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getting a job in Japan August 25, 2011

Posted by lumierre9 in useful information.

after 8 months since i made a move to find a job in Japan, after getting through lots of interviews with lots of rejections, after getting cynical response from my supervisor, finally i got one. it’s not the one i want the most, but still have to be thankful for it. i need to trust Him that this is the best job He has prepared for me.

i admit that finding a job, or what they call as shuukatsu (就活/就職活動),  for freshgraduate is so complicated. students start their shuukatsu activities from 1.5 years before their graduation. this is what makes it different from other countries where students start looking for a job after graduation, or at most one or two months before graduation.
the process generally follows this order:

  1. setsumeikai (説明会) or explanatory meeting by each companies where we can get informations about the company, the selection process, etc. it can also be replaced by job seminars or job fairs.
  2. entry sheet. this is the first part of the selection where we should fill some application forms called entry sheet that has a lot of questions, beside personal informations, such as motivations for choosing the company (志望動機), self-appeal (自己PR), experience during school time (part-time job, extracurricular activities, etc), and also some special questions that is different for each companies. some companies also have pre-entry that precedes this process.
  3. aptitude test (適性検査). the most common one is based on SPI test, which contains language related test (japanese!!), mathematics, and personality. some companies have their own kind of tests, and some provide the test in english which is good for international students like me (unfortunately only a few companies have it). some have the test online (and some work only on Windows >__<), some have it done in a special test center, and some in their own companies.
  4. interviews. there are a lot of interviews during the process. normally at least 3, but it could be more. and the form of the interview also varies. there are group interview, group discussion, group work, and individual interview.
  5. naitei/job offer (内定). this is the part where we can finally take a breath after those long tiring process, getting an informal offer for passing the whole selection process. after it is accepted, we only need to wait for the formal acceptance that is usually conducted on October.

during the shuukatsu time, students will get very busy with all these things, since generally each students applies for a lot of companies at once. it is a tough process for the japanese students themselves, and for international students, it is more difficult. learning from my experience, some advices i can give, the things you need to prepare for finding a job in japan:

  1. brush-up your japanese skill. it doesn’t have to be that good. at least if you can speak in daily conversation, generally it is enough to get a job. but since everything will be done in japanese, get prepared and get used to it. you will learn a lot during the process, getting used to write and read in japanese for the entrysheet, listening and speaking in setsumeikai and interviews, like what i experienced, but i would be a lot better if you are prepared beforehand, especially if you’ve been in japan only for less than 3 years and always use english in daily life (like me).
  2. collect a lot of informations. the process usually starts from 3 semesters before graduating. if you graduates on april 2013, start from october this year! most of big companies, especially foreign companies (gaishikei/外資系), start their recruitment early. usually there are a lot of job seminars on this period. you can also join some job information websites like rikunavi or mynavi to get more informations. i started quite late and i didn’t have enough information so i felt that it was very tough for me.
  3. know what you want to do, SPECIFICALLY. maybe this is the most important thing. you can pass all the entrysheet, but during the interview, this thing will be one main factor that can fail you. maybe this is the most difficult thing for me because i couldn’t really say what i really want to do in specific. for me, as long as i can have a job in a field that i like, that’s enough. any kind of task is okay for me. but for the companies, it is not enough. so, decide something that you want to do, find more informations, and say it explicitly.



1. b0chun - August 25, 2011

Congratz dech HaHaHa…


2. tokyojoe - February 26, 2012

seems like a lot of English teaching jobs in Japan now post disaster. I see quite a few new ones popping up on http://www.alttokyo.com but bear in mind you need a proper visa really. I setup job alerts incase I can get an IT job.
just thought Id mention it

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