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Useful Tools for Job-Hunting in Japan: Start here!

If you’re an international student looking to work in Japan, this is a must-read! We’ll be taking a look at useful services and tools to use in your job hunt in Japan, across three phases: 1. gathering broad information, 2. gathering detailed information, and 3. support for interview and application practice.

1. Start by gathering broad information: Informational Sites
In Japan, people start seriously preparing for their job hunt a year before they graduate! Unlike in Western countries, where people usually begin searching for work after they graduate, in Japan, it’s typical for companies to begin their recruitment selection after June 1st on the year you’ll graduate, and job offers are handed out after October 1st on the same year. After that, many students will finish up their research or finish up anything else they’ve left unfinished. (For a more detailed schedule, see here.)

Because of this, undergraduate students will begin registering on job hunting information sites around the winter of their third year, and graduate students will do so around the winter of their first year! Frequently used in Japan, the main such informational services have nearly 700,000 registered students nationwide.

There are also services specializing in employment support for international students, so please take a look below.
Hyogo Prefecture website

In Japan, new graduate and mid-career hiring is often separated onto completely different platforms, so you may want to use a mid-career hiring page if it’s been more than three years since you graduated.

2. Gather more detailed information: Company Information Sessions
What kind of companies are out there, and what kind of business are they doing? What kind of people are working there, and what kinds of lifestyles are they living? There’s a lot of information out there on the internet, but the surest source is to ask directly!

Largely speaking, there are two types of company information sessions: 1-2 hour session that are held by individual companies, and large-scale events at which multiple companies gather together in a single space to share information about their companies and answer questions in 30 minute sessions or so.

Because there’s more time in an individual company’s information session, you’ll be able to hear a more detailed explanation of their business, and ask questions of the people who work there, so you have the advantage of getting a more detailed sense of the company workings. In contrast, at a group information session, participants can hear from many companies at once, and may even be able to meet with companies they hadn’t been interested in before.

In either case, even if the event says there is no dress code, there will be many students that attend in suits, so it’s best to at least avoid very gaudy or showy clothing.

Dates for these events should appear on advertisements on job hunting sites, or in career centers, etc. In Kobe City in particular, there is a lot of detailed information available on the websites of government agencies, so be sure to take a look!

The Consortium of Universities in Hyogo
This page collects information to help university students, from group information session for international students, to information on internships and events at various universities.

3. Drilling and Practice
Once you’ve found a company where you’d like to work, you’ll need to prepare your resume, cover letter (your reason for wanting to work there), and to prepare for your interview. If you’re not sure how or what to write, or what tips or manners are needed for an interview, ask an expert! Pop in to ask at your school’s career center.

Hyogo Labor Bureau
Hello Work Kobe offers multilingual job consultations and can provide job listings.

Other informational sites about job hunting
Here you’ll find information on labor laws in Japan, job hunting, and internships.

Career Support Network for International Sutdents in Japan
This site has information on how to go about your job hunt, materials for studying business Japanese and information on how to prepare for other tests. *The condition for use is that the school you attend is a member of the network.

Also, be sure to take a look at the real experiences of other former international students who actually found work in Kobe City in our Graduate Interviews! We hope you’ll be able to continue down whatever path you choose.