The number of international students who want to work in Japan after graduation has steadily increased over the last several years, and many companies also wish to hire students with international experience.
If you are planning to work in Japan, we suggest you to obtain information and learn about the issues specific to the unique Japanese job-hunting rules, practices, or timelines well in advance.
You should also bear in mind that most companies emphasize the Japanese language skills.
The business level Japanese skills are required in most cases.
1) Before you start job hunting in Japan
Important points to note for the early stages of the job-hunting process.
・Get to know the flow of Japanese job-hunting and create a plan.
Japanese job-hunting is a prolonged process that can become a big burden in terms of time, finance, and mental stress. Make a plan in order to keep a good balance between your study/research and job-hunting activities.
・Importance of “Self-analysis”
Please take this opportunity to think about yourself. Just because you achieve a good academic result/you belong to a good university/you are working hard at job-hunting does not mean you will be successful when hunting for jobs. Emphasis will be placed on the individual’s thoughts, capabilities and characteristics. Especially, for international students you will be making an important decision in your life: “Living and working in Japan after graduation”. Please consider carefully “where/how you want to develop your career in the future”. When it gets to the peak of the job hunting period, you will hardly have time to consider about yourself and think about basic things. Therefore, please “self-analyze” yourself when you have time, as this experience will definitely be of help when creating your self-introduction and in the interviews that go with job-hunting.
・Learn about the characteristics/features of Japanese companies
Japanese companies often have unique systems that is different from that in your country. One such characteristics is to only take in new employees all at once in April, and to officially assign a specific post after a certain period of training programs for new employees. Also, there are other features that many international students think are “unique for Japan”; lifetime employment, difference in career track between “comprehensive work position” (Sogo Shoku: 総合職) and “clerical work position” (Ippan Shoku:一般職), and job transfer/rotation that takes place frequently.
<Other things you should research in advance>
*Characteristics/features of Japanese companies
*What kind of companies are there in Japanese society? What kind of industries are Japanese society composed of?
*What type of jobs are there in the companies? What kind of job do you want to do?
There are many related books in the “job-hunting section” in a bookstore. Additionally, it is recommended that you take advantage of books for business analysis (e.g. Quarterly Corporate Report, Kaisya Shiki Ho 会社四季報), newspapers, and business magazines.
It is also effective to ask questions to seniors/alumni when you have a chance to talk to them.
The summer vacations are a good opportunity to participate in internship programs offered by companies. Also, you are advised to talk/have an exchange with people of wide range of ages and occupations by attending Japanese volunteer classes offered in your ward/city.
2) Collecting information
・Make good use of information provided off-campus
<Public organization that provides job-related information>
The Employment Services Center for Foreigners (Tokyo/Osaka) is a public organization that provides support for the employment of foreign nationals. It is recommended that you register yourself as a job seeker.
If you wish to work at a university/institute as a researcher, you can search for available positions using the JREC-IN Portal (Japan Research Career Information Network).
<Other useful websites for job-hunting>
There are many recruitment websites provided by private companies/organizations for foreign nationals, such as international students, etc. Some websites have company search available in English. Also, you can find recruitment agencies that can place you in a Japanese company located in your country. In most cases, however, you will be required to have a high proficiency in Japanese. If you are seeking a position in Japanese companies or a foreign company in Japan, it will be necessary to study Japanese on a daily basis.