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2019/08/02 Update

It’s hard to find a job in Japan? -The actual situation of foreigners job hunting

Foreigners work in Japan

Historically, Japan has been an island country and which makes it fostered its own culture. Japan has been isolated until recently. This year is 164 years since the country was opened. Japan has connected to various countries since then and this helps it build present Japan. These days, globalization is becoming a trend and there are more chances for foreigners to work in Japan. However, barriers also come up along with it. For example, for a Australian working in America or Britain, there won’t be many language barriers. However, when it comes to Japan, people all speak Japanese which is normal here it is not used in other countries. So for foreigners working here, how is the difference in employment between Japan and other countries?

・It’s difficult to write Japanese-style resumes
・The job hunting period is hard to understand
・Working visa can’t be acquired unless your job is related to your major in university
・How do foreign students find jobs in Japan?

It’s difficult to write Japanese-style resumes

Do you know that Japanese-style resumes are different from other countries?
Japan's CV must be filled in detail with date of birth, gender, face photo, reasons for application and various items. However, Japan may be the only country require so many details about personal information. In USA, Australia, New Zealand, etc., basic information such as name, address, and telephone number are also needed. However, items such as face photo and reasons for application are not required.
In addition, the fill-in way is different in Japan and the United States. In the United States, handwritten resumes are considered to be abnormal and computer-typing is preferred while in Japan we prefer handwritten resumes. Recently, there are an increasing number of companies accepting resumes by computer-typing in order to release the burden on applicants. But still many companies require handwritten resumes.

The job hunting period is hard to understand

Globally, new graduates and mid-careers can be recruited for the full year. However, in Japan, there is a job hunting period for new graduates. This period changes every year by the Federation of Economic Organizations which includes companies. In that case, a specific opening date will be announced about 1 to 2 months before the opening of job hunting period. For new graduates in 2018, entry to companies is possible from March 2017, and it is possible to receive an interview in June of the same year.
In the past, there was years when the opening date was January and the change in job hunting time could be a heavy burden not only on companies but also on students.
Foreign exchange students who want to work in Japan need to know the opening date before start job hunting. Periodic recruiting of new graduates is the same schedule as above but there is no schedule for foreigners at present. Therefore, the current situation is that you have to do job hunting according to the schedule for Japanese.
In addition, in the case of job changers, unlike periodic recruiting of new graduates, there is no specific recruitment time. Companies will post their positions on corporate websites or job change sites. You have to find them out and apply by yourself.
Recently, the number of companies recruiting for full year is increasing. There is also a way to get jobs introduced from career advisors but by grasping the trend of the desired company before the job search, it becomes easier to succeed in job search.

Working visa can’t be acquired unless your job is related to your major in university

When foreign exchange students getting a job in Japan, it is necessary to change from “Student Visa” or “Working Holiday Visa” to “Working Visa”. Of course, even if you are a member of society, you need a working visa.
Working visas are divided into different categories, such as highly skilled professions, law, technology, humanistic knowledge, international work, etc. Highly skilled professionals must fulfill the high-level human resource point evaluation. Generally, Most working visas are “Engineer/Humanities/International Services”--Technology (IT engineer), humanistic knowledge (marketing, management consulting), international business (interpreter / translator, designer, creator, language school instructor, trade, public relations, advertising, product development), etc.
As a foreign student in Japan, it’s important to know that there’s a relationship between the major at the university and the work content of the company your applied. If it is not relevant, it may not be possible to change your visa to working visa, which may mean that you can’t get a working visa.

How do foreign students find jobs in Japan?

So let’s check how we can find a job in Japan
In major cities, the number of job hunting fairs and company briefings for foreign students has been on the rise in recent years. The information gathering of such job events for foreigners can be through a job hunting service organization or a recruitment agency. Therefore, you can find some employment support organizations or recruitment agencies when you want to get a job in Japan.
In particular, language barriers and legal barriers, such as visas, are a major concern for foreigners who want to find a job in Japan. Also, there are many foreigners who are confused about Japan's unique recruitment selection flow and style that are completely different from their home countries. Therefore, the support and follow-up of recruit agencies is recognized as highly utilized. Foreigners who are finding a job in Japan for the first time mostly use recruit agencies or through referrals, and those who already have work experience in Japan may normally use career change sites.
Using job sites, attending job fairs/company briefings and getting support from employment support organization/recruit agencies can be main ways in Japan to get job information.

Job hunting in books can be very difficult event for Japanese people, such as screening procedures and writing documents. It’s more difficult as a foreigner working in Japan. But as long as you work in Japan, it will be hard for you at first but if you think of it as crossing barriers, it will become quite easy.
The difficulties of learning Japanese and the large amount of resume items can bother you at first but you will get used to them eventually after you experience them lots of times. As you clear difficulties one by one, the time when all things seem easy for you will arrive. Therefore, the point that for working in Japan is that you should be prepared to respond to occasional changes.