We always recommend not having a photo at all for CVs and job applications because there is a lot of room for choosing the wrong photo. But we realise that some companies in Malaysia require this as part of their application process. So if you absolutely have to submit a photo, here are some important guidelines:
1) Show your face clearly
Look facing the camera, don’t pose and try to look overly “glamourous”. Simple is good, clear view of your face, almost like a passport photo.
2) Look friendly
You’re allowed to smile in your job application photo, its not for your passport or IC. Don’t overdo it though, if your smile is too big you might come across as not being professional. We recommend a good soft smile, and make sure they can see your eyes clearly, as it creates comfort and the feeling of friendliness.
3) No accessories
No hats, sunglasses, bling bling etc. Keep it simple.
4) Dress professionally
For men, we recommend a clean professional looking collared shirt, you don’t need a suit and tie. For the ladies, please no bare shoulders, although not all jobs and employers may think like this but you may come across as unprofessional to some. Stick to a simple shirt or blouse.
5) Clean background
Have a simple white background, if we can see your kitchen or sofa behind it, it’s really not that great.
6) Use a good camera
Avoid using a smart phone, unless it’s got a really good camera and you’re good at editing the photo later to make it look sharper and more professional. Use a decent camera.
7) Bright lighting
No one likes dark photos, again comes across as too casual, and gives the impression you didn’t make enough effort and may not be that serious.
8) No selfies please!!!
I’ve seen selfies on CVs, it’s really really not cool, get someone to snap the photo for you, and if you can’t find anyone, go out more and make more friends.