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Have you applied for jobs and never heard any feedback? Or got some and it was probably disappointing? Finding a job in Japan is not as difficult as it seems. If you ever experience that your applications were rejected multiple times then please, don’t just continue sending the same resume without reviewing it. Whether your Japanese level is high or not, it may be the resume itself that landed you that rejection. In this article, I will give you some tips on things you must know before writing a Japanese resume.

This article will hone in on Japanese words in several sections of the resume while translating and guiding you on what to write in these spaces you will also be able to get a good grasp on those characters (kanji) that you always set your eyes on but never knew the exact meanings.


The First Section (Profile)

Japanese Resume writing

In filling out your Japanese resume, the first things you will notice on the upper part of the form are 履 歴 書 rirekisho (resume) on the left and 日現在 on the right (current date) please write the date that you are submitting your application. Remember, the Japanese format is year 年 month 月and day日. This is for Japanese resume templates you download online.

In case you buy a Japanese resume from a convenience store, the date format may include the Japanese era date like 平成 heisei so 2018 is 平成30, 2019 is 平成31 and so on. This will be followed by month and day in this format, here is an example of how “May 20th, 2018” will look in the form: 平成30年05月20日現在

Japanese Resume Profile

In the next box is 氏名 shimei (name) where you should write your name in whatever alphabets that suit you. Don’t worry because just above this box is ふりがな furigana (phonetic) where you should transliterate your name in katakana. You will meet more spaces with ふりがな (phonetics) so always write the phonetic in this place.

The next thing is the date of birth and age, don’t forget to write your date of birth in the same date format as you wrote in the beginning in current date (if you use the Japanese era name of date, for people born between 1926-1989 you may circle 昭和 shouwa then number of year. If you were born from 1989-present, you may circle 平成 heisei). If you were born in 1994 it will be 平成6. Write your current age in between the characters like this(満22歳).

On the right-hand side, there is a space for you to put your ID photo. Please make sure you look smart in this photo and avoid using a picture you took as a selfie for your Japanese Resume. Then confirm your gender by circling male (男) or female (女).

Next is your current address 現住所 enter your present address by starting with the city code for example 〒350-1101. Please make sure the address is detailed. There is also 電話 denwa (telephone) where it is very important to write your phone number.

The next box is 連絡先〒, this is optional (if you wish to be contacted in a place other than that you mentioned in your current address then you may fill it here.


Academic and Job History

Japanese Resume Typing

The next section is 学歴・職歴(各別にまとめて書く) gakureki shokureki (kaku-bestu ni matomete kaku) meaning educational background and job history (write each one separately). So please start by writing your educational background.

On a fresh line write 学歴 in the middle and begin to list the schools that you have attended. You are required to write the entrance date and name of the school on one line then 入学 (entrance), and on the next line will be your graduation date with the name of the school again followed by 卒業 (graduation).

Don’t forget the “year before month” format. You may write from elementary school, junior high school high school until the last school that you have attended. The important thing is that you need to write out clearly the formal name of the institutions.

Japanese Resume Academic and Job History

After you are done with writing your schools, please skip a line before starting the next section. This makes you more responsible and your work clearer. Write 職歴 work history in the next line. Remember to write the start date of work and the date of retirement (just like in the educational background each should be on a different line) 

Some of these things may not seem severe for some people in other countries but for a typical Japanese resume you need to understand that everything matters.

The next box which contains this characters 免許・資格 menkyo shikaku (license qualification) is where you write out all the certificates and awards that you have earned. Don’t forget to write the year and month too.


Section on Self-Promotion Statement

Japanese Resume Computer

Next is one of the most important information that will access you. The box with  志望の動機、特技、好きな学科、アピールポイントなど 志望 shibou motivation の no (of) 動機 douki (aspiration), 特技toukugi,(special skill) sukinagaka (favorite subject) apiru pointo nado (appeal point, promotion about yourself).

This is where you need to write something important and unique about yourself. Something that can make the company interested in having you work for them. Some people have special gifts but they don’t write it. Please do not waste your opportunity by skipping this part. Write why you want to work there.

You may research the company and write that your motivation is to help improve the company in the ways in which you are competent. Make sure that your skills and competence are related to the field you are referring to. Please write wisely and make it real. 

Japanese Resume Self-Promotion Statement

While it may be usual for you to just erase a mistake or draw a line through an incorrect word, it is definitely recommended to just use a brand new piece of paper. First impressions are everything here.  Whenever possible, and within reason, try to submit originals instead of copies.

I hope you were able to take something away from this, writing a resume in a new cultures format can seem like a daunting task and this guide should eliminate any undue stress. If you wind up landing that job thanks to this article, do let us know!

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