Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Author: Nadira Annisa
Published date: 27th November 2019
How do you make your Japanese resume stand out when there's a standard format for everybody? Read tips on how to impress with your resume and be one step closer to your dream job in Japan.
Writing a resume is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time and energy, and the format is also quite different in Japanese, so to help you through the process, you can check out our article “Tips to Write a Japanese Resume” to serve as a guide.
So now that you know how to write a Japanese resume, here are 5 things you should include to improve and create a stronger resume that could make a bigger impact to the companies reading them.
We interviewed two senpais to tell us about their experience with the rirekisho (Japanese resume) and tips for students on what they should write. The two of them have graduated and are now working in Japan: Ilham Haidar, an Indonesian currently working in Fukuoka, and Sidney Adhika Halim, who will start working soon in Osaka.
When first asked about writing the rirekisho, both Ilham and Sidney mentions the same point: be consistent in the content that we write for each question in the rirekisho. Ilham mentioned, “We need to be able to explain what the goals are and what we want consistently."
Sidney also added, “When writing a CV, try to create 1 theme that connects all the answers you have written. So that they are related to each other — not just as separate answers — but as one story you are trying to tell. Remember to be precise and effective when writing, because usually the boxes are small and could only fit 300 Japanese characters for the shibodouki (reasons for applying) and maximum of 450 words for the gakusei jidai (student activities) section."
Prove that you're someone who is flexible and can improve
According to Ilham, Japanese companies usually prefer people who are willing to change. “They want to recruit someone who they can 'raise' to be a 'better' worker, meaning that they are someone who is willing to receive guidance and experience new things.” He also added, “We need to show them that the addition of us as an employee will create a positive change not a disruptive change to the company.”
Know the Company
“Make sure to properly research the company when you are writing your rirekisho. And also what motivates you to enter this company. For example, the vision and mission of the company aligns with your own which led you to be able to relate to this company. Don’t forget to give a concrete answer which can relate back to your own life experiences,” said Sidney.
He also added, “It's also good if we know the advantages or plus points that the company has over its competitors. That’s why its important to research not only about the company but the industry itself to know how to improve their product.”
For Sidney, knowing about the company is one of the most important points of writing the shibodouki part of the CV. Everyone has their own different strengths and weaknesses, which is hard to measure. But your motivation to join a certain company could be assessed from the way you write your shibodouki, that’s why it's so important.
Apply what you learned as a student
Another section that is asked in Japanese CVs is the "Gakusei Jidai" section, or translated literally as your "Student Days". Both Ilham and Sidney mentioned, “When writing about the activities we did as a student in university, you also try to appeal yourself. The easiest format to appeal to the company is to write what organizations you joined and what you did there. After that you can write about a problem that you faced, and how you were able to overcome the problem."
Lastly you can then state what you were able to learn from the experience you went through. “As an international student, we also have a plus point of having mastered more than 2 languages, so don't forget to write that down also. It's important to take TOEIC and JLPT since it shows a more official certification of our skills,” said Sidney.
Be your own unique self
Last but not the least, just be yourself in your rirekisho.
What does that mean? “Don't forget to be different as your unique self, or else, it would be hard for companies to be interested in you. Just be yourself, and don't try to lie. Because when you don't get accepted by the company, it's not because you are incompetent, but because you don fit a certain company."
Word of Advice
Both Sidney and Ilham were able to give us very detailed tips on how to create a CV that can stand out among others. Everyone has their own strong points, and very thorough research is needed to write a more concrete CV. Lastly, what's most important is to know yourself first, and this makes writing so much easier. Ganbatte and good luck job hunting!