When job hunting in Japan, Japanese-style resumes generally have a dedicated “reason for applying” section to write down the motivation behind your application. While you may be unsure of what to write, many Japanese companies consider this motivation equal to your skills and experiences, making it an extremely important aspect to consider. The “reason for applying” section allows you to really sell yourself and stand out amongst the crowd, helping in your mission to land a job. This article will present essential tips and techniques to help you compose the perfect reason for applying on your next Japanese resume!
Japanese Companies Pay Close Attention to Your Motivation When Screening Documents!
The reason why Japanese companies pay close attention to the “reason for applying” section is to make sure that the applicant is the type of person they need. Through this, the hiring staff seek answers to questions like “what do you want to accomplish in this company?,” and “what can you do for this company?,” along with “why do you want to work for us?” This section is your chance to preemptively answer all these questions and more.
To answer why you want to work for a specific company, it’s vital to gain a comprehensive overview of it, otherwise your answers won’t be convincing. You have to know more than just the basic job requirements and the company’s field. Instead, spend time researching their philosophy to find out what they value the most. Through this, you can create a reason as to why you want to work for this specific company and not just any old business.
With this in mind, it’s ill-advised to create a generalized motivation that can be applied to any company. Even if you ARE applying to numerous positions, you should always tailor your reasons to a specific company and job. When done right, this part of your resume can really help you shine by letting your employer know that they will be able to rely on you for years to come.
If you’re not sure what your next career move should be or are feeling uneasy about looking for work in Japan, consider using a recruitment agency.
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When Do You Have to Create a Reason for Applying?
When looking for a job, you will generally have to formulate a reason for applying in the following cases:
1. When Making Your Resume
If you’re applying for a job you found in a job posting, you will have to submit a collection of required paperwork, which will generally include a resume with a reason for applying.
2. When Being Referred by a Recruitment Agency
If a recruitment agency thinks you’re a good fit for a specific company, they will directly deliver all the necessary documents to your potential employer. Usually, you will have to come up with a reason for applying on your own, however, a lot of recruitment agencies offer a wide range of services, including support staff offering a third party opinion and advice every step of the way. They will even correct your Japanese if needed.
3. During an Interview
During a job interview, you will likely be asked your reason for applying, so make sure you have an answer memorized. You should also try to make it brief – say what’s already written on your resume, but make it shorter. Also, try practicing your answer a little before the actual interview.
Tips for Writing a Reason for Applying
When writing a reason for applying, keep the following three things in mind:
1. Sell Yourself as Someone Who Will Be an Asset to the Company
Companies want to make sure that applicants have the right skillset and disposition needed for the job they’re offering. That’s why, when composing a reason for applying, make sure to include information like the types of jobs you’ve previously worked and the skills you’ve acquired, and how these relate to the job you’re applying for.
2. Present Yourself as Someone Who Fits Into the Company Culture
Companies want to know that you will get along with the other employees and share their corporate vision. That’s why, when composing a reason for applying, it’s important to browse through the company website or the job posting to find information on the company philosophy and mission statement. Every company values something different, so make sure your reason for applying is in line with the culture. This will make you more attractive to your potential employer.
3. Emphasize Your Ability and Desire to Work With the Company Long Term
By expressing your passion and desire to work for a specific company in your reason for applying, it will convince potential employers that you won’t suddenly quit on them, or that even if you make a mistake, you’ll pick yourself up and try again. Also, make sure to mention what kind of work you want to do once you’re hired, emphasizing how your career goals align with the company’s.
Things to Avoid in a Reason for Applying
There are some things best left out of a reason for applying. Even if they’re true, they may tarnish your image, so whatever you do, try to avoid the following:
1. Focusing on Holidays, Salary, and Benefits
Even if your reason for applying is the number of days off and high salary, don’t say it outright. It might make the interviewer think that you will leave them for another company if they offer you a better deal.
2. Badmouthing Your Previous Employers
If you mention problems with your previous employers too much, it will make the interviewer think that you’re the type of person who only focuses on the negatives.
3. Appearing Too Passive
When changing jobs, employers often look for those who can jump right into the action, so make sure to talk about your experiences and how they will allow you to instantly become an asset to the company. Don’t make them think that they’ll have to train you from the ground up.
4. Talk About Becoming a Bridge to Japan or Wanting to Utilize Your Native Language
While a lot of foreign applicants talk about wanting to become a bridge between Japan and their home countries or utilizing the languages they speak, we recommend avoiding this. Instead, talk specifically about what you can actually do for the company in terms they can understand. Rather than sweeping statements about cultural bridges, talk about becoming a bridge between industries in the business world. And instead of mentioning using foreign languages, explain the ways in which your language ability can become an asset to the company.
Reason for Applying: Examples by Industry
Here we will introduce three “reason for applying” examples for several prominent industries. Remember, when applying for a company, make sure to address them in Japanese using the honorifics 御社 (onsha) or 貴社 (kisha) when referring to the company. If you’re applying for a shop, address it as 貴店 (kiten).
〇Machine Manufacturing (No Experience)
“I have six years experience working in PC business sales in my home country, where my job was to communicate with customers, understand their needs, and offer a suitable product. I have always had a keen interest in electronics and now wish to learn about the development of the latest technologies directly from a Japanese manufacturer. I’m applying for a position at your company as you are at the forefront of the kind of cutting-edge technology I am deeply interested in. While I started out with no experience at my previous job, I diligently applied myself and learned all I could about the products I was working with. If given the opportunity at your company, I will likewise dedicate myself to acquiring a comprehensive understanding of your company’s machining operations, with an eye towards one day contributing to the development of new technologies.”
“I have extensive experience working as kitchen staff in a Korean restaurant back in my home country. My responsibilities included the procurement of ingredients, creating menu items, cooking, arranging, and serving food in concert with the rest of my team. While I mainly possess experience with ___ and ___ cuisine, I hope to broaden my skills by working in a creative Japanese cuisine restaurant like your own. Your establishment is renowned for getting the most flavor out of ingredients and presenting them in a delightful and eye-catching arrangement. I would like to further contribute the skills I’ve learned as a cook, including my knowledge of ingredients and preparation techniques, to help your restaurant develop an even wider variety of creative cuisine.”
“I’ve worked as a system engineer for five years in a ___ company back in my home country. I was responsible for the___PHP-based website, with my duties including communicating with clients while designing, maintaining, and operating systems. I now wish to work for a Japanese company to contribute my skills and experience while developing new ones. As your company is involved in a wide range of website development and your customer management system is PHP-based, an area I am well-versed in, I feel that this position would be a perfect fit for me. Besides PHP, I’ve also taught myself Linux and MySQL. Going forward, I also want to learn about ___, with an eye towards working in the ___ department at your company.”
Make Your Japanese Job Hunt a Success!
To sum up, your “reason for applying” must clearly explain why you want to work for a particular company. It shouldn’t be too general or be applicable to other companies and positions. A perfect reason for applying must be totally unique while promoting your skills and desire to work for your chosen business.
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.