Writing a Japanese Resume
So you want to go to Japan, or you are in Japan and you want to apply for a job. That’s awesome. Congrats on your goal. However, when you look at that nasty blank template, the dreaded Japanese resume, that you downloaded from the internet you have absolutely no idea where to start.
You can do it, just start at the top.
氏名 (しめい) This is where you put your name. Remember family name first, then your personal name. IE Smith, John. However, if you do not have kanji in your name then please do not put kanji in this spot. It makes you look like a poser.
男/女 Circle your gender here. 男 = Male and 女 = Female
年 月 日 This will be for the date if listed at the top, (often accompanied by the word 日現在 (にちげんざい)) and under your name this will be for your birthday. Make sure you list things in the correct order. Year, Month, Day. Also, the year should be the Japanese year. If you do not know what year on the Japanese calendar check out this website and figure it out.
満 (まん) This is where you put how old you are.
証明写真 (しょうめい しゃしん) In Japan you will need to take a picture and attach it to your resume. DO NOT SMILE in this picture. Think of multiplication or something else that would make you glaze over and take the picture. This can be done in little picture booths all over whatever city you are in. These machines print the photos in a specific size that will need to be cut and clipped to the resume.
連絡先 (れんらくさき) Contact information. Please put in your email. Sometimes they will have a place for email and a phone number just make sure you have something that they can easily reach you at.
現住所 (げんじゅうしょ) This is your current address.
携帯電話 (けいたい でんわ) Your cell phone number.
学歴 (がくれき) This is your educational history. You do not need to include middle school or things that you completed in high school (unless you are in high school). This would include: your university major, minor and other activities that you may have been part of; also if you received any grants and etc. You may also include a GPA and class ranking if you desire.
職歴 (しょくれき) Similar to your education history, this is your work history. This does not need to be crazy long. Just include, where (company, not location), how long you worked there, and what your position was. You may also write this information as entry and exit dates.
Both of the above will be listed in the same area on the resume. You can either separate them yourself, or you can list them in the chronological order combined. The most recent at the top and going back in time.
免許 (めんきょ) Licenses. If you have Japanese food handlers permit, English teaching Visa or certificate etc. This is where you are going to list it here. Make sure you list anything that may be needed at the job. Things that don’t pertain may not help your chances of getting the job.
資格 (しかく) This is where you can list your JLPT level, TOEFL test scores, TOPIK results if you speak Korea or other certifications.
志望動機 (しぼう どうき) This part can be tricky. I would make sure you have a native speaker look this over because you have to be very succinct. This section is where you tell them why you want this job. I would answer 3 questions:
1. Why you want to work at this business/company
2. Why you want this job position
3. How you can benefit this company
自己PR (じこ) This will often be something that you bring in along with your resume. This is a small 5 paragraph essay, similar to a cover letter, that outline your capacity as a person to do something. This may be how you overcame an educational challenge or something along those lines.
趣味 (しゅみ) Hobbies. You may not want to put that you love cosplaying Sailor Moon, or that you are an unrivaled hotdog eating champion. What you may want to write are things that make you sound impressive. (I’m not kidding they often have this on their resumes)
特技 (とくぎ) Special Skills. Again don’t put that you are double jointed in your shoulders like I am. You may include that you can also speak Russian, or also know how to do HTML even though you are applying for a management position.
There are often other questions or categories. Health or workable hour but that is more the exception rather than the norm.