I am preparing an updated CV for application for postdoc positions. Is it necessary to put a photo on a CV for postdoc positions?

  • 3
    Could you add a country tag? That depends a lot on your country, e.g. in the US you often don't have photos, while in some European countries it would be strange to not have one.
    – Dirk
    Dec 7, 2018 at 9:44
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    CANADA and also some European countries such as Germany.
    – user40491
    Dec 7, 2018 at 9:56
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    I can't say about Canada. For Germany, I would put a photo as it is still rather common here, but I think considering the fact that you are (I guess?) not from Germany no one will discard your application just because the photo is missing.
    – Dirk
    Dec 7, 2018 at 10:04

1 Answer 1


CV formats vary widely between countries. In the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands* and Sweden CVs should not include photos, as these could reveal personal information (on race, age, perhaps religion) that employers are not allowed to use under local laws (source).

In many European countries, except those mentioned above, it used to be or still is expected to include a photo on your CV. However, in internationalized areas like academia, norms are converging toward the Anglo-American/Nordic model. German universities, for example, no longer expect photos on CVs, but it's not wrong to have them. I didn't put a photo on my application and got a postdoc in Austria.

I'm not sure about China and Japan.

*Another source specifically on the Netherlands is less strict: Employers are reported as being indifferent, unless it's a high-ranking (e.g. international?) position, in which case including a photo is seen as "bad form".

  • Damn, I just applied to a job in the Netherlands with a photo on my CV; lucky me that the HR team is international and not familiar with Dutch standards I guess? :)
    – Dirk
    Dec 7, 2018 at 10:03
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    I think must not should be should not: Inclusion doesn't violate local laws, discrimination (based upon inclusion) does. (Upvoted anyhow.)
    – user2768
    Dec 7, 2018 at 10:17
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    @user2768 agreed.
    – henning
    Dec 7, 2018 at 10:20
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    Finland: Picture would be unusual. Denmark: I've applied for a postdoc and an assistant professor position, and neither requested a picture. Norway: I applied to two postdocs and neither requested a picture. Based on this I would extrapolate that a picture is unusual in Nordic academic environments.
    – Tommi
    Dec 7, 2018 at 12:33
  • 2
    I can add the same for Sweden to @TommiBrander 's comment. No photo expected there.
    – Mark
    Dec 7, 2018 at 18:08

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