Difficulties International Students Have with Job Hunting in Japan

Why do international students have a hard time job hunting (shukatsu) in Japan? Learn about the problems experienced job hunters had trying to find a job in Japan, like language barriers and Japanese interviews, and tips on how to prepare for job searching to make things easier.

The graph shows the results of a questionnaire provided to experienced job hunters about what they found difficult when job hunting. Among the results the three main difficulties appear to be as follows:

  • Job seekers do not understand the job hunting process in Japan sufficiently.

  • Job seekers' levels of is not high enough for use in business settings

  • Not enough information is available on jobs available for jobs for international students

Compared with other countries, preparations for job hunting activities in Japan take time because of Japan’s unique hiring method. In addition, a high level of Japanese proficiency is necessary for use in business settings. Japanese that is used in daily conversation is insufficient. It appears that students have difficulty particularly in job hunting activities because written test questions as well as documents which need to be submitted are all in Japanese.

Also, few companies advertise that they actively want to hire international students and talent, making it difficult to for non-Japanese job seekers to search and find appropriate opportunities.

The graph shows the results of a questionnaire provided to experienced job hunters on what they felt they were lacking while job hunting in Japan. Among the results the two main things that they felt are as follows:

  • Insufficient understanding of industries and companies

  • Insufficient Japanese skills

Companies in Japan have unique business customs. It appears that international students have a hard time figuring out what kind of skills companies demand and finding the companies capable of utilizing them as employees. In addition, it seems that many experienced job hunters felt that their Japanese skills were not high enough for the companies they were applying to.


Job Hunting Guide for International Students | JASSO

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