Baito in Japan: How to find a part-time job as a foreign student

Feb 23, 2018

The Japanese word baito (バイト) is an abbreviation of arubaito (アルバイト) which was borrowed from the German word arbeit – work. The word is similarly used in Korean 아르바이트 areubaiteu to denote part-time job. However, the German word for part-time job is Nebenjob. The abbreviated version of the word baito has turned out to be very commonly used by foreigners in Japan to refer to part-time job even when speaking in their various languages and in different occasions; for example English “I need to find another baito …”, French “ Tu as déjà trouvé un baito ?”, German “ Wie kann Ich einen baito finden ?” It sounds interesting that the word is back again to the German language but this time it is already modified by Japanese. The reason for this constant use of the word baito is as a result of the necessity for foreigners especially foreign students to find a way of earning money in order to sustain their living in Japan.

Many foreign students who have come to Japan always have the intention to work part time in order to pay their bills and other things, (even Japanese students also work part-time as much as foreign students). There are always some basic needs that why if students depend only on their pocket money they might not be able to sustain their stay, therefore, for most of these students, working part-time is a necessity for living in the country of the rising sun. The first thing after settling down in an apartment and with school stuff is to look for a part-time Job. Here, I would like to give you some tips on how to find better part-time jobs based on my experiences.

First, you need to get a work permit

Students with student visa have to get the work permit from the immigration office stamped in their passports. Without this permit, it will be illegal to work in Japan. In order to apply for this you need to go to the immigration office and ask for the form, then make the application for being involved in an activity other than that permitted in your residence status. As soon as you get the reply and permission to work is granted, you will be able to apply for a Job. There are many ways of looking for jobs on the internet nowadays. You may not have to go to the employer’s office if you don’t have time, however, I have experienced the benefits of using both internet and the employment office to get Jobs in Japan, therefore, I think that they are both important ways for finding part-time job.


Guidable jobs

This online employment company targets foreigners in Japan. Unlike other companies, Guidable takes on a strategy of targeting foreigners while putting in mind some problems of foreigners which include: Japanese language skills, choice or kind of job and so on. There are various options on the company’s first page: Job type, Location and Japanese requirement. All you need to do is to sign up by registering your email address. The registration is usually very simple compared to other websites and you can finish it in only few seconds. This way you will be able to receive updates about available jobs which you may be interested in. You can also search for a number of jobs yourself on the company’s website and then apply by yourself.

Gaijin pot

This is an online website that helps foreigners to find jobs. The name gaijin means foreigner. This was the first website I set my eyes on when I did internet search. It requires you to create a profile, and enter all your information as it would be in a resume. There are several job categories, so when you select your desired category you will need to apply in many cases by writing a cover letter then attach your resume (profile). You will get an email in some minutes after applying. This email tells you the number of people who have applied for that same Job and it advises you to apply for more jobs in order to increase your chances of getting a job.

Hello Work

This is the only employment office I know and have visited. I learned about this office from a friend. At first I was discouraged because I thought I will have to pay them to find me a job just like it is done at employment offices in my home country, however, surprisingly I was never asked to make any payments. I only entered my information, took a number and waited on the queue. Hello Work also has foreign language service to attend to foreigners in Portuguese, Spanish, English and so on. They help you make research based on your experience and skills.


Requirements of Japanese skills and Japanese language Proficiency



Most Jobs (if not all) require Japanese language skills, even English language teachers in some schools today are required to have a conversational level of Japanese. This is as a result of the importance of communication between employee and employers.  Japanese Language Proficiency Test known as JLPT has five levels from N5 which is the lowest to N1 the highest proficiency. The minimum level of Japanese language skills required for work in Japan is N3. Most companies look out for N1 level applicants but in some cases, applicants with N2 are also accepted and can work. I advise you to learn Japanese language because having it on your resume can increase your chances of getting a better part-time job.


Your Resume alone is worth getting you your dream job.


Some time I had an opportunity to participate in an official training at school. The training section involved; how to review resumes of job applicants. The experience I got while reviewing and selecting resumes for specific job offers gave me a picture of what you need to write for certain kinds of Job offers. This implies that you can not use the same and one resume for every job you apply for. Therefore, you may need to write your resume according to the Job you are applying for at a specific time. There is some information in your resume which does not change, it is okay to keep it same: date of birth, schools you attended and so on, however, you may need to change your carrier objectives in order to match the criteria for which company is looking for, and you need to show some experience related to that job. For example, applying to a company looking for an interpreter, with your resume of experiences of working at restaurants and supermarkets has no relation, therefore the chances may be very low, or if you apply to work in a hotel with a resume indicating only experiences in teaching; it may be also low.  I would like to warn you that your previous experiences can determine your ability to get a job that you are looking for. Therefore if you have the chance to help or work as an intern at a place you dream of working within the future, it will be a great opportunity to write that in your resume after such experience.

I got jobs from many websites and employment offices and one thing that I have realized is that you need to write your resume in a way that it can attract the attention of anyone reviewing it at the company. Enjoy your job search.



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