Tutorial: How to Write a Japanese Resume, Part 3

Unlike an English CV, the Japanese resume is split into two parts, “Rirekisho” and “Shokumu Keirekisho”.

We previously covered how to write a Japanese CV (履歴書 rirekisho, here & here).

In this article, I will try to give a breakdown of the detailed Japanese resume (職務経歴書, shokumu keirirekisho) and why it can help speed up the screening process and heighten your chances of getting an interview!

First of all, Shokumu Keirekisho is only needed if you have full-time work experience, so generally you don’t need to prepare it if you are a student or 新卒 (new grad). The main purpose is to see your past experiences and your work history in more detail. For foreigners, it is also a document that provides Japanese companies a way to show your Japanese writing skills.

Before you start writing, remember the following general rules:
・ Write down your work experience in chronological order (most recent to oldest).
・ Aim for two pages in A4 format, three at most. If you are at the start of your career only one page is fine. Some people with many years of working experience might need 5 pages or more, although it might be quite hard to read for recruiters. Try to be short and concise.
・ Adjust your resume to each job you are applying to, highlighting your relevant experience and skills according to the position. You want the recruiter to easily understand what you did until now and what your strengths are that makes you an ideal candidate specifically for this position.
・ As a general rule, you don’t have to do it by handwriting. Word file is fine, PDF file is probably the best option in order to avoid any layout format issue.
・ If you are also sending your rirekisho, you don’t need to add your educational background too.
・ Always double check before sending it! Don’t forget to check the layout, typos, spelling mistakes, etc. Grammar mistakes will give a bad impression on your Japanese. Keep your style consistent (stick to the polite ~ます form).

Although there is no specific standard format, shokumu keirekisho should look as below.

In detail:
① Date & Name (Alphabet + Katakana name). If you want you can add your contact information, such as phone number or address below your name.
② 職務要約 shokumu youyaku : a brief summary to compress your experience and career objective into a couple of sentences.
③ 職務経歴 shokumu keireki: here is where you are going to write down your detailed work history.
For each position make sure to state:
・ Name of the company
・ Period of employment (year/month)
・ 事業内容 (Type of industry)
・ 資本金, 売上高, 設立 (Capital stock, amount of sales, year of foundation. You can usually find this information on the company’s website. If not, erase that. You don’t want to write false information!)
・ 従業員数 (Number of employees)
④ 業務内容 gyoumu naiyou: a detailed job description for each position that you have had within the company, in chronological order by date. If possible, write down the position’s title and/or career level, department, number of team members, description of the main tasks and 実績 (achievements).
⑤ 活かせる経験、スキル etc.: relevant skills and/or experience acquired that may be useful for the job you are applying to. You can also mention your PC skills (Microsoft Office, Photoshop, etc.).
⑥ 資格・語学力: qualifications and licenses. You can also add your driving license and other qualifications in this section. For foreigners, JLPT and its level are very important. If you can speak other languages as well but don’t have any certificate, you can write down your language level. For example: 母国語 (native), 流暢 (fluent), ビジネスレベル (business level), 中級 (intermediate), 日常会話 (conversational), 挨拶レベル (basic).
⑦ 自己PR: use this section to appeal your strong points, skills, relevant experience and motivation for the job. Try to be specific and, if possible, describe a concrete episode how you showed these skills in the past. You don’t need to write a 自己PR if you already did it on your rirekisho.

All set to start your job-hunt? For more tips on job hunting in Japan, check out our previous blog posts here. For our latest job advertising, please check our job ad page here.
Wish you good luck!