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Appropriate to Put Picture on Resume for Certain Jobs?

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‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com.

Dear J.T. & Dale: I am starting to write my resume for a job hunt. I’m curious if a small picture of myself would be appropriate. The job is for Web design, and that might give the resume a little more personality. — Phoenix

J.T.: A couple of years ago we were asked this question, and I advised against a picture. At the time, the HR world was very concerned about the legal ramifications of discrimination based on a photo — one HR manager had told me that her company policy was to not review any resume with a picture. Fast-forward to today, and all the social media tools have pictures. Still, it seems taboo to put it on a resume.

Dale: However, the job is Web design. In the world of the Web, and in the world of design, giving in to the fear of breaking taboos is the biggest taboo.

J.T.: The issue isn’t just bureaucracy — the logic is that a resume is a fact-based document. So, how about a compromise: Use something like VisualCV.com to create an online resume, where you can showcase your work, include a photo, and there you can offer the personality that’s missing from the standard resume.


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Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten’s latest book is “(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success” (John Wiley & Sons).

Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

© 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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