5 Qualifications You’d Better Get Before Looking for a Job in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

5 Qualifications You’d Better Get Before Looking for a Job in Japan

By Yae Aug 12, 2017

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If you’re a foreigner living in Japan or who have come to Japan looking for a full or part-time job,
here are some “Qualifications” to keep in mind when applying.
As certain positions in Japan require specific qualifications, if you can get them beforehand you will find yourself more competitive and with more options when job hunting.

The following are 5 qualifications that are highly recommended to get before job hunting in Japan: JPLT, TOEIC, Bookkeeping, Driver’s license and Translation.

1. JPLT (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test)

This qualification is for all non-native Japanese speakers.
JLPT proficiency is by far the most widely recognized certification of Japanese-language ability. The test consists of 4 sections: Vocabulary and Grammar (Language Knowledge), as well as Reading Comprehension and Listening Comprehension.
The levels range from N1 to N5 for this qualification, with N5 being the easiest and N1 the most difficult. A full score is 180 points, and the passing scores for each level vary as follows:

N1 – 100

N2 – 90

N3 – 95

N4 – 90

N5 – 80

If you intend to apply for a job at a Japanese company, you must achieve at least N2 proficiency.

It is always important to keep in mind that many Japanese cannot speak English. As such Japanese language proficiency, the ability to communicate with co-workers, clients, etc., will be a real asset for you while working in Japan.

<Test Schedule 2017>

□ July 2nd Sunday
□ Dec 3rd Sunday
※ Please check the JPLT official website to see more details: http://www.jlpt.jp/e/index.html

Remember that language is an important key to success when working in foreign companies.

2. TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication)

For non-native speakers of English, this test evaluates and certifies your English ability, and companies worldwide give favorable treatment to those who have high TOEIC scores.
The test consists of Listening (100 questions within 45 min) and Reading (100 questions within 75 min). A perfect score is 990 points.

Even if you are applying for a position at a Japanese company, English ability may be just as important as Japanese ability.
An administrative executive at a Japanese company needs to have a TOEIC score over 600 points on average, due to the demands of working abroad and increasingly globalized business.

.<Test Schedule 2017>

□ June 25th Sunday
□ July 23rd Sunday
□ Sept 10th Sunday
□ Oct 22nd Sunday
□ Nov 19th Sunday
□ Dec 10th Sunday

※ Please check the TOEIC official website to see more details: https://www.ets.org/toeic

Remember that many Japanese companies now value English as a necessary language in the globalized business world.

3. Bookkeeping (商工会議所の検定試験)

This qualification is for everyone, including native Japanese speakers.
This exam tests your organization, recording and calculation skills for activities relating to management performance and financial conditions.

If you’re considering employment in a Japanese company, especially as an accountant, this qualification will give you a major advantage during your job interview.
By obtaining the bookkeeping qualification, recruiters will assume you are cost-conscious with regard to business operations, and Japanese companies will be much more likely to consider you as a future employee.

Levels range from Beginner to Grade1 for this qualification.

<Test Schedule 2017>

□ June 11th Sunday
□ Nov 19th  Sunday

※ Please check the Bookkeeping official website to see more details: https://www.kentei.ne.jp/

Remember that Japanese companies want to hire those who understand the importance of cost-consciousness.

4. Driver’s License

Driving may be a part of everyday life for some of you in your home countries.
Living in Tokyo, with convenient transportation options such as buses, trains, and the subway, you might feel that you don’t need a driver’s license at all.
However, some Japanese companies give favorable treatment to those who hold their own driver’s license.
Additionally, if you want to work in sales, transportation, pizza delivery, etc., you will definitely need a driver’s license.

□ Those who already have a driver’s license from their home country

Need to obtain the following:

1. International Driver’s License
2. Foreigners Driver’s License Attached with Japanese Translation
3. Japanese Driver’s License

□ Those who don’t have driver’s license

Need to complete the following:

1. Apply for a license at a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Center in Japan

※ Please check the Driver’s License official website to see more details: http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/toko/kaigai/licence/index.html

If you are able to drive in Japan, you will be qualified for a much wider range of work.

5. Translation (Japanese Translation Federation)


This qualification is for everyone, including native speakers of Japanese.
Due to growing globalization of business in Japan, the demand for professional translators is rising by the day.

You can take this test online, and there are 2 main levels:  “Basic Level” and “Practical Level”.  Each level is classified into sub-levels.
If you pass level 2 of the practical level, your name and profile will be registered on the JTF official website, all the translation companies affiliated with JTF will be able to see you, and, if you’re lucky, they may ask you to translate for them.

The higher the level of test you pass, the more likely you will be discovered and offered a job. It’s certainly worth the effort take the exam and shoot for a high level of proficiency.

<Test Schedule 2017>

□ July 22nd Saturday

※ Please check the JTF official website to see more details: http://www.jtf.jp/

You’ll be in high demand with strong skills in both English and Japanese.

There may be several reasons why you came to Japan. Perhaps you came to study Japanese as a student, or maybe you’re hoping to expand your business working with Japanese companies.
Whatever your motivation, it would be worth your while to improve your skills by applying for some of these qualification tests.
By making the effort to get qualified, you can prove both your raw skills and your desire to work for a Japanese company.

It’s a big challenge to take a step into another country.
Let’s take the next step and bring you closer to your goal!



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