I just finished a resume for a client in Virginia seeking to relocate out to California. She is an attractive woman in her mid 40s and felt that her resume would be enhanced by adding her picture. Since she’s an executive assistant and not a performer or public speaker, I told her no. Here’s why:

1. It subjects you to objective scrutiny
Sending your photo allows the hiring manager to eliminate you as a candidate based solely upon your looks. Both men and women screen resumes, so prejudices, jealousies and personal preferences come into play when you put a photo on your resume. Of course, at some point you will be evaluated on your personal appearance, but it’s best to save it for the interview.

2. Many companies will throw away your resume without even looking at it
Companies cannot legally consider your picture (or appearance) in making hiring decisions. Many companies, especially large ones with rigid HR rules, will toss resumes submitted with a photo to make sure they don’t run afoul of Equal Opportunity Employer laws.

3. It can make you look like a douche-bag
Please forgive the language, but in the words of Tim Daly, putting a picture on your resume is “quite douche”. It’s presumptuous, and speaks to an ego that may not be welcome in many office environments.

Long story short, if you aren’t auditioning for a role, leave the photo off.