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Exercise 2.7 - Take and select the right CV - Photo

One of the best ways to personalise a CV (Curriculum vitae) or an online profile is by adding a photograph (CV - Photo). The text on the CV are straight facts about someone’s professional career, but the right photo can help tell a more well-rounded story and show potential employers a bit more about the candidate’s personality. Moreover, to include a picture is also a great way to build a personal brand.
"Should a CV have a photo?" It is recommendable to check if it is customary in the country and sector of the job posting of interest. To take a CV-worthy picture without a bit of preparation first makes it hard to fake that 'professional headshot' look. It is good to employ a photographer to get a great CV-worthy picture; however, the right selfie can work just as well if the right tips and tricks to make it look professional and polished are applied. By doing this exercise and going through its advice it is possible to add “that final touch” to a CV photo.


Before you start this exercise

For best results (no must) first get ready by doing the following exercise, if not done yet:

Necessary to do this exercise:

Helpful to do this exercise:

  • Here you can see, how bad CV pictures look compared to good CV pictures.
  • Check out this career blog or experteer to find out, whether you should or should not include a photo on your resume.
  • This blog can help you to solve the question of adding a photo or not and gives you advice and tips on CV - photos.
  • Study this advice around job application photos, including tips and examples of serious applications.
  • These image editing tools might be useful: Canva - free online photo editor, Pixler or BeFunky.

How to complete this exercise

Step 1

Do you remember how the last CV picture you used looks like? Find it and check to what extent its characteristics respect the requirements listed in 14 Items checklist to take an high-quality CV photo by ticking yes or no next to each question. Take note of the weak and strong points of that image: what aspects could you improve? What aspects would you replicate instead?

Step 2

Now it is time to plan and take your new CV photo. Do you already know the job you want to get? If you don’t, take some time to think about it. Then look for the job-posting you would like to apply to or think of your professional role.

Step 3

Now that you have identified an interesting job-posting, or better understood how you would like to present yourself professionally, think about the photo of yours that you are going to put in your CV. How will your photo look like?
Go through 14 Items checklist to take an high-quality CV photo and refer to the instructions in italic to prepare on how to go about your next CV photo: work at your facial expressions, think of the lighting, background, posture, clothing, etc.

Step 4

Ask a professional photographer, a friend or yourself (selfie!) to take the picture! Then edit and add it to your CV.

Congratulations - You made it!

Are you satisfied with the result? Refer to 14 Items checklist to take an high-quality CV photo to cross-check the extent to which your new CV photo respects its requirements by ticking yes or no next to each question.

Educators' area

Background information and teaching material for guiding your students through the exercise or offering it in your classroom

For creating a great workshop in class:


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