Japan Cover Letter Writing Guide

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, a job search in Japan requires more than just the obvious Japanese resume or Rirekisho and Japan cover letter writing and translation - it requires thorough preparation for passing the Japanese job interview. You will be forced to solve issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you decided to find work in Japan.

Do not take too lightly the huge impact a Japan cover letter can have on the outcome of your adventure! For instance, you will experience unusual immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, interesting selection trends and exotic management culture.

Your Japan cover letter is the very first thing an employer will see. A personalized, targeted, well-written cover letter is your chance to set yourself apart, pique the employer's interest, and draw them in for a closer look at your resume.

Depending on the company and your fluency, you may use either Japanese or English language, when applying for a position in Japan. Stick to one language once chosen. However, you need to accept that not knowing the Japanese will put you at a real disadvantage from the local job seekers.

When applying for a position in Japan, you may submit a “Rirekisho” in Japanese with no cover letter, or a two-page American-style resume with a job cover letter in English.

If you are submitting an English cover letter, it is helpful to duplicate in Japanese your name and contact address, unless you are certain that the recipient of your job application is an English speaker.

A Japan cover letter is an integral part of your job application process. It should refer to your present and future plans, showing your prospective employers what you want to do now and what you will do for them in the future.

Always address your job cover letter to an individual. Take the time to research every employer's organization and personalize each cover letter for a specific company with a real person’s name and title. Such personalization would increase the retention of your application.

Explain in “precise” terms how your background, education and skills relate to the position offered in this particular company. By quoting examples, emphasize how you can add value or contribute to the growth and profit of the prospective company.

A typewritten job cover letter always accompanies the Japanese resume. Begin your letter with your name, nationality and contact information including your address, phone/fax and e-mail. Often cover letters and resumes are kept on file for long periods, so any contact details you give have to remain accurate in the long term. A daytime phone number with an international access code and e-mail address are most important.

The Japan cover letter should be composed in a short and professional style using power words and action verbs. Usually, it contains three or four paragraphs and never is longer than one page. Be concise and get to the point as quickly as possible. Break any paragraph, which is longer than seven lines, into a short easily understandable one.

First paragraph:

  • The desired position you applying for
  • Where/how you learned about the position/company
  • Your interest in the position/company

Second/Third paragraph:

  • Describe related experiences and skillsets
  • Explain how and why you are qualified for the position
  • Identify something significant about the prospective company
  • Draw a comparison between the company and your career objectives

Fourth paragraph:

  • Repeat your interest in the position and company
  • Include follow-up (I will call…; expect call)
  • Thank for their time and consideration

Check the spelling and grammar of your Japan cover letter. Use the word processor's spell and grammar checker. If you are not confident of your ability to detect grammatical, punctuation and language usage errors in Japanese, English or other language or if you need help in organizing your cover letter, send it to a professional for assistance.

Remember that your Japan resume must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have difficulty with your resume writing, instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use resume samples and resume templates.

We recommend that you send your resume together with a cover letter. If you have difficulty with your cover letter writing use a cover letter sample and cover letter template.

In recent years it becomes increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with a current resume. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the resume you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your resume.
However, you should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. Online resumes should not include sensitive information as it could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.

Other Japan Cover Letter Info

To be successful in your Japan job search and get the job you want, you need to prepare a Japanese cover letter and Japanese resume or Rirekisho which you must email them instantly to the prospective employers selected during a job search in Japan.

When you receive an invitation to the Japan job interview, you may apply for a Japan visa and a Japan work permit. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at Japan's dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in being hired.

Check the job interview dos & don'ts and other job search skills pages. Find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

In addition, on the international info, job search, cover letter, visa & work permit, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Japan cover letter!