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Finding a job in Japan is challenging, but searching on the correct job listing site is the first step in a career abroad. This article covers foreigner-friendly sites, whether you are looking for English teaching or entry-level jobs, engineering, management-level listings, or something else.
Searching for employment in Japan can be challenging and seem complicated as a foreigner. Utilizing online searches and job listing websites is a quick and straightforward first step towards your career, though.
This article covers job listing websites and online services in Japan recommended for those with international backgrounds, and tips on how to use them to find employment and begin a successful career.
GaijinPot is an online platform for foreigners in Japan that includes a reliable job listing section with entry-level and experienced, mid-career level opportunities.
Many postings are for English teaching, but there are also many other positions, ranging from engineering, programming, sales, and marketing, making it an ideal starting point for anyone looking into starting a career in Japan. Employers usually post listings directly on the website, so you don't have to go through a recruiter if you find something of interest.
Please note that a basic or conversational level of Japanese is a requirement for most English teaching jobs, and an advanced level of Japanese (JLPT N1 or N2) is required for non-teaching jobs listed on GaijinPot.
- The website and most job postings are entirely in English.
- Many English-teaching opportunities are available.
- Jobs in a range of fields and industries are also available.
- Check listings regularly, as GaijinPot contains much fewer listings than job search engines, like Indeed.
Jobs in Japan is another popular job posting website, with opportunities in English teaching, and for a variety of positions and fields. Like GaijinPot, the postings here are catered towards foreigners and those coming to work from outside of Japan. Many opportunities are entry-level, with more high-level positions available to those with advanced knowledge and skills in Japanese.
Direct listings from employers and recruiting services post their opportunities here, so you may have to go through a recruiter first to get more information on the company and position you want to apply for.
- The website is in English, and job postings are either in English or Japanese.
- Contains teaching opportunities, entry-level jobs, and mid-career options in a variety of industries.
- Easy-to-sign-up and apply through the website.
- Check back regularly, as Jobs in Japan has much fewer listings than job search engines, like Indeed.
Link Japan Careers is a job listing website combined with a recruiting service tailored for foreigners looking to start a career in Japan. Recruiters are commonly used in Japan by many job seekers, and can be particularly helpful for foreigners in navigating Japan's complex job-searching and interviewing process.
The opportunities on the website include teaching English in ALT (assistant language teacher) positions, along with entry-level and mid-career options in other fields.
- The listings and career counseling services are offered in English.
- Discover entry-level to senior-level opportunities.
- Choose between teaching jobs, translation, sales, engineering, and other fields.
- Apply through a recruiter who will help find the best match for your skills and goals.
Daijob is a large and well-known job posting website catering to foreigners, English-speakers, and bilingual professionals in Japan. The website features thousands of direct postings by employers and recruiters in a variety of professions and industries, with many unrelated to English teaching.
Some listings on Daijob are in English, but many are in Japanese, and a high level of Japanese (usually JLPT N1) is a requirement of many of the opportunities here. You can search by language proficiency requirement, however.
- A large number of job listings outside of teaching are available.
- Can find entry-level to senior-level positions.
- Browse through thousands of postings by industry, career level, and Japanese requirements.
- Most non-teaching opportunities require a high level of Japanese (JLPT N1).
Career Cross is a job listing website similar to Daijob, with a large variety of listings throughout Japan, in all different fields and professions. For example, job seekers can browse through translation listings, teaching jobs, opportunities in IT, and careers where you can utilize your English or native language skills.
Many opportunities outside of teaching and certain technical fields require a high comprehension of Japanese skill, though, and some job listings themselves are in Japanese.
- Wide variety of job listings easy to search through.
- Can find entry-level to senior-level positions.
- Most non-teaching opportunities require an advanced level of Japanese (JLPT N1 or N2).
- Sign-up is simple and straightforward.
Photo by Pixta
For those with a high level of Japanese looking for career counseling, For A-career is an ideal choice. This free service specializes in finding employment for people in their twenties and offers high-quality, one-on-one career counseling and recruiting services, boasting a 97% employment rate for users. For A-career has opportunities in all positions, fields, and industries. It is also a great resource for those with some prior work experience looking to change careers.
