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Last Updated on 16th May 2022
If you opt to include a photo on your CV, it’s important that the photo represents you well. That means that you need to dress professionally and choose your outfit and overall look with care. This guide will outline how to choose appropriate CV photo attire. Not sure how to add a photo to your CV? Consider using a CV template to help you get started.
Dress Simply and Professionally
Even though your CV photo should only show your head and shoulders, it’s important to choose a simple and professional outfit—no spaghetti straps or ratty T-shirts. Choose a top or shirt that is clean, free of wrinkles, a flattering colour, and fits you well.
Women may wish to wear a blouse, fitted top, or a dress. No matter what top you choose to wear, ensure that the neckline is work-appropriate. You can also add a blazer over the top for an extra touch of professionalism.
Men might wear a collared shirt such as a polo or button-down. You can also go for a full suit or a shirt and tie if you are applying to work in a more formal setting or somewhere with a strict dress code.
In most cases, business casual dress is appropriate for a CV photo. However, the most important thing you can wear is a friendly smile!
Avoid Loud Patterns and Bright Colours
Again, simplicity is key, so avoid wearing anything that has loud patterns, very bright colours, or is otherwise distracting. The focus should be on your smiling face, not on your outfit—unless you are applying to work in the fashion industry, perhaps. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to stick to solid neutral or muted colours.
Avoid Distracting Hairstyles, Makeup, and Jewellery
Similarly, avoid over-the-top makeup, overstated jewellery, and flashy hairstyles. Prepare for your CV photo as you would for a job interview in your target industry. Wear simple and classy jewellery and natural makeup. Keep your hair out of your face and tidy.
Dress For The Job
For certain industries, you may wish to dress for the job that you are applying for rather than wearing business casual. For example, if you are a chef, you may wish to wear a chef’s jacket in your CV photo. Or, if you are a doctor, you might want to wear your white coat over your business casual outfit.
Of course, only dress for the job in this way if you already work in the role in question—don’t wear a doctor’s white coat just because you aspire to become a doctor.
Finally, no matter what you decide to wear in your CV photo, ensure that you are well-groomed and tidy overall. Iron your clothes if necessary, and make sure that there are no loose threads, missing buttons, or any other visible imperfections. Take care with your hair and makeup. Men may wish to take CV photos soon after visiting the barber. It’s often best to take your CV photos indoors in a spot that gets plenty of natural light to avoid wind and other elements that might dishevel your hair or clothes.