Should You Send a Recent Photo With Your Resume?

To Send or Not To Send

300x300-Photo-ResumeWhile it’s expected of job applicants to submit a cover letter, résumé, and their salary requirement, history or expectations, it’s not expected of job applicants to have to provide a recent photo.  While some employers add that the photo is optional, others actually require it in order to review your résumé and offer you an interview.

Call me crazy, but even as a determined job seeker, I think it’s a bit sketchy to send a picture of myself to a potential employer, unless you’re applying for an entertainment-related position where head shots are the norm. I can understand the whole concept of wanting to put a face to a name, but this growing trend is just odd and it seems really common with local employers who choose to advertise on Craigslist.

So, is this hiring practice even legal?

Not according to Dan Eaton, an employment attorney at Seltzer, Caplan, McMahon, and Vitek in San Diego. Eaton says that it’s illegal to ask for a photo in connection with a job application, as it could disclose, for example, race and ethnicity, and act as an unlawful screening mechanism.

Furthermore, the EEOC says that photograph may be obtained after an offer of employment is made and accepted, but only if needed for identification purposes.

Since requests for recent photos of applicants could well offend anti-discrimination legislation and has no relevancy to employment suitability, I’d highly suggest avoiding applying to job ads that solicit recent photos. If you MUST apply, then omit the recent photo no matter how much the potential employer wants you to submit one. Just because they’re not doing the right thing doesn’t mean you have to either. Have the integrity they don’t have and protect yourself from an unfair hiring practice.

About the Author

Elizabeth has spent several years working in the healthcare field. She’s worked on both the clerical and clinical side of the industry. Elizabeth has a strong commitment to supporting the personal and professional goals of anyone who wants to realize their full potential so they can enhance their own lives, as well as the lives of those around them.

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