Jobs & Careers in Japan

Employment in Japan

Job Hunting Schedule

In Japan, students who are about to graduate are recruited in bulk and employment examinations are conducted while they are still in school. In addition, many companies use the same hiring schedule. Therefore, the timing for hiring is once a year, so if you miss the hiring season, it will be difficult to find a job.

Job hunting starts on March 1 every year by students who belong to the year prior to the final grade, including the third year of their bachelor's course, first year of their master's course, or second year of their PhD course respectively. The recruiting season comes to an end four months later in the middle of June. Job hunting in Japan is characterized by starting early and taking as long as four months. In addition, preparation is important for job hunting in Japan, and it is often necessary to prepare up to 5 months in advance.


Please conduct job hunting while checking when you will join the company to start working.

Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan

Preparing for job hunting

Entry period

Some companies still recruit after October, so students who did not find a job are able to continue job hunting.

Job fairs/ Company introduction

Entry sheet (resume) submission

Aptitude tests / Written tests


Preliminary offer of employment

Changing your status of residence

*The start date for September graduates may be April of the year following their graduation.

Job Hunting Procedures and Exams

Entry period (March through May)

Here, the word “entry” means requesting 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. Entries can be made through employment information websites (websites that post information on job openings and job fairs), company websites, and company introductions.

Job Fairs / Company Introductions (March through May)

Soon after the job hunting season has started, you will find many job fairs and company introduction opportunities. By attending these job fairs and company introductions, you can obtain detailed information about companies by listening to explanations not published on their websites and by asking questions to hiring managers. Company introductions can be divided into two categories. 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.

Entry Sheet Submission (March through June)

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 Tests / Written Tests (March through June)

Aptitude tests and written examinations are conducted to ascertain whether students have reached a certain level of intellectual and academic ability, and whether they possess the thinking and judgment skills, work speed, processing ability, and accuracy required for the job. 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 they are really suitable for the company.

Preliminary Offers of Employment / “Naitei” (June or later)

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 an official “Naitei,” the official offer of employment.

Preparation for Job Hunting


Self-analysis means asking yourself again about your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, specialties and abilities, interests, future dreams, values, and outlook on life, and then organizing them. This preparation is done in order to find a job that you are suited for or want to do, and to present yourself well in entry sheets and interviews.

Research industries and companies

“Gyokai” refers to the 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

Prepare to visit alumni and acquaintances who work at companies you are interested in to gather information that you cannot find on websites. 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.

Entry sheet and interview preparation

Making an entry-sheet is part of the overall recruitment procedure and also serves as practice for upcoming interviews.

For details on how to prepare, see Chapter 4. Employment Examinations.

(Supervised by Manabu Kubota, Visiting Researcher of JASSO)


We use cookies to provide you with better services on our website. Please clink on "Agree" to agree and proceed. For more information and cookie settings, please click on “See Details”.