Japanese Job-Hunting Portal Sites
There are many ways to job-hunt in Japan – even if you only use the internet. This article introduces you to the most widely used Japanese job portals as well as some smaller ones tailored to specific needs.
This article focuses on Japanese-language job portals. They give access to more job opportunities than what can be found on English sites. While anyone is encouraged to apply, be aware that Japanese sites may not offer as many jobs tailored specifically to foreigners.
READ English Language Job Sites in Japan.
Job Portals for Everyone
To be honest, the first thought I had when I started research for this article was “Wow, there are so many portals! But why? Aren’t they all kind of similar?” Further inspection has confirmed this initial doubt, at least partly. While portal has its own characteristics that make it stand out, there are several things most of them have in common.
Many portals have multiple subsites with the same structure. Most of the time, there will be two: One for jobs that start next year, and one for jobs starting in the following year after that. For example, right now (July 2019), there is a Rikunabi 2020 as well as a Rikunabi 2021. You’ll have to choose between these “versions” depending on your expected university graduation date.
The main function of job portals is the company search (企業検索, きぎょうけんさく). Using different filter options, you can browse through the companies that have listed their offers on the portal. After making a (free) account, you’ll be able to bookmark companies that interest you or enter their recruitment process (エントリー).
Other shared features include info articles on the “how-to” of job-hunting, tests for self-analysis (自己分析, じこぶんせき), and information about upcoming events. Larger sites usually organize job fairs (合同説明会, ごうどうせつめいかい). Seminars, held at a venue or online, organized by either the sites themselves or specific companies, are also common.
The “Big Two” Job Portals
The two Japanese job-hunting site giants for entry-level jobs are Rikunabi and Mynavi. Most Japanese students use both sites.
Both offer a wide selection of companies, a big range of filter options, web seminars, events ( e.g. job/career fairs), etc. They also have (slightly different) functions that allow you to write, save and copy texts for entry sheets.
Rikunabi is the bigger of the two, boasting more registered users as well as companies. In addition to the portals for new graduates, there are also Rikunabi Next (for mid-career job changes), Rikunabi Haken (for temporary work), and Rikunabi Yakuzaishi (for pharmacists). Access job portal.
One thing that sets apart Mynavi from Rikunabi is that it lists more introductory company seminars (説明会, せつめいかい) you can apply for. There is also an extra search option for science majors, called Rikai Mynavi (理系マイナビ). Access job portal for new grads・mid-career.
Because of the sheer number of companies present on these portals, smaller companies tend to get drowned out among the big players. For that reason, some companies with small recruitment goals don’t post their offers there.
Smaller Job Portals
These portals are still aimed at a general audience – companies from all industries post on them. Some sites actively focus (or happen to focus) on companies from three main categories: Big player/foreign firm (外資系, がいしけい), small-to-medium-size companies (中小企業, ちゅうしょうきぎょう), and start-ups (ベンチャー).
This portal is pronounced “Caritas.” The name, that many may associate with a religious context, is actually a combination of “career” and 足す, “to add up”. It is operated by the company Disco, which also organizes career forums for jobs in Japan internationally (Boston, London, Singapore…). As a result, a lot of non-Japanese companies post their information here. Access job portal.
A portal operated by Gakujo, a company associated with the Asahi Shinbun (Newspaper). You can take a short “suitable occupation test” that matches your results with certain companies using the platform. Access job portal.
The biggest feature of this portal is that you can directly compare company data like average yearly income, overtime hours, the number of years that people work there, etc. The data is based on quarterly reports of