I spent all day writing new versions of my resume – both on- and offline. There is a specific job I’d like to apply for, and the company expects a CV – in Japanese.
Only a small reason to panic…
There is in fact a standard form for Japanese CV’s; it covers everything an employer needs to know for the first impression – on two pages only. It can be bought in stationary stores and some companies expect you to use their own, but online forms are also available, for example here. The start of the first page looks like this:
So, what do we have… Besides the usual name, date of birth and age, current address, questions about married status and dependents, as well as a photo on the right, there is also the question about commute time from the current residence to the company – these costs are usually reimbursed. What is absent is place of birth and nationality – Japanese law forbids discrimination based on this (together with discrimination based on gender, religion, or social status). The largest spot is reserved for education and work experience – you are expected to enter all you ever did, starting from elementary school in chronological order. There is also a field for licences and certificates (a driver’s licence get’s the number one spot!), and a rather small one for the triple “Why I want this job / What I can do (skills) / What I like to do (hobbies)”. There is even a field for “requests to the company” which includes salary, but I am not sure how far you can go here. Apparently it’s okay to ask to be placed in a specific branch office in the country.
A detailed “how to fill in a Japanese CV form” can be found on this page, by the way.
Generally these forms are A3 size, with the two pages next to each other. I said above that these forms are available in stationary stores – that is because it is customary to fill it in by hand. I have heard that companies in Japan have handwriting analysts to find out the character and whatnot of the employee-to-be. Well, as my handwritten Japanese resembles that of a five year old, I’ll better don’t try any experiments here – typed it is.
In any case, I’m exhausted now, but now I can start my job hunt in earnest… Wish me luck!