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ISE application guide – the application photo

ISE application guide

The person you are talking to wants to know who you are. Of course, this also applies to the ISE employment agencies. As with most personnel decision-makers, ISE's employment agents also look at the external appearance of your application folder first. As a rule, the second look is at your application photo. Make sure you have a good, professionally taken photo because A bad photo in the application documents can mean that you are not invited to an interview! But: an attractive application photo alone is of course not a reason for employment.

To the professional

Many application images only provide information about whether a candidate is male or female, young or old, brunette or blonde. But a good application photo, on the other hand, conveys that certain something. Your personality will be put in the right light in a professional photo and you can convey a positive attitude and convincing charisma. The photo from the professional is a must. Which photographer should you go to? Proceed here as if you were looking for a hairdresser: Have a friend or professional advisor recommend a specialist, or look at the sample photos on the Internet or in the shop window. This is another way you can recognize professionals: some photo studios require you to make an appointment to have application photos taken. The photographer will also advise you on clothing issues during the shoot and, if necessary, take photos in several outfits.

The costs

A professionally taken application photo can cost a lot of money, but it is a wise investment in your professional future. Of course, there are hardly any upper limits when it comes to costs. For example, you can have studio portrait photos taken and then have them processed digitally. If you are toying with this idea, you should, however, consider whether this financial outlay (for portraits) is in any way related to the position you would like to apply for.

Clothes make the man

For many people, the question of what to wear for the application photo is a closed book. It can also be very simple. Make a pre-selection for two or three outfits and let the photographer advise you on which one is most suitable. As a tip for your pre-selection: Choose clothes that you would wear in the position you are applying for. In conventional jobs, men can't go wrong with a shirt, tie and jacket; women are best off wearing a blazer, a neat hairstyle and subtle make-up. Real no-gos are logo shirts, deep necklines and bright colors.

Tip for choosing your photographer: Some photo studios now even offer the service of a make-up artist.

Precision landing through body language

Whether your image will score points with the hiring manager depends on your body language, not your attractiveness. Your body language in the picture is the basis for the HR manager's first impression of your personality.

The question of all questions

Application photos are always slightly larger than the classic passport photos for ID documents. Color images are definitely the right choice. However, get advice from the photographer about color and format. For a long time, images were very popular, especially in creative professions, but they are slowly going out of fashion. The most important thing, however, is that the application photo must be current. After a noticeable visual change (new hairstyle/hair color, ...) it's time for a new application photo.


Does everything sound obvious to you? So why do so many people do things wrong – especially when it comes to application photos? A question that ISE employment agents ask themselves almost every day. Regardless of whether you use classic or unusual, colored or black and white application photos, a photo is unsuitable for an application if it:

  • wrinkled, dirty, yellowed
  • lying loose in the envelope
  • was taken unprofessionally (automatic photo or similar)
  • it is a photo that you cropped from another image
  • is a vacation photo (beach photo).
  • is blurred
  • is so old that you can hardly be recognized anymore
  • You stapled it to your application documents or attached it with a paper clip
  • Shows her as an unkempt and disheveled person
  • etc.

ISE service and download

You can read further articles on the subject of applications on the ISE website service. You can download templates for cover sheets and CVs free of charge in the download area.

Private employment agency

Get a placement voucher and instruct the employment agency to help you find a job free of charge. Of course, this also includes creating professional application documents with you. Of course, this is also possible without a placement voucher. Contact the ISE private employment agency and make an appointment.