<img alt="A picture of me">
May 10, 2012 2:43 PM   Subscribe

I am a web developer. I am not your web developer (yet.) Do you want to see a picture of me on my web site?

I am in the United States, I have a strong resume and am working on a strong personal web site to match. As I am a programmer rather than an engineer, my site is currently text-heavy, and while I have access to designers to help me enhance the visual appeal of it, I find myself wondering if it would be in good/poor/neutral taste to include a picture of myself.

If you hire or have hired for similar positions in the United States, I'd like to hear your opinion. Note that, by design, a casual google search on my email address will ferret out my public social media details including pictures of me (albeit different ones.)
posted by davejay to Work & Money (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think this is a great idea ( I am a digital producer).
posted by sweetkid at 2:48 PM on May 10, 2012

It is a bad idea to include a picture of yourself.

Legally, no company can use your picture to evaluate your resume to avoid racial discrimination lawsuits. As such, it can't help you.

As a practical matter, some companies will not evaluate a resume with a picture in it to ensure compliance with equal opportunity requirements.
posted by saeculorum at 2:54 PM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]

I've always heard what saeculorum said about that it's a bad idea to include your picture in the US. However, LinkedIn really wants people to have pictures on your profile. I've always wondered why.
posted by zsazsa at 3:01 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are you looking for a job or contract work? If it's a full-time job, I might avoid the picture. They'll meet you if they like your resume and bring you in for an interview. If you're a contract developer, I think it's a great idea - it puts a face to the name, and makes people feel comfortable reaching out to you.
posted by iamscott at 3:04 PM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]

No picture on your website because it about your work. On Linkedin, yes do add a picture.
posted by i_wear_boots at 3:10 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are you looking to be hired by someplace firm-y and formal? No picture. Are you looking to be hired by someplace young and hip? Add a picture--bonus points if you're doing something fun and/or ridiculous.

The company I work for has been doing a lot of hiring lately, and (all skills being equal) major bonus points are given to the dudes who seem quirky/silly. (Because they'd fit un better with us.)

Depends on your market. YMMV.
posted by phunniemee at 3:18 PM on May 10, 2012

No picture. Unless you are Ben Nadel et al., it has no potential for positive effect.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 3:19 PM on May 10, 2012

It really depends on what kind of place you want to work at.

Are you looking for a fresh little startup where everyone is quirky and cool? Then, yeah, a photo, something a bit hip and different, not your usual ID card sort of photo.

Are you looking for a dependable large company? Then no photo. Unless you want to be known as the quirky one. Which you might do.

I have a photo on my site, and I put my site on all job applications I do, but I'm intentionally trying to put myself out as a quirky content editor, so, y'know, YMMV.

(Although if you also have a photo where you're two years old and in a bucket? Totally put that up. Haters gonna hate.)
posted by Katemonkey at 3:26 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think in addition to the quirky/businesslike dichotomy it depends somewhat on the kinds of site and where on the site. If it's pure business details, then probably not. If there is a personal section with various interests/personal projects, then tucked away in the who am I page it seems quite standard.
posted by sammyo at 3:38 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

No. I want to see your blog posts and contributions on Stack Overflow or similar sites describing a cool way you solved a problem or introduced an industry best practice, code you contributed to open source libraries, etc. I want to see the quality of your code and what sort of team member you would be.
posted by matildaben at 4:15 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's perfectly fine to put your picture on your website, but mostly a bad idea (at least in the US, apparently) to put it on your resume.
posted by furtive at 4:16 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I recently hired a lawyer because he had a great honest looking photo of himself on his website.
posted by KogeLiz at 4:26 PM on May 10, 2012

You shouldn't put your picture on your website, unless it's a blog and it's on your about page.

It never helps. It only hurts. Why?

If you're of average attractiveness, nobody will be impressed that you stuck your picture on a website that has nothing to do with your looks.

If you're of absurd physical attractiveness, nobody's going to take you seriously. There's no way someone as hot as you actually writes code, right?
posted by phoebus at 4:37 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have someone do a vector drawing/caricature of you and put that on the homepage. Gets that personal touch without the mentioned issues. If you like, you could put a photo of yourself on the about page or footer. It would help if this is a picture of you giving a talk (people love talk-givers) or at least a well-lit, natural-looking photo.
posted by michaelh at 4:49 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

(I say this as someone who looks at many dev portfolios to contract the portfolio owner.)
posted by michaelh at 4:50 PM on May 10, 2012

I hate to say it but I'd have to see a picture of you to answer this fairly.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:50 PM on May 10, 2012

If your site is like a digital resume, probably not, but if you're looking to freelance or for contract work, I vote in favor of putting up a photo. Business is ultimately about relationships, and people want to see whom they're working with. Plenty of one-person or smallish design firms put photos of their staff on the site. It's pretty accepted in the industry.

Make sure it's a good photo, of course.
posted by Leontine at 7:13 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's pretty accepted in the industry.

Yeah, this is where I'm coming from. I've seen this a lot.
posted by sweetkid at 7:32 PM on May 10, 2012

A more eloquent answer here that mirrors a bit of what others said.

Your resume site could have a photo of you, but not on the same page as your resume, you can have a page that is about you and some personal info and data of interests. A photo is appropriate there and gives depth to who you are. You can move your social media links to that area, keep your resume page simple.
posted by i_wear_boots at 11:15 AM on May 11, 2012

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