Bilingual Job Fairs in Tokyo 2019
You are in Japan and looking for a full-time position? You are prepared to go through a Japanese style recruiting process and you have at least a conversational grasp (ideally business level or more) of Japanese? Welcome to the world of bilingual job fairs in Japan.
You may wonder, why you should attend career fairs. The reason is simple: they can be extremely helpful in finding you a job in Japan.
You can talk to people from HR, employees or even managers directly. You will be able to ask questions content and get a feel for the company. Last but not least, the companies participating in bilingual job fairs are actively looking to hire people with international experiences, so your chances of getting a job that matches you are better than compered to straight up Japanese centered events or recruitment agencies.
To get you started, this article list some practical tips, upcoming events, and gives you more insights into what to expect at the biggest and most well-known career fairs in Japan.
Practical Advice for Attending Job Fairs
- Career fair checklist:
- ✔ Participation is free! (Same goes for job-matching services by recruiting agencies.)
- ✔ Wear suits! This is pretty much non-negotiable at Japanese job events.
- ✔ Start to prepare early! Work on your resume, check and apply to companies through the event website (depending on the company, seminar and interview spots might run out quickly).
- ✔ Check the seminar schedule! You might have to register in advance to participate at certain seminars.
- ✔ Bring your CV! At most events, you can and should fill out the online CV format on the event website and bring a print-out version to the event. It is however advisable to also write your own CV, adjusted to match the company you want to apply to. Out of consideration for the many Japanese companies at the event, I strongly recommend bringing a Japanese CV! (Printers to print EXTRA resumes from the official website are often provided).
- ✔ Just found out about the event yesterday? Attend! If you don’t have time to prepare you can still walk away with a job. Mind your dress code, update your resume on the event website, print it, and bring some extras, since you never know which unexpected encounter you might have.
- ✔ Show up early! The first 30min might be the best time to talk leisurely and leave a good impression with your dream company before everyone else shows up. To make getting up early easier, many events hand out gift cards to the first 100 or so to enter the venue.
- ✔ Don’t wait until the last minute! Depending on the interest a company gets at the event, some might close their booths early, so don’t wait until 4pm to initiate first contact.
- ✔ Leave a good impression! This is a recruiting event, so you might get a job offer on the spot!
- ✔ Ask for help! If you cannot attend a company seminar at the event for whatever reason, talk to the staff. They might still accept your resume or invite you to a seminar at another time.
Get ready for the job fairs this season! To find out more about the biggest and most popular career fairs scroll down to the next section (last updated July, 1st, 2019).
Event for international students and new graduates.
Aug 7th (Wed.), 2019
Event for international students and new graduates.
Aug 22th (Thu.), 2019
Daijob Go Global Career Fair 2019 in Osaka
Event for new graduates and those who already have work experience.
Sept. 20th (Fri.), 2019
Tokyo Winter Career Forum 2019
Event for students, new graduates, and mid-career professionals.
tba (usually held in December)
Popular Job Fairs for Bilinguals
1. Career Forum
DISCOs “Career Forum” specializes in recruiting events for Japanese-English bilinguals since 1987. Their events cater to both students and professionals.
With over 250 companies participating, Tokyo Career Forum is one of the biggest Japanese-English job fair around and is held twice a year at Big Sight, Odaiba. Due to the Japanese hiring season, there will usually be more companies and job-seekers participating in the summer event than in the winter.
They also have events in Osaka, and another one aimed at exchange students. If you want to work in Japan, but are not here yet, you can attend their fairs in London, Shanghai and Sydney and various cities in the U.S.
Companies will conduct company seminars, if you missed one you can ask the staff at the booth to sign you up for a later presentation. Many companies will also accept walk-in interviews or schedule an interview with you on the same day.
The event is always held on a weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 10am-5pm. The first 200 or so early birds often receive a gift card. Arriving early will also secure you some time to talk to your dream company and leave an impression, before they are flooded with CVs of your competition. So get there early!
