Writing a Teaching Resume for Getting a Job Teaching in Japan

There are a couple of ways that writing a teaching resume for teaching in Japan are different than for other jobs and countries.

Personal Data
Although it’s considered a waste of space to include information like marital status, health, age and hobbies in most countries. It’s not in Japan. Be sure to include this. If you don't have a hobby, get one. "Japanese anime" probably isn't the best choice. For personal data, you can do it like this:

Full name: (as it appears on your passport.)
Passport origin and expiration:
Place and D.O.B: (include the county /state/ province you were born in.)
Marital status:
Visa status:
Contact information:

Not including this information can only hurt your chances of getting a job. Why? For example consider age. Age is a big factor in getting hired. Most large chain schools don’t hire teachers over 35. If you don’t include this info. your resume will get tossed because they’ll assume you’re over 35. More examples of teacher resumes.


Make sure to list in a detailed format any type of formal training, workshops, educational attainments, certifications that you have. And list your highest attainments or qualifications first.

If you do not have an education degree, stress things that are related. For example, creative writing, technical writing, Language proficiency especially Japanese - this is a big one. Just look around and you'll see quite a few ads that "recommend" some level of Japanese speaking ability.


List your past employment in a detailed manner. When you graduated to include the month over about 10 years. Any more than that kind of drags down the resume unless you spent 9 years in 1 location.

Also mention names of companies you worked for as names carry more weight in Japan to include details of location as well. Also be quite detailed in the responsibilities you had and your accomplishments.

The role of Pictures on a Teaching Resume

Again, in most countries you never include personal pictures, (models and performing artists are the exception to this.) However when you write a  teaching  resume for a job in Japan, it’s critical. Look at a few job ads. That says it all. 

Make sure to write your name on the back of the photo. Glue it in the top right corner. It should be a passport size photo and whether you smile or not is up to you. In most Japanese resumes we see they’re not smiling but the game isn’t exactly the same for foreigners. Especially those who teach children.

Teaching Resume ExampleTeaching Resume Example

Contrary to what you may have read, a pleasant look or small smile doesn’t hurt a bit. In reality Japanese don't smile when they have pictures taken for their resumes but make no mistake - your perspective employer doesn't expect for you to be like them.

If you've already chose your resume format, see our interview tips page to get ready for those interviews! If you have your resume format down but aren't sure about how to go about writing your resume, see our tips page on how to write a powerful resume that gets read.

CV or Resume?

Also many ask if they should write "CV" or "resume" on their resume and is there a difference? There are a couple. Firstly CV is used primarily in Europe and Asia whereas resume is used in Canada and the U.S. and its more often used for applying for grants, academic / scientific positions.

Secondly it is more detailed and will often be 2 pages. It may include things not normally on a resume such as: affiliations, publications and research experience.

Also  get rid of the type of abbreviations or jargon that may be typically used when submitting a resume to native speakers. For example, "Mgr." to mean manager. Or V.P. to mean Vice President.

 Related Pages...

Cover Letter For Teachers - Do's and Don'ts for Writing Effective Cover Letters. Common Mistakes & How to Avoid Them.
Resume Format - Help With Choosing the Right Resume Format For Your Situation. 
Interview Tips - Strategies & Help for Your ESL Interview.
How to Make a Resume - 10 Tips and a Step by Step Guide to Making the Strongest Resume Possible & Common Errors.
Sample Teaching Contract - What They Look Like.
English Schools - 6 Major Things That Most Schools Look for in a "Typical Teacher."

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