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Useful information for living in Japan.


Job-Hunting for New Graduates

Job-Hunting for New Graduates
Many countries have their own set of cultural norms. Shinsotsu Saiyō (New Graduate Recruitment) is one of the defining aspects of Japanese job-hunting culture. Have an understanding of what it means to seek employment as a new graduate before beginning a job hunt in Japan.


What is New Graduate Recruitment?

Shinsotsu Saiyō is the term used to describe the process by which companies in Japan employ students without any prior working experience. Companies in Japan start employment campaigns every year in April which target students who can begin work the following year. Students who are hired begin working the April after they graduate. This cycle repeats itself every year.

The Recruitment Process

Shūshoku katsudō (job hunting) for most students generally starts in June of the year preceding the hiring cycle they intend to take part in. Many companies open internship opportunities and information seminars during this time and students take advantage of these opportunities to learn about career opportunities in a number of fields. When a student decides on the field and company they would like to work in, they immediately begin preparations for company examinations and interviews. If a written test is required, this is the time to study for it. This is the most important time during the job-hunting period so make the most of it. It is your responsibility to do all the necessary research of the companies you are interested in so be sure to do so to the best of your ability.

Items Necessary for Job Hunting

  • A Suit

When attending a company seminar or going to an interview, be sure to clean up and wear a suit. This is the standard style for job hunting in Japan. However, there are some companies who allow candidates to dress freely. In particular, IT companies are starting to move away from the suit-wearing custom.

  • Entry Sheets and Rirekisho (Japanese-style curriculum vitae)

These documents will be submitted before interviewing for a company (or sometimes at the interview). The entry sheet and rirekisho are how to show your personal appeal to a company. They are usually handwritten so be sure to practice so that you can do some neatly.

  • Identification Photos

These photos are required and a generally affixed to entry sheets and rirekisho. The photo will be the hiring manager’s first impression of you. Make sure that your appearance is clean and your smile is neutral.

  • Extra Money for Transportation, Accommodations, Etc.

As part of the hiring process, you may have to travel for an interview. Travel by train or airplane as well as lodging are common expenses and students often use savings earned from part-time work to cover them.

Zairyū Shikaku (Status of Residence)

If you have successfully secured employment at a company and your status of residence is that of a student, you will need to change this status before you begin working. Your new employer should help you with the process. Once you have collected all the necessary documents, you may apply for a change of your status of residence at the nearest immigration bureau office.


Businesses of all sizes have systems in place for the hiring of new graduates. Though these systems and the number of positions available change every year, companies still recruit. Generally, students have a higher chance of being employed at a company of their choice if they are able to go with the flow of the new graduate recruitment process. Though differences in the job-hunting culture of Japan might be a bit intimidating, it is a wonderful chance to take a look at yourself and your past experiences and consider how they can be applied to the next step in your personal and professional life. Look at it as a challenge to enjoy overcoming.


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