Everyone has their own way of writing their resume. In my country, we usually follow whatever format is taught to us by our schools and universities. I’m sure it differs per country as well, but working in a recruitment company, and going to a ton of resumes a day, I realized that all resumes are the same but is all made differently. They are the same in the sense that we are writing them for one purpose– and that is to get hired by a company. But at the same time, it is also different, perhaps because of a country’s culture and our own personal preferences.
I’ve seen resumes that are all text only, and I’ve seen resumes with tables and graphs. I’ve seen resumes that are more of a profile page, and have seen resumes that are made with timelines. I’ve seen really plain and straightforward ones, and I’ve seen super creative ones.
Truth be told, there not might be a right way to write a resume. But as long as it gets the message across, that should good enough right? Let the experience speak for itself!
Nope. Not in the country that has a right way of doing things for EVERYTHING.
Japan takes their resume (履歴書) writing seriously. Every Japanese who is working or has attempted to look for work in Japan knows this for a fact. It is the only country in the world wherein you can buy printouts of a resume template in your neighborhood convenient store.
So I want to talk about how to properly write a resume. I will cover the first page of a resume for now and update the rest in the following weeks.
Now resumes that new graduates use is slightly different than that of mid-career ones. Since we are a recruiting company that focuses on mid-career recruitment, I’m going to focus on the latter.
Before I proceed to the tutorial, I would want to stress the importance of writing resumes properly. Before a company will agree to meet with you they will look at your resume first and foremost. A resume can say a lot about a person’s personality and it is the first step to getting the attention of a company.
In Japan, there is a ready made template so it’s really hard to get your personality to show in a piece of document. But as foreigners looking for work in Japan, it is the best way to get ahead of those who may be qualified but are submitting their format free non-researched resumes.
SO. On to the tutorial!
⑫ Photo. If you want to take it to the next level, there are actual services that can help you take the perfect resume photo. Though that’s not really necessary, and this applies to any country, resume photos aren’t Facebook profile pictures. Keep it professional.
Basic information. Easy peasy, right? Here’s where it gets a bit troublesome.
Before I start, the main difference between Japanese resumes and resumes we foreigners are used to write is that when we write resumes, we try to put as much information we can about the company and what we did there. In Japan, that’s done in a completely different form. A resume is used to see the overall history of what a candidate has been doing, meaning, a timeline of sorts.
㉖ Similar with ⑲, when you’re done, just put 以上on the end of the page.
And that’s basically it for the first page of your resume.
A lot of foreigners freak out when they see a Japanese resume template but it’s actually not that hard to make!
For more tips, check out one of our earlier blogs here.
Hope this helps you in your job hunting!! Good luck!