Changing jobs in Japan is something that almost every expat has to deal with. If it's your first time, it can be extremely daunting. The first step to any successful job hunt, however, is a perfectly manicured resume.
Use our guide below to help you write your first Japanese resume and CV and give you a leg up over your competition.
Writing your first Japanese resume is a huge accomplishment for any expat switching jobs here. We have created a downloadable template that anyone can access, as well as created a sample resume to give you an idea of what yours could/should look like. We’ll give you a quick rundown of some of the finer details here.
For the downloadable blank copy of this form, please click the button below. Once the form is opened, click File, Download, and select the format you’d like to download it as.
Now, to walk you through the steps to writing the perfect resume.
To see the sample filled out resume in its entirety, click the button below:
Write the date at the top.
When you type your name, it is entirely up to you whether you write it in English or Japanese. It may be more beneficial to type it in Japanese if you are applying to a more traditional Japanese company or if you have a name that is not easily pronounced. Above that, please type the katakana for your name (even if you have chosen to type your name in katakana below).
Though it may differ from your home country, Japanese companies require your gender and date of birth on your resume. Japanese companies (and society at large) has not yet caught up with the intricacies of gender, so only 女 or 男 will be considered acceptable on your resume.
In the box that says 現住所 please write your address. Above that in the ふりがな box, please write the kanji from your address out in hiragana.
Japanese resumes require you to start your education section with high school. While this may seem strange to most foreigners, it is quite normal here. It is more acceptable to write out your schools’ names in Japanese than to leave them in English. It’s important to keep the reader of your resume in mind, and to remember that they may not be able to read the names of your schools.
Starting with your earliest post-secondary job, please list the jobs you have had, and their starting/ending months and years. Overseas work may be added to the list. Examples have been added for regular permanent employment as well as contract work.
免許・資格：Licenses & Certifications
This is where you can list any special licenses or certifications you have. The given examples should help you with the format.
免許･資格に関する特記事項：Extra information regarding your certifications
This is where you can add anything you’d like regarding your certifications that you’d like the person reviewing your resume to know.
志望の動機・特技・趣味・アピールポイントなど：Your self summary
This is your opportunity to advertise yourself to your potential new employers. Tell them about yourself, your history, your hobbies, and why you are the one they should choose for the job. Example text has been written in the text field, but a longer composition is recommended.
Write the amount of time it would take you to commute to this potential place of employment.
List all of your skills with a computer, up to and including any coding or programming capabilities.
出社可能時期･その他特記事項：Soonest possible start date
Answers for this one can include specific dates, things like 1ヶ月後, or even すぐにでも.
After giving your resume a thorough check and making sure everything is filled out completely and accurately, print it out and paste a passport sized photo of yourself in the upper right-hand corner. In the event you are sending your resume via email, you can add a passport sized photo to the file and save. If you find this difficult to do within Microsoft Word or Pages, opening the file with Google Docs may make the process easier.
職務経歴書（しょくむけいれきしょ）Shokumukeirekisho - Work History/CV
This is another document which will be required when you apply for a job in Japan. This is a basic listing and description of the jobs on your resume.
Using the image above or the template below the example resume as a guide, write out your name, computer skills, and work history with descriptions of your roles and responsibilities in Japanese. This should be printed/emailed along with your resume when applying for jobs.
Click the button below to see an example of this document. It is the last page.
We hope this proves to be helpful in overcoming the first hurdle of job-hunting in Japan. Best of luck out there!