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ERAS photos

July 18, 2011

Why kind of photo to take?

ERAS states the following
“Show a clear, front view of your full face only. Your face should be in the middle of the photograph, and your expression should be natural with your eyes open and looking directly ahead.”

What does natural mean? This is interpreted by many IMGs as “neutral” meaning not smiling, no frowning, no expression. These photos with no expression are a stark contrast to those submitted by AMGs. Photos by AMGs are smiley, friendly looking. You want your photo to be smiley and friendly looking.

The photo is not used for applicant selection but you want to present yourself at your best. Remember that the photos are part of your application and every part of your application should be you at your best. If you have a photo where you are not smiling or friendly looking then your photo does not reflect your best. IMG photos that are smiling and friendly looking may give a positive impression. Those photos that look like the person is not happy don’t work as well.

You may be thinking of projecting an image with your photo of someone who is a serious candidate. Programs can tell from your CV that you are serious. Programs can tell from the fact that you spent a lot of time preparing for and paying for exams that you are serious. Let your photo represent a cheerful, open friendly side of you. Even if where you grew up doesn’t embrace the smile, give it a try. It doesn’t have to be a gut busting laugh but at least show your teeth. Guys should look “put together” with a suit and tie or at least a collared shirt and tie. Women look their professional best. Oh and don’t submit a photo of yourself in scrubs, that just looks terrible.

Look at the difference between my faculty photos (ignore the lack of color and the fact they are over 7 years old) and think about which photo is best…



The smiley guy with a tie of course!!

Categories: Application
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