What: Career Forum
Who: students, new grads, professionals, limited number of internship opportunities
Where: Tokyo; Osaka; abroad
When: June and December, Sat+Sun 10am-5pm
2. Go Global Career Fair
Go Global Career Fair is held by Daijob, arguably the largest job site for global talent in Japan. Their job fairs are smaller than the Tokyo Career Forum I introduced above, but they are held frequently around the year. They are holding special events, for example with only foreign-affiliated and global companies.
Walk-in interviews are not common here. Most companies will invite you to a follow-up 説明会, an event where they will introduce the company to prospective applicants. Nevertheless, some companies may ask you to directly attend interviews at the venue, so come prepared. I found that at smaller events, you often get more opportunities to really talk with the company representatives.
What: Go Global Career Fair
Who: students, new grads, professionals
When: various dates throughout the year (also evenings until 9pm on weekdays)
This event is held by staffing company Pasona, often taking place directly in their headquarters in Tokyo. You can get in touch with recruiters during the event or at a light meal afterwards. So even if things don’t work out on the spot, you can make contact with recruiters that can help you with your job search.
The other advantage at this career fair is that the staff speaks a variety of languages and can be approached with concerns anytime. When I attended, I met a German intern, who answered all my event related questions and even gave me quite a bit of general job hunting advice.
Pasona also organizes fairs in Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka as well as an event aimed specifically at Chinese speakers called “JOB博China.”
On a side note, Pasona’s main office might be (one of) the greenest buildings I have ever seen. The whole façade is covered in plants and inside they grow everything from grains to vegetables – a sight to see!
Who: students (incl. Japanese schools), graduates
Where: Tokyo; Osaka; Nagoya; Fukuoka
When: 1-day events around the year
Japan’s most omni-present job-hunting service also started to target global talent and bilinguals with their Global Career Expo (マイナビ国際派就職EXPO). Held twice a year in summer and winter with over 80 participating companies in winter, it is another big event open to both students and people with work-experience. Early bird coupons are offered for the first 100 arrivals on the event days.
They also have 1-day events in Osaka, 2-day events abroad in New York and Sydney, as well as Advisory Sessions in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Canada, England and California.
What: Global Career EXPO
Who: students (incl. Japanese schools), graduates, professionals, internship information
Where: Tokyo; Osaka; abroad
When: June and December, Fri-Sat or Sat-Sun, 11am-5:30pm
When: March, Sat-Sun, 1pm-6pm
5. GL Doors!
Global Leaders provides a variety of job fairs aimed at foreign exchange students across Japan. With around 40 exhibiting companies at their Tokyo career fair, this medium-sized event takes place over 2 days on a weekend in March from 11am-5pm.
They also offer events in Osaka and Nagoya, as well as an event in Tokyo aimed at ASEAN and Western applicants in February.
On GlobalLeader’s website you can find a lot of useful job-hunting information and counseling services. The only downside being that all their information is exclusively in Japanese.
What: GL Doors!
Who: foreign exchange students
Where: Tokyo; Osaka; Nagoya
When: March, Sat-Sun, 11am-5pm
6. Other events
In this article we introduced the biggest events, but there are other providers who are also organizing job fairs or 合同企業説明会 (ごうどう・きぎょう・せつめいかい) as they are often called. If you look for these smaller events, keep in mind that many of them will be held around March every year.
There are the JET Programme Career Fairs helping JET7s to find employment in Japan after their contract is up. Many Japanese universities and even Japanese Language schools also hold company events for their students. Last but not least, if you are proficient in Japanese, it is possible to join events for Japanese students. Introducing these goes beyond the scope of this article but services like Meets Company have experience with foreigners and their staff will support you where they can.
Career fairs are a great way to connect with Japanese companies. The above selection gives you a place to start your job search. There are more events and even more job hunting sites out there, so keep looking what other events might be available in your area, consider getting recruiters involved (their service is free to you) and just use all resources available to make sure your job search in Japan will be a success.