Is a photo on a CV for a researcher (postdoc or faculty) application to a university in Japan

  • prohibited,

  • optional, or

  • necessary?

In the optional case, what are the usual consequences of including/omitting a photo?

  • 3
    Have you read the application carefully? As I recall, in ads I've seen they often specify (with photo). I believe one ad I saw said specifically not to include photos. If it's not specified, see Naveed's answer.
    – Kimball
    Commented Jun 13 at 7:55
  • @Kimball I don't read applications — I write them. If you mean ads: of course I read them carefully before asking here.
    – AlMa1r
    Commented Jun 13 at 15:50
  • Yes, I meant ad. And I ask because there are people who will post questions without carefully reading instructions first.
    – Kimball
    Commented Jun 13 at 22:15
  • @Kimball Do you have any evidence suggesting that I might have not carefully read the instructions in the job ads at my disposal first? Or are you simply assuming by default that folks asking here are silly? That's quite an annoying, irritating, and insulting view of yours.
    – AlMa1r
    Commented Jun 15 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


In Japan, it is customary or a general practice to include your photo in your CV [1]. And the eyebrows could be raised on not following the rule as you are unaware of the cultural norms and that could go against you. So, without thinking too much about the level of acceptance, just add one. Well some regions like EU has standard resume templates that they encourage to follow if you are applying for any position in the region. Similarly, in the case of Japan, I would recommend you to use rirekisho website to generate an autoformatted CV that allows you to add your picture [2].

  • It's general practice in East Asia well beyond Japan as well. I was told that in Taiwan that at least for industry jobs there can be several interviews and an English test, and they want to re-confirm the person's identity for each.
    – uhoh
    Commented Jun 12 at 14:50

Are you applying in English or Japanese? In my experience (both as a successful applicant and as a hiring committee member), if the job application is in English and you're applying in English for an academic job in an English-speaking environment, then it's expected that you'll submit a Western-style academic CV, as you would in an English-speaking country. In that case it won't hurt if you don't include a photo, although it will also not hurt if you do.

It might be a bit different if you're applying for a job in a more traditional Japanese-speaking environment, especially if you're applying in Japanese. In that case the links in @NaveedAhmed's answer should be helpful.

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