How to prepare for Job Hunting in Japan!

Japan can be said as a somewhat notorious country for having an aging population combined with a diminishing number of children. While this background of Japan may sound somewhat negative and depressing, it means that Japan and Japanese companies are seeking foreign talents like you who can spark a new light into society!



1) Why do Japanese companies want to hire people from overseas? 

~Shortage of Foreign Talents?~

Japan’s Current Situation

Japan can be said as a somewhat notorious country for having an aging population combined with the diminishing number of children. Moreover, due to the coronavirus, it has become more evident that Japan is lacking IT professionals compared to other advanced nations. Therefore, Japan is in need of workers which can stimulate its economy. While this background of Japan may sound somewhat negative and depressing, it means that Japan and Japanese companies are seeking foreign talents like you who can spark a new light into the society!

Merits for the Student and the Company 

Corporate side:

  • can fill the shortage of IT personnel highlighted by the new coronavirus
  • global talents can come in to help with overseas business expansion

    Student side:

    • can make use of your diverse background and experience!
    • can work with discretion from your first year because you can put yourself in an environment where you are sought after
    • In an environment that seeks diversity, there are many people with various backgrounds ( an environment that is easy for people from overseas to get used to)

    2) Japan’s Job Hunting Schedule  

    ~Let’s Fill the Gap of Japanese and Foreign Ways of Job Hunting~

    • Job hunting abroad: To put it simply, there are variety of ways one can get a job. Some people do an internship as a student and then go straight to work. Others travel around a bit after graduating from university and then look for employment.

    • Job hunting in Japan: It is common for students to start job hunting in the latter half of the third year of university. Therefore, many of the students finish their job-hunting in the first half of the fourth year of university. That is why in Japan, you should look for a job while you are still attending university and start working right after graduating university!

    ~Precise Job-hunting Schedule for Foreign Students in Japan~

    In the beginning of summer for third years, students should start their self-analysis and start to look for companies which draw their interest. Once students find several companies which they wish to work at, then try to make a list and compare which companies you wish to work at the most. Also in this season where you have some time, try to reflect on the past, and find your strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, it would be better if you can reflect on some of your past achievements since the majority of companies in Japan often asks for these episodes in interviews. Some companies might also be recruiting for internships for foreign students so check if that company is recruiting for summer or fall internships!

    In fall, many of the companies start recruiting foreign talents! Therefore, it is crucial that by then students know which company they want to apply for and can get ready to write numerous applications. 

    →If you don't start moving early, good companies will end recruiting foreign talents by Winter. Because we want you to find companies you wish to go and be at the stage where you can apply, we strongly advise you to start as early as summer in order to find a company that you can best shine in!


    3) How to survive job hunting in Japan

    What should I do now that I have a sense of the schedule?

    First, learn more about yourself! 

    This is a fantastic chance for you to learn about what interests you, where you would like to work, and what kind of skills you would like to gain through your job. 

    One of the most common ways to do this is through looking at your past and examining what kind of events had great impact on your values. 

    For example, drawing a motivation graph can show you visually what kind of occurrences had either positive or negative impacts on your life. 

    Next, look into the future and imagine where you wish to work in 10 years and what kind of jobs you would like to be doing. 

    Also, since the companies will be looking for reasons for why global talents are wishing to work in a Japanese company, try to review your connection with Japan; what made you interested in Japan, why you wish to work in Japan, and what are your future goals in Japan.

    After getting to know yourself better, please move onto analyzing industries and companies which pull your interests. What are their similarities? Are there any patterns of companies which interest you?

    In order to gain deep insight into the company, try to look at the firm first from the management perspective where you can learn about the company’s background and its business model. 

    Next, look more closely into the company by looking at the job descriptions and hearing real voices of the employees who work there. 

    Once you find several companies that fit your interests, try to put those interests into words to prepare for applications and interviews.

    Gathering information on companies is crucial to writing your applications and moving onto the interviews so make sure to take time in this process!


    4) Resume and Interview Tips

    Writing your resume is crucial as it is what the recruiters see first and decide if you are eligible to move onto the interview stage. Therefore, although the resume should be simple, it is important to include these points into your resume: Internship experiences / working experience,  GPA score at the university Awards’ Records(e.g. any competitions, speech contest, academic conference, Hackathons). Also, please put all the language/skill-sets you are able to use. Moreover, if your major is computer science, it would be beneficial for you to write down the application development experiences. 

    If the resume which the company asks for you to fill out asks precisely about yourself, try to describe them in detail. For example, when describing your study, try to explain the reason why you chose a major/research topic and what kind of study/ research you are doing or did at the university. 

    Getting ready for interviews: 

    After you have passed the paper application and the competency test, it is time for an interview!

    It is common to have at least two interviews before getting a job.

    After covid, it has been more common to see companies conducting the first interview online and then the second or the third interview face to face. 

    In all interviews, it is important to prepare your self-introduction, your connection with Japan,why you have applied for this particular company, and your future ambitions. 


    • list up all the questions which might get asked and try to think of your own answer beforehand 

    • ask family and friends to do a mock interview with you so that you know what kind of questions you might stumble upon answering


    5) Conclusion

    For those graduating this yearBy the end of summer, it would be better to have some idea of what kind of career you want to pursue and have already looked and gained information about companies which draw your attention. This can get you ready for applications and interviews which will officially start from mid-September. 

    For those graduating next year: It would be very much helpful for your future-self if you start self-analyzing and see what kind of jobs you would like to do in the future. Also, since you have some time until officially starting job-hunting, it would be an excellent time for you to study Japanese and try out JLPT since it would be advantageous for you if you have sufficient Japanese knowledge when applying for Japanese companies.

    Japanese job-hunting might be full of confusion due to the different schedules and application steps compared to your home country. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare beforehand in order to get into the company which you wish to go. If you ever get lost, please consider looking at Connect Times and also attend some of our seminars which explain closely about Japanese job-hunting. 

    ▶Find a job in Japan with Connect Job

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    Connect Job is a job-hunting support service dedicated to international students. Career consultants who are specialized in supporting international students will not only give information about job positions but fully support your job hunting from preparation to getting a job offer.

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