Is a photo required on a CV? Check how it works in the IT industry.

In a rapidly changing professional world where the first impression can determine a future career, our attention is drawn to the importance of a photo on a CV. A well-chosen CV photo seems to be increasingly significant. In an era of widespread internet access and social media, employers often turn to additional sources of information to better understand candidates, which is why it’s important to understand the role a properly taken photo plays in application documents. In today’s article, we will present how a CV photo should look from the perspective of the IT industry, where, in addition to technical skills, presenting one’s image matters. We will also provide tips on what mistakes to avoid and how to make a good impression on your future employer.

Woman working retouching photo on laptop at convenient workplace
Table of content

From this article, you will learn:

  • How to take a photo for a CV?
  • What is the best photo for a CV?
  • What should you wear for a CV photo?
  • Can you take a CV photo with a phone?
  • What should be the size of a CV photo?
  • How to insert a photo into a CV?

Professional photo for CV

Are you putting together your application documents? Wondering where and how to take a CV photo? Let’s start by saying that a CV photo is not required. In the recruitment process, what matters most are the candidate’s skills and experience, not their appearance. Can you take a CV photo at home? Can a CV photo taken with a phone look professional? First and foremost, you should know that a good CV photo should be appropriately chosen for the position you are applying for. What does this mean? If you are applying for a position in the IT industry and will be working in an office, your CV photo should look professional. Are you unsure of what your CV photo should look like? If you’re not sure, opt for something more formal. Regardless of the style you choose, there are several practical tips you should consider when taking a CV photo:

  1. Appropriate background and lighting: Choose a neutral background that will not distract attention. Smooth, light-colored walls or backgrounds in neutral colors such as white, beige, or gray work best. Proper lighting is equally important. Avoid overly harsh lighting; opt for natural daylight, and if not possible, ensure that artificial lighting is soft. The photo should be simple, without distracting elements in the background. Avoid using vacation photos with resort backgrounds.
  2. Professional attire: The choice of attire depends on the industry you are interested in. Opt for appropriate attire, primarily clean and tidy. In the IT industry, the following options work best:
  • Classic shirt and blazer/suit: Classic solutions are still in style. If you value simplicity and elegance, opt for a fitted, dark blazer and a light-colored shirt (for both men and women).
  • Polo shirt: If you know that the company you are applying to prefers a less formal dress code, you can go for elegance in a slightly more relaxed form. A Polo shirt – alone or combined with a jacket or sweater – will provide an elegant look and comfort.

Both options are modern solutions. In such attire, both male and female CV photos will look good. Recommended colors for a CV photo are: graphite, navy blue, gray, or light blue. Regardless of the position you are applying for and the atmosphere in the company, remember to avoid excessive cleavage or extravagant accessories. Avoid head coverings and sunglasses. Also, refrain from clothes with bold patterns and slogans. Remember that a professional CV photo also includes appropriate hairstyle and makeup. Rules of moderation and simplicity apply in this regard too. A professional CV photo doesn’t draw attention to the attire.

  1. Naturalness: Try to look as natural as possible. Don’t be overly serious or overly smiling. An Instagram-style pout is also not suitable. Simply smile naturally. This is the best way to show your true personality and make a good impression on the recruiter.
  2. Professional assistance: Wondering if you can take a CV photo at home? The technologies we have allow us to take a CV photo with a phone independently.

If you have an amateur photographer among your friends and you don’t want to spend money, you can ask them to take your CV photo.

Planning to take a photo by yourself? You need to remember that it’s difficult to take a CV photo – selfie. Why? It’s hard to take a photo “by hand” at a good angle and one that will show your face favorably. It’s simply difficult to focus on your facial expression and control the camera at the same time. Additionally, the front camera on the phone has lower resolution than the rear one, which may result in your photo being blurry and of poor quality. If you want to take a CV photo – selfie, you need to get a good camera and tripod so that your photo doesn’t look like a selfie taken with a phone. Take several attempts and compare them. If you have doubts and don’t know how to take a CV photo, you can use the services of a professional and have your CV photo taken by a photographer. A good photographer knows his stuff and knows what CV photo will be best. In our opinion, this is the best solution.

CV photo – dimensions: Do you know what the dimensions of a CV photo should be? A CV photo should be taken in portrait format, with dimensions allowing comfortable placement on application documents.

How to insert a photo into a CV?

You already know what your CV photo should look like. Did you take your CV photo yourself or do you have a professional photo from a photographer? Now we’ll show you how to add a photo to your CV. The place where the photo is usually placed in the CV is the top right or left corner of the document. The most important thing is that it complements the content of the document and forms a compositional whole.

The most convenient solution is to use CV generators. This is the simplest and fastest way. Generators contain ready-made, elegant, and modern CV templates. Although using such generators is not free, you don’t have to worry about formatting and creating an attractive appearance for your CV. The program will automatically adjust your photo to the document, and you won’t have to worry about how to paste a photo into your CV. Adding a photo is child’s play. Simply select the “add photo” option to upload a photo from your disk. Then you can crop it as you like or even apply a filter. Don’t forget to save the changes.

Hanna Korzeniowska
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