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Working in Japan ▏What is Shukatsu? Job hunting in Japan

Hi, I am Aisha from! Working abroad might be challenging!
Japan is facing the social issue of an aging population and a low birth rate. Consequently, there is a high demand for skilled workers from both local and international companies in Japan.

Process of Shukatsu for university student

Shukatsu 就活 is a Japanese term, short term for shūshoku katsudō which means job hunting. During this time, university students look for full-time jobs before their graduation. One of the unique characteristics of the Japanese job-hunting process is that companies hire new graduates, therefore, most of the students have a job contract when they graduate.

Typical Process of Shukatsu:
1. Find out what you want to do
2. Research on companies
3. Participate in job fairs/job seminars
4. Send entry sheet and/or resume to companies
5. Take written exams and/or SPI tests
6. Interviews (Groups and/or individuals)
7. Wait for the result

The problem faced by foreigners when looking for a job in Japan

One of the biggest problems faced by foreigners when looking for a job in Japan is the language barrier. Many are unfamiliar with the Japanese recruitment system as company explanations and processes are conducted in Japanese. Alongside the language, people also struggle with manners during their job-hunting period. For instance, it is preferred to wear a black suit when going to a job fair or an interview. Even after entering a company, many struggles with “Keigo” or respectful language and business etiquette.

Advice & Suggestions

This does not mean you should give up. But how can you work in Japan? The first would be improving your Japanese language skills, ideally having above Japanese N3 level.
Another way is by consulting with recruiters, preferably those who will guide foreigners. is one of the employment support services (就職支援サービス). We support foreigners looking for jobs in Japan, matching them to a suitable company for free. For instance:
● has a FREE Japanese Business Course which will help in becoming familiar with terms used in business
● Help in preparing resumes and interviews
● SNS accounts that share shukatsu information
● Host matching events where job-seekers can find companies who are looking to recruit foreigners. Our previous event had a matching rate of 100%!
● Lastly, one of the obstacles, is SPI tests, and frequent interviews are not required when applying through!


Job hunting can be long and tiring, especially when there is a language barrier. However, you are not alone! There is always help via consulting your career center in your university, recruitment companies and even asking your senpais! You can also talk freely to as well!

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