The website is completely in Japanese, so it is recommended only for those who can read and understand the language at a near-native level. However, it is a valuable tool for those who can and are seriously looking to pursue a career in Japan.
- The website is in Japanese and useful for those with advanced Japanese skills.
- One-on-one, personalized career counseling available for free.
- Very high success rate of employment.
MyNavi Global is a branch of one of the major job search and recruiting companies in Japan, MyNavi. This website and recruiting service focuses on opportunities for people with international experience and with bilingual skills (in Japanese and English, or in another language). Please be aware that a portion of the website's content is available in Japanese only, and that most of the job postings will be, too.
- Search through job opportunities on Japan's largest recruiting and listing company.
- Great for people who speak Japanese at an advanced level (JLPT N1).
- Helpful information about the job searching process in Japan and career counseling tools (in Japanese).
For anyone looking for a career at a tech company, Mixess is a valuable resource to check. Containing listings in all types of positions at tech companies and startups, anyone with programming or other technical skills will find a variety of opportunities here. The website itself is in English, but some listings are in Japanese.
- Discover hard-to-find companies and startups in tech throughout Japan.
- Search for positions in business, programming, design, engineering, other occupations.
- Opportunities here require varying levels of Japanese, with most between JLPT N1 and N3.
Wantedly is a great way to discover career opportunities at startups and tech companies across Japan.
The website has an English version, but the majority of company and startup information, as well as job listings, will be in Japanese only, making this a recommended method for those with a high grasp of Japanese. Full-time positions are available in a variety of occupations, from translation to writing, to software and mobile app development.
- Ideal for those looking to find employment at a venture company or startup.
- English website is available, but advanced Japanese is required to navigate the job listings.
- High level of Japanese (N1 or N2) required for most opportunities.
- Begin the application process by alerting the company directly with a button press.
Indeed is a familiar search engine for many job seekers and is available in Japan.
The website is in Japanese, but you can search in English, and, depending on the position, English-language job listings will show up. Put your keywords into the first search box and type in the location (English is allowed) into the second box. Indeed has thousands of listings in Japan and is a valuable tool to use to find leads and new opportunities.
- The website is in Japanese, so it requires some language knowledge, but you can input English search terms.
- Thousands of listings in Japan.
- Straight-forward to use, and can directly apply through Indeed to certain jobs.
You can utilize your LinkedIn in your job search, as Japanese companies, and especially foreign-owned companies in Japan, use this platform for posting opportunities.
To use the job search function, click on the "Jobs" tab of LinkedIn and set your location settings to Japan, and start searching. You can add filters and keywords, making it easy to find potential careers for you easily.
- Use your preexisting LinkedIn account to look for jobs in Japan in English.
- Listings vary, so it is important to check back often or sign-up for job listing emails.
- Find familiar, foreign-owned companies in Japan.
- Direct entries by employers and recruiters
Starting a job search in Japan can feel overwhelming to many, as the process is unfamiliar to most people with non-Japanese backgrounds. Below are some things to know when you start searching online.
- Sign up for multiple services to maximize your chances of finding a job: using more than one website means you will learn about more opportunities.
- Try using free recruiting services to get career counseling and discover new opportunities. Your recruiter will help you navigate Japan's complete job application process and how to do interviews. The free services offered by For-A career and Link Japan Careers are recommended.
- Create and update your Western-style resume and have a Japanese rirekisho (Japanese resume), cover letter, or other necessary documents ready for when you find an opportunity of interest.
- Determine if the posting is from a recruiting company or directly from the employer to reduce confusion. The job listing websites above will often have both types.
- Check daily to keep track of listings, and sign up for email notifications from Indeed or other job posting websites.
- Stay hopeful and positive, even if you aren't getting responses. Japanese four-year university graduates in 2019 applied to an average of 20.7 positions before finding successful employment.*
- Confirm that your potential employer can provide work visa support.
*Statistic from MyNavi Student Job Search Survey (Japanese)
Searching for and obtain employment in Japan is made easier through many websites and online resources available in English. Visit each site mentioned above and find the ones that work the best with your goals, skills, and personal requirements to get started on realizing your dream career in Japan.