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Headshots are showing up more often, even on executive-level resumes. Photos on resumes have historically been discouraged because employers’ hiring practices are subject to government scrutiny. It used to be common knowledge that only actors and models need to include photographs with resumes.

Federal, state, and even local laws prohibit employers from making job decisions based on protected characteristics such as race, sex, disability, religion and so on. Employers declining to hire someone based on one of these traits may be subject to a discrimination claim and expensive litigation. Since most employers loathe legal risk, they are likely to toss or ignore a resume that shows a candidate’s likeness.

Some HR departments have policies that prohibit resumes with pictures from being considered. To prove the point, the federal hiring site states: “If your resume includes a photograph or other inappropriate material or content, it will not be used to make eligibility and qualification determinations and you may not be considered for this vacancy.”

Savvy job candidates avoid doing anything that puts them at a disadvantage in the job search or subjects an employer to valid claims of discrimination or unconscious bias. Make your job search efforts count! Save your winning smile and brand identity for LinkedIn where photos are the accepted norm.