You feel the Call to move on to another employment opportunity and have decided to submit your resume. Your first introduction and impression will be established through what you submit. The question is “do you include a picture on your resume or not?”

Yes – if you are seeking a position within the ministry.
It is acceptable and ministry candidates are encouraged to include a photo of yourself and many times your family. The search committee wants to have a feeling of familiarity with the person they are reviewing and a picture helps bring the vision together.

The resume itself will give an overview of who you are and what you have done and a thumbnail picture will give the reader a sense of you as a person.

Include a photo that is high resolution and of excellent quality. Ask yourself if the picture reflects the image that you will bring to the position you are seeking. Be sure you are projecting the right image as a leader and minister before attaching a photo – remember, a picture is worth a thousand words and you only have one chance to make a great first impression.

No – if you are seeking mainstream employment.
In the business world, submitting a photo and personal information (age, marital status, children) directly on your resume can hinder your job search rather than help. That said, it is important that you include a professional photo (rather than one with your dog, friends, or vacation) if you have a LinkedIn account.

If the employer takes the time to look you up, everything they find should convey “professional”. And, LinkedIn profiles without photos are not as effective as those that include one.

LinkedIn Photos
Both ministry and mainstream job seekers should upload a photo to their LinkedIn profile.  A photo also helps people connect as it makes you seem more personable, friendly and approachable.

LinkedIn photos are smaller in size so you should use a head shot rather than a full body shot. The photo should be well-lit and in focus with a neutral background. Your goal should be to make the same great impression on people as if you were meeting them personally.

About the Author:
Tammy Shoup, Executive Director and Head Writer of Breakthrough Résumés, is among a small number of professional résumé writers in the U.S. who has earned the title of Certified Professional Résumé Writer from the Professional Association of Résumé Writers / Career Coaches. Her firm is the country’s leading Christian resume writing service dedicated to helping Pastoral Candidates and Ministry Workers develop dynamic job search documents that win interviews. Shoup is also a member of the National Résumé Writers’ Association and Career Directors International.
Her activity in both organizations ensures that her knowledge of industry and employment trends remains current. It also indicates her dedication to continuing education in her industry. Her work is published in both JIST and Barron’s career books. Please review Shoup’s information at or or inquire directly to Tammy Shoup at

Wishing you the best in your job search campaign! †