the best job offers available on the market.

Where NOT to use a CV photo

Resume photo

As always when making a CV, the first rule is: read the vacancies properly. Regardless of what we will suggest, the request in the vacancy is always leading. If they ask to put a photo in your CV, just do it. If they explicitly say to not add a resume photo, do not attach it. The latter is even more important. In some legislation, employers might even get in trouble for accepting a CV with a picture!

Here are our advice country by country on the resume photo, if not differently specified in the vacancy.

US, UK and Ireland

Do not add a picture in your CV in the US, UK and Ireland! Employers might reject your application just because you have a photo in your CV.

Continental Europe

It is better to include a CV photo if you are applying for jobs in continental Europe. In some countries it is absolutely necessary to have it, in some others it’s a nice plus. Our suggestion is to always attach your resume picture if you are applying for a job in continental europe.


Always include a picture if you are applying for a job in asia. Make sure to have a very professional looking picture. Work environment is very formal in asia. If your picture doesn’t  look professional, you will probably not get the job.

Preparing the perfect CV Photo

Perfect CV formal picture

Now you know whether or not you need a picture in your CV. Let’s see how the perfect CV photo looks like.

Formal or Informal

As previously said, if you are applying for a job in Asia, always go with a formal picture. If you are applying for a job in continental europe, it depends on which job you are applying for. The picture should be more of less formal depending on the sector. However, do not forget that you should always be decently dressed. A CV photo in your bathing suit is never a good idea!!

If you are applying for a job in a sector where employees are formally dressed, use a formal picture. Examples of such sectors are: banking, finance, law, insurance etc. 

If you are applying for a job where employees are usually dressed more casually, like software development, industry or agriculture, you can dress less formally.

If you are in doubt, always make it more formal. Better too formal that not formal enough. 

What to wear

Photo resume tie

If you need a formal picture, wear a suit or a formal dress. If you need a less formal picture, I would recommend to wear a nice shirt. Do you want to wear makeup? That’s OK, just don’t overdo it!

As background, you can either choose something professional (like an office or a skyline) or something plain (like a wall). However, a nice landscape will also do the job for less formal resume photos.

There are different theories of how a CV photo should look like, but they all agree that it should be cut at your wrist or higher. Always avoid full body pictures!

If you already have a professional looking picture that meets the standards above, just use it. Else, I would recommend to take a picture that is cut just below the level of your shoulders. Also consider using photo editing services to improve your picture!

Now you know all the secrets on how to make your perfect CV. Do not forget to read our tips and tricks on how to make the perfect cover letter.  The job of your dreams is just around the corner!