There's a certain place for headshots, and a CV is rarely it.
We understand why you may have chosen to add a headshot to your CV. For a start, many of the slick, creative-style CVs have them. And sure, they can look very professional if done correctly.
You may also have quickly searched for CV examples online and seen that some included a photo. However, chances are these were examples from Latin America, Southeast Asia or the Middle East where a photo on a CV is expected ‒ unlike the UK.
In fact, in the UK, including a headshot on your CV is highly discouraged. Here are just a few reasons why we removed your headshot from your CV and made your job application stronger.
To avoid potential discrimination
While you may believe that including a headshot on your CV will make you seem more professional and help recruiters put a face to a name, there is a chance it won't have the desired effect.
The harsh reality is that adding a photo to your CV can open you up to discrimination. Although everyone is legally protected by the Equality Act 2010 from ageism, sexism, racism, and more during the recruitment process and in the workplace, it doesn't mean that unconscious bias doesn't exist.
By removing your headshot from your CV, you help keep the recruiter's attention focussed on the important parts of your application, i.e. your relevant skills and achievements.
To help your application pass the ATS
Nearly 98 per cent of organisations use software known as an applicant tracking system (ATS) to shortlist CVs before they reach a recruiter for human review. An ATS scans CVs and eliminates the least-qualified candidates for the role. However, if you don't write your CV so that it is formatted appropriately for an ATS's review – even if you are a dream candidate – your application may be rejected too.
Charts, graphics and images (such as a headshot) are not ATS-friendly ‒ the software cannot parse them, and it may ruin the rest of your CV trying. So by removing your potentially dangerous headshot, you increase your application's chances of reaching the eyes of a recruiter.
To create space for more important details
If you included a headshot on your CV, chances are it took up quite a bit of the page. Failing that, you probably had to shift a section or two around to create space for it. This, unfortunately, is a waste.
While you may have thought that adding your headshot made you look like a polished professional, it actually filled valuable space that would have been best kept for discussing your greatest selling points.
It's important to have a great professional headshot. However, that belongs on your LinkedIn profile. By removing the photo from your CV, our writers have helped make sure that you don't miss any opportunities in your job search.