Working in Japan after studying
Finding a job in Japan can really be discouraging. Unless you find a company where you will be speaking 100% of the time in English or in your native language, when it comes to looking for a job in a Japanese company, you will face a lot of different barriers.
One of our student who graduated in March 2021 nicely shared her personnal experience regarding the job hunting in Japan.
Graduate in : March 2021
1 – When did you join Nihongo Center?
>> I joined Nihongo Center in April 2019
2 – What was your Japanese level back then?
>> I think I was around the N3 of the JLPT
3 – What did you find the most interesting at Nihongo Center?
>> To be able to practice conversation a lot. I especially like “Main” class. Not only can you learn new vocabularies, but also learn about Japanese culture and social customs, have the possibility to share your point of view and know about your classmates’ point of views as well.
4 – What are your plans after graduating?
>> I will work in Japan. I already graduated from university so I wanted to find a job. Also, to improve my japanese skills, I wanted to try to find a job where I would us Japanese.
5 – When did you start looking for a job? (CV preparation, companies research, etc…)
>> I started to look for a job in January 2021 but I already prepared my CV and my working experience resume back in December 2020. I also tried to apply for a job once on the internet before that, but was a little lost about how to correctly write a CV in Japanese, or even with the whole job hunting process here in Japan.
6 – How did you look for a job?
>> I used different sites like “GaijinPot Jobs”, other sites specialized in jobs for foreigners (Daijob). I even tried some sites usually meant for Japanese only like Doda, Recruit, Mynavy, WorkPot. I also went to Hello Work, a major company in Japan when you are looking for a job. Finally, I took my chance on Linkedin as well.
7 – Were the above supports useful? How?
Except for Workpot, the other sites used by Japanese weren’t really useful. Workpot is an employment service totally free and they have an office in Kyoto. There you can ask for different kind of help (checking your CV, taking contact on your behalf if you are interested in any job offers)
Daijob: At Daijob, after uploading your CV and personal information, you can take contact directly with different companies. When you apply for an offer, the employment service alors contact you and even sends you other information related to the kind of job you applied for before.
LinkedIn: You can meet with people working in companies specialized in your own country directly in Japan
Hello Work: You can meet an adviser and ask them about anything you want to know. More importantly, there are new offers everyday. You first need to register yourself at the Hello Work office to receive a personal number. You are then free to use this number whenever you want, even from your place, to look for new job offers. If you find an offer you like, you can go to Hello Work to ask more details. In my case, they even called the company I chose to ask if they were also looking for foreigners.
8 – Where is your working place? What kind of job will you do?
>> My company is based in Osaka near the Honmachi station and my work will mainly consists in overseas business and trade export related to Italian products.
9 – Why did you choose this job?
>> I can use different languages and also learn a lot of new things. Also by using business Japanese daily, I hope I will get better in Japanese too.
10 – Until your job was decided, how was the whole process between you and the company?
>> I had of course the document examination, then I was called for a first interview. After the first wave of interview, I was called again for a second interview. Finally, we had a written exam (aptitude test / mark sheet)
11 – What was the most difficult thing during your job hunting period?
>> I think it was about the proper way to write the CV and the working experience resume in Japanese. Also, readying all companies information and writting my motivation that could match the companies expectations was really challenging.
12 – Were the classes at Nihongo Center useful for your job hunting?
>> During the main and reading classes, we studied the characteristics of Japanese companies and the way Japanese people are thinking. We also learned the proper manners and attitude to observe during an interview.
Being able to read fast. Even if time is not a problem during the last exam, finishing it fast gives a very good impression to the examiners.
Finally, we were trained to expressing our own ideas on various topics during classes. During the interview, there are lot of questions completely unrelated to the job and being able to disccuss is a good indicator of your true communication level.
13 – Do you have any advice for the students at Nihongo Center who are looking for a job?
>> Don’t be picky!!
Before, I though that a lot of different offers weren’t really for me so I didn’t apply much and it was a mistake. Take your chance even if it’s mentioned “experience required” or “some language skill mandatory”. The company that hired me was looking first looking for someone with experience and who could speak Chinese. I have absolutely no experience and can’t speak Chinese either.
Not a lot of companies will contact you so you have to apply to a lot of them. Taking the interview for the first time is stressful, but if you keep practicing, you will discover your own weaknesses and gradually gain confidence in yourself.
By applying numerous times, you will get better at presenting yourself and expressing your motivations. Instead of just listing your skills, you should think about how you can help company and why they would need you.
Of course, before applying to any place, be sure to prepare your CV and work experience resume the best you can. If you don’t know how to prepare it, you can still ask the teachers, friends, look on the internet or ask for a sample at employment services centers.