Tips for Successful Job Hunting in Japan

Are you looking for employment in Japan? Continue reading to learn tips and what to do during job hunting from the experiences of job seekers in Japan.

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Obtain an understanding early on about how job hunting is carried out in Japan and make necessary preparations.

  • Start job hunting activities in March of the year before you are scheduled to graduate. It is important to prepare early.

  • Take into account related financial costs for finding employment. For job hunting, you will need money for clothing, including a suit, bag, and shoes as well as transportation money.

  • Receive career counseling on a regular basis to make sure that you haven’t made any mistakes in your job hunting process.

  • There are many international students who quickly give up on job hunting. Not giving up is the key!

  • Collect as much job hunting information from former international students who were hired or are working as you can.

  • Network with Japanese students and collect information from them.

  • Obtain the proper skills for addressing people by interacting with Japanese of different social positions (your seniors, juniors, boss at your part-time job, teachers, and company employees).

  • Get in the habit of reading Japanese newspapers to obtain knowledge about current affairs and Japanese reading comprehension skills.

  • There are many documents that you will be submitting during job hunting activities. Practice writing in Japanese on a routine basis.

  • The Japanese that you use for daily conversations and the Japanese that you use when working in a Japanese company (or when job hunting) are different. Strive to some extent to gain proficiency in business Japanese.

  • There is a recent trend also among Japanese companies to place importance on English proficiency. Therefore, try to obtain proficiency in English in addition to Japanese.

Not all Japanese companies hire international students. Therefore, actively attend joint briefing sessions and interview meetings designed for international students.

Make use of as many resources as you can, like your university’s career center and outside job support organization (like the Employment Service Center for Foreigners).

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In the second half of your job search, there are likely to be many times when you will be happy and then disappointed regarding job offers. Here we will look at what you should do when you receive multiple job offers and what you should do if you still haven’t received any.

Near the end stage of the job hunting process there are times when applicants will receive two or more job offers from different companies. In this case, you must decide which offer or offer to turn down. There are some important things to notice when turning down offers in Japan:

​Regardless of how many times you have been selected to receive job offers, you will not convey your sincerity by simply turning down a job offer via an email. Please do your best to refuse job offers over the telephone.

When turning down a job offer, there are times when the company representative you are speaking with will ask you which company you chose to enter. You are not obligated to provide them with the name of the company that you will work for.​

​When turning down a job offer, companies may request that you come to their office in-person and explain to them about the situation. When doing so, there are times when you will be held up for many hours at the company and pressured to sign a letter of acceptance in order to persuade you to change your mind.

In such situations, quickly consult with your university’s career center or career services division. For example, even if you sign a letter of acceptance or written oath, they are not legally binding. If you feel that you are being forced to change your mind about the offer, deal with the situation in a calm manner.

Companies take time and effort to provide applicants with job offers. Therefore, there is a strong trend among companies for wanting students which they provided with job offers to enter their companies. Try to be sincere with companies so that they agree with your decision.

Since many companies start employee selection activities around the same time, the busiest time during job hunting is one to two months after beginning such activities. Afterwards, because there are many companies that will hold employment offer presentations (events in which official job offer notifications are provided) in October, companies aim to finish selection activities by the time of the presentation and continue hiring activities in order to fill all open positions.

However, some companies continue with hiring activities until March because they were unable to fill all positions which means that you still have a chance to be selected by a company from October. There are many cases where small-to-mid-sized companies in particular start selections after the selection peak period to avoid overlapping with employment periods of large companies.

Companies will finish selection activities once they fill in their open positions. Therefore, apply early to companies that you are interested in. To enter a company around April 1, the beginning of the fiscal year in Japan, it is necessary to complete all changes in residence status procedures by the end of January. So try to obtain a job offer before that time so that you can apply for change in residence status.

Reference Job Hunting Guide for International Students | JASSO

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