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Chapter3.Schedule of Job Hunting

Schedule of Job Hunting

During the job hunting period, companies announce recruitment quotas and carry out hiring exams for those still in school. Because many companies follow the same recruiting schedule, it is difficult to find a job once the annual recruiting period has passed.

As of 2021, job hunting in Japan starts on the 1st of March every year. Students who belong to the grade prior to the final year of their university or graduate school program (i.e. 3rd year of bachelor course, 1st year of master course and 2nd year of PhD respectively) start their job hunting activities at this time. The job hunting activities end four months later in the middle of June. The job hunting system in Japan is characterized by this early start and a long recruiting period that can last as long as 4 months.

(Schedule) example: expected to graduate in March 2022 or September 2021

Please conduct job hunting as you check when you will join the company to start working.























Entry period

Some companies could recruit students even after October so that you are able to continue your job hunting in that case.

Job fairs/Company introduction

Submission of Entry sheet

Aptitude test/Written test


Preliminary offer of employment

※The time of joining company could be April, 2022 for the students who are expected to graduate in September, 2021.

【Procedures of job hunting and exams】

◆Entry period (March to May)

Here, the word "entry" means query of company materials and information. Upon entry, the company will send recruiting information, its company profile and the schedule of meetings by e-mail, postal mail and by other means. You can apply for positions through recruitment information sites which offer such company profiles, job fairs and so on.

◆Job fairs/company introduction

Soon after the job hunting season has started, you will find many job fairs and company introduction opportunities. By attending such fairs and information sessions, you can directly learn information from them that is undisclosed on their homepages. You can also get more detailed information about the company by asking those who are in charge of the company's recruitment. There are two kinds of company introduction meetings in Japan. One is organized solely by a company, while the other is a consolidated fair carried out by multiple companies. Try to understand the difference so that you can make good use of both.

◆Submission of entry-sheet, March through May

Submission of an entry-sheet or an official application for an exam is the first step you must take in registering for a company's recruitment exam. Submission itself also means an official paper-based exam at the same time.

◆Aptitude test and written test, March through May

An aptitude test and other paper tests will be given to check the students' level of knowledge and academic achievements. They also provide information to the company regarding whether applicants have the proper abilities required for their work, including critical thinking and proper judgment, as well as the ability to handle and complete tasks accurately. For companies with numerous applicants, these tests are used as efficient tools for selection.

◆Interviews, June or later

It is common for a company to have three rounds of interviews. Companies conduct multiple interviews because they want staff members of various positions to check the applicant's personality and way of thinking in order to ascertain if he or she is really suitable for the company.

◆Preliminary offer of employment, "Naitei"

After the final selection, you can get a "Nai-naitei," the first preliminary offer of employment which informs you of the company's intention to employ you. This tentative notice of acceptance often comes to you by phone. After the call, a notice-of-acceptance document will be sent to you. (In the event that you have already received an offer from a different company or you do not intend to work for the company, politely inform the company as soon as possible .) In October, you will receive the official "Naitei," the official offer of employment or official notice of acceptance.

【Preparation for the job hunting】

◆Analyze yourself

Self-analysis involves considering all of your characteristics and organizing them. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, expertise, abilities, interests, future dreams, sense of value and view on life The purpose of self-analysis is to help you find a job that is suitable or interesting to you. This kind of preparation is necessary to cast a better image of yourself on your entry-sheet and during job interviews, as well.

◆Research on industries and companies

"Gyokai" refers to categorization of industries by their activities. The first step to finding out whether a company is suitable for you is to do research on industries and companies. This research can help you discover a suitable company and industry and to clearly identify your goals in preparation for filling out your entry sheet and answering questions during job interviews. This will also help you think about your own long-term vision for your career and a possible image of the person you want to become as you balance your future job and life.

◆ Advice from alumni

To get information beyond the descriptions on a company's homepage, students can visit their school's alumni or their friends' acquaintances who work for companies or industries they are interested in working for. By asking questions you would normally be reluctant to ask in a company's official information session, you can obtain a deeper understanding about companies you would like to work for.

◆Preparing to write an entry-sheet and practicing for an interview

Making an entry-sheet is part of the overall recruitment procedure and also serves as practice for upcoming interviews. For further details, see chapter 4.

Next "Chapter4.Employment examination"

(Supervised by Manabu Kubota,

Visiting Researcher of JASSO)