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Japan – Finding Employment

Japan is known for its strong economy and high-tech industries, making it an attractive destination for professionals seeking employment opportunities. This article will provide an overview of the job market in Japan, workplace culture, major recruitment agencies and job sites, CV structure, job application process, and qualifications transfer process.

Job Market in Japan

Japan’s job market is highly competitive, and unemployment rates are low. The country is home to many large corporations and multinational companies, including Toyota, Sony, Honda, and Mitsubishi. The country’s major industries include manufacturing, automotive, electronics, and technology.

The Japanese government is working towards attracting foreign workers to fill gaps in the workforce, particularly in sectors such as nursing, engineering, and construction. However, it is important to note that knowledge of the Japanese language is often a requirement for many jobs.

Workplace Culture in Japan

The workplace culture in Japan is unique and may differ significantly from what one may be accustomed to in other countries. Japanese work culture is characterized by its strong emphasis on group harmony, loyalty, and hard work. Employees are expected to be punctual, respectful, and show commitment to their jobs.

It is common for Japanese companies to require that their employees speak Japanese fluently, as many business meetings and company communication are conducted in Japanese. However, in some cases, knowledge of English or another foreign language may also be required.

Major Recruitment Agencies and Job Sites in Japan

There are several recruitment agencies and job sites available for job seekers in Japan, including:


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  • GaijinPot: A popular job site that caters to foreign job seekers in Japan, offering a range of job opportunities in various industries.
  • Daijob: A job site for professionals seeking job opportunities in Japan, featuring job postings in various fields, including IT, finance, and marketing.
  • JAC Recruitment: A recruitment agency that specializes in helping foreign job seekers find employment in Japan, offering services such as CV writing and interview coaching.
  • Robert Walters: A global recruitment agency that offers job opportunities in various sectors, including finance, technology, and sales.

Typical CV Structure in Japan

A Japanese-style CV, also known as a rirekisho, is a structured form that requires specific information about the job seeker. The rirekisho is typically used for entry-level positions or when applying to a company for the first time.

The rirekisho includes the following information:

  • Personal details: Name, address, date of birth, phone number, and email address
  • Education: List of schools attended and degrees earned, including high school and university
  • Work history: Chronological listing of previous work experience, including company name, job title, and duration of employment
  • Skills: List of specific skills, including language proficiency and computer skills
  • References: Contact information for two to three references

Job Application Process in Japan

The job application process in Japan may be different from what one may be accustomed to in other countries. Typically, the process involves the following steps:

  1. Submission of the rirekisho: Job seekers must complete the rirekisho and submit it along with a cover letter to the company.
  2. Written exam: Some companies may require job seekers to take a written exam to assess their knowledge and skills.
  3. Interview: If the company is interested in the candidate, they will invite them for an interview. Interviews may be conducted in Japanese, and job seekers may be required to speak the language fluently.
  4. Job offer: If the interview is successful, the company will extend a job offer.

Transferring Qualifications in Japan

To transfer qualifications from your home country to Japan, you will need to have your credentials evaluated by a credential evaluation service. The Japan International Education Support Association (JIESA) provides credential evaluation services for foreign nationals seeking employment or further education in Japan.

In addition to credential evaluation, foreign workers in Japan may also need to obtain a work visa. There are several types of work visas available, depending on the type of work and the duration of the stay in Japan. The application process for a work visa can be complex and time-consuming, so it is important to plan ahead and consult with a professional if needed.

Finding employment in Japan can be a challenging but rewarding process for foreign workers. It is important to have a strong understanding of the job market, workplace culture, and job application process, as well as the necessary qualifications and language skills. With the right preparation and approach, it is possible to find fulfilling and successful employment in Japan.


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