Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Job Hunting in Japan, Part 3 - Job Sites

In part one, I mentioned the job finding sites. These are a mixed bag. No one site will have all of the available job openings, and some sites are easier to use than others. Some allow you to upload your resume in both English and Japanese, others just one language or the other. Most jobs listed will be aimed at Japanese nationals, and unless you are 100% fluent in Japanese you won't even be considered for the job. For those listings that are in English, the positions in IT and management will require either JLPT level 1 or 2 proficiency. Unless you have this certification, the website will reject your attempts to apply for those openings. So make sure you take college-level Japanese classes before considering coming here to find work!!!

As for the sites themselves....
Well, the English magazine J-Select ran an article in their July 2008 issue on finding work here, and they included a list of 10 recruiting companies and about 10 job sites. I haven't looked at all the recruiters yet, but I did check out the job sites. Of the group, only 3 sites are at all promising: Dai Job, Gaijin Pot and Career Cross. The rest aren't even worth looking at (the exception is Joblet, which may improve over time).

The good sites:

Dai Job: One of the biggest online sites for Japanese listings. Allows both Japanese and English resumes. Filters out job applications if you don't meet the JLPT language requirements
Pluses: Lots of listings.
Minuses: No e-mail notifications of jobs that match your search conditions. Only one or two search conditions per job category. Hard to navigate through new jobs (new jobs mixed in with older listings). Bi-weekly newsletter mainly shows 10 or so "hot jobs" that are just ads where the company paid more to have the listing bumped up.

Gaijin Pot: Also a has a large database, and allows English and Japanese resumes. This is really more like a craigslist in that there are lots of off-topic forums and tons of classified ads. Most of the job positions are for English teaching jobs. Filters out applications that don't meet the BJP language requirements.
Pluses: Lots of job listings. Daily e-mail notifications for new jobs that meet your search conditions A good search engine. Easy to navigate.
Minuses: This is more like a newspaper classified ads section, and only a fraction of the site is dedicated to the job search. (It's fine if you're looking for an immigration lawyer, a car or an apartment, though.)

Career Cross: A slightly smaller database. English and Japanese resumes. Dedicated to job searching. Language level requirement scaled as "conversational, business and native".
Pluses: E-mail notifications of new listings. "Shopping cart" lets you store job ads for later reference.
Minuses: Only 3 search conditions at a time. Fewer jobs than the above two sites.

The less useful sites:

Career Builder: English resume only. Primarily a site for finding jobs in western companies.
Pluses: None.
Minuses: No jobs listed for Japan. Website wants money for bumping your resume application up in rank to the employer company.

Hot Jobs: This is just Yahoo Jobs. All English text, no job listings for Japan.

Jinzai Bank: All Japanese test, no instructions in English. Primarily aimed at Japanese natives only.

International Monster: This URL just links to Monster's country selector page. Almost no listings for Japan, and the few listings there are over 1 month old.

Work in Japan: This is just the English page from Dai Job. Same as going to and selecting the "English" button.

Joblet: A clean, focused website dedicated to foreigners trying to find work in Japan. English resume.
Pluses: Simple, and easy to use. E-mail notifications of new listings.
Minuses: Very small database. Weak search engine. E-mail notification is for all new listings with no filtering based on the type of work you want.

The useless sites:

Asia Net? No idea - it's a dead link.

Job Dragon: Talk about dead slow - website locks up for minutes at a time, and never did come back from processing my resume when I uploaded it. A waste of effort.

Jobs in Japan: An amateurish attempt to make an online version of a newspaper listing. Almost no jobs listed, and most are for actresses in porno films. A complete waste.

Job Jungle: This is just a wrapper on top of a shopper site. A complete waste.

I definitely recommend registering with Dai Job, Gaijin Pot and Career Cross, and maybe Joblet. Keep on top of the listings and try to apply to anything that you think you can qualify for. And be patient. Very, very patient.


acsiren said...

So you don't want to be an actress in a porno? And here I thought you were open to new experiences ;P

Seriously. Were any of these how you found your current job? Have you gotten any hits from the resumes you've already submitted on any of them? If so, do they contact you via email or phone?

TSOTE said...

I'm not dismissing the thought completely out of hand, but I dislike the hours that they're asking for...

The current job was listed on Career Cross. I applied to about 15 different online ads. Two of the ads were posted by recruiters that said that I didn't meet the language proficiency requirements for Japanese, but that they'd keep me on file in case something else popped up (which is a polite way of saying "don't call us, we'll call you"). I haven't received replies from the other companies. If there are any contacts, they'd be through e-mail.