Job In Japan For Foreigners – We get that question in our inbox. All. The. Time. There are more people who want to live and work in Japan than ever before, at least according to the highly statistically accurate measurement of email inboxes.

Unfortunately, looking for a job in Japan is extra difficult – you’re dealing with a new country where all the rules you’re used to are thrown straight out the window.

Job In Japan For Foreigners

Job In Japan For Foreigners

What you need is a road map to becoming employed in Japan. If only there was someone with insider knowledge who could lay out everything you need to know, step-by-step…

Jobs In Japan For Foreigners: What Are The Options?

Peter currently runs the job board, Jobs in Japan, but he has also worked for all the major Japanese job search sites such as Gaijinpot, CareerCross and Daijob.

That means he’s seen a lot of people like you submit their resumes to Japanese companies, and he knows exactly what works and what doesn’t.

To get the full wealth of Peter’s knowledge about job hunting in Japan, you must listen to the interview. But for a rundown of key talking points, keep reading.

Japan does not accept immigrants like America or other countries do. There are rules for the regular work visa. You will need a university, not college, a university degree, which is four years in the US, or three years in the UK.

Foreigner Friendly Jobs Across Japan

Right away, Peter hit us with a bombshell: you can’t just jump over to Japan and start working. Japanese immigration only grants work visas to people with four-year university degrees.

That said, there are other options to live and work in Japan that can get around this requirement (but not many).

Your resume photo For your cover letter or for your resume, be sure to put a photo on it … That’s what the Japanese are used to. It’s that it adds a personality and an image to your resume, making it harder to trash.

Job In Japan For Foreigners

Just like any country, you start with a resume, and Peter told us an interesting difference between Japanese resumes and those in Europe and the US: photos.

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It is common practice in Japan to include a photo of yourself on your resume so that a hiring manager can put a face to the list of skills.

Attaching a photo may seem strange to Westerners, but if you send a resume to a Japanese company without one, it will definitely end up in the trash.

Most companies, if they want to hire a foreigner; there [are] many foreigners already in Japan for them to choose from. And finding someone from abroad is almost like – how do you say – a mail order bride. You want to meet that chick before you take the plunge.

A failed overseas hire is costly for a Japanese company. The company has to pay to help you get to Japan, help you get started, spend time training and familiarizing yourself with Japanese life.

Work In Japan

So if the new hire goes home, the company is back to square one and they have to spend all that time and money again.

But if the candidate is already in Japan, already knows some Japanese and already works in the country, that makes them a safer bet.

So how do you get to Japan in the first place? Peter had only one answer: English lessons.

Job In Japan For Foreigners

Getting an English teaching job in Japan is relatively easy and stressful. So it’s the perfect way to establish yourself in the country and start networking.

How Did I Get A Job? Part 1 Of 5

Get an internship in Japan You will have questions and you will need a mentor. So, that’s why [you’re paying for the internship] because they’re basically giving you a coach who can help you be successful instead of saying, “you do it.” … That is a recipe for failure.

A Japanese internship is more like a mentorship, where you get a place to live and twenty-four hour support.

If you don’t want to go the English teaching route and you have a four-year degree, there are always internships.

Before you give up on this option, understand that a Japanese internship is more like a mentorship, where you get a place to live and twenty-four hour support.

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Basically, you work in a Japanese company for eight weeks and every step of the way you get coaching, advice and encouragement leading up to your full-time job.

It’s not for everyone, but it’s a great way to bypass English lessons or improve your resume when applying for a job in Japan.

You will need to network. You’re going to come out, and it’s a contact sport. Join some professional groups; try to network as much as possible because most jobs people find are not through job boards.

Job In Japan For Foreigners

If you have been working as an English teacher for a while and want to make the leap to a Japanese company, networking is the best option.

Foreign Talent Eager To Work For Japanese Firms, But Staid Office Culture A Hindrance

Heck, even getting your second, third and fourth job in Japan will require networking. So it’s better to hit the pavement early.

After-work drinking culture is quite important in Japan, so going out to bars with professional and industry groups will naturally allow you to meet people, get noticed and get the job you’re looking for. It’s a long game but it works.

Peter goes into more detail about this (and how important it is), but if you’re already in Japan, this is an easy and important next step.

Three questions every Japanese interviewer asks There are two parts to this: what do people want to do and what is there a market for because they are two completely different things. Maybe everyone wants to be a travel writer. Everyone wants to work with manga. Everyone wants to do all these cool things, but those jobs are few and far between.

Language Is Main Barrier To Foreigners Wanting To Work In Japan

Many Japanese companies hire their “first foreigner”, which means that if you are a flexible master, a company can hire you to be the “English” face of the company.

Finding a job in Japan can be more difficult than in your home country because the job you are looking for may not be in demand. Or you have

This is a tricky situation with no easy answers, but Peter gives us some solid advice for navigating it.

Job In Japan For Foreigners

First, the good news: many Japanese companies hire their “first foreigner”, which means that if you are a flexible jack-of-all-trades, a company can hire you to be the “English” face of the company. Maybe not the sales or marketing position you wanted, but it’s something.

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If you can answer these three questions, you will show the interviewer that you are a good fit for the company.

What level of Japanese do you need to work in Japan? Without JLPT Level 2, well, I wouldn’t even look at someone for a professional job unless it was in IT where I will be asking about their various IT related languages ​​more than their Japanese. But if you want to go into marketing or sales or something like that and you’re selling to Japanese people or working with Japanese people, you need… JLPT 2.

Of course, to work in Japan, you’ll need a high-functioning level of Japanese (another reason why starting out as an English teacher is a good idea).

But how do you prove that to an employer? Easy. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). This is the standardized test that all companies use to assess a foreign candidate’s ability.

How To Find A Job In Japan As A Foreigner

The minimum level you must pass is level 2. There are five levels, with level 1 being the highest. This should give you an idea of ​​the effort you need to put into your Japanese studies in order to work in Japan.

It’s too much drama, and so many Americans have this sense of entitlement because in the cover letter it just shows them that oh, this person is only out for themselves.

When it comes to general job hunting, this can be one of the most useful parts of the interview. If you want to listen to Peter’s general tips on job proposals, cover letters and interviews, skip straight to 24:25.

Job In Japan For Foreigners

On the job boards and all that, where [people] will go wrong first, they’ll start applying to all the companies. And they’ll just cover it… And that’s the wrong way to go because you’ll make a mistake, and you’ll put on the Berlitz application form: “I’m looking forward to … working on Gaba or something like that .”

Foreign Students’ Opinions On Job Hunting In Japan

TL;DR: Put some thought into the places you’re applying to and don’t spam the apply button. Not only will your resume and cover letter feel generic, you’re more likely to make simple mistakes that send your application straight into the trash. It’s a waste of time you don’t need.

And the other [problem] is often in the cover letters; we see so many very selfishly written things. So I want to get a job there so I can improve my Japanese ability. I want this so I can have this, and everything is centered on “me”. … Don’t make it selfish and focused on yourself. But check out the company. How can you provide more for the company because that’s what they’re interested in?

TL;DR: Focus on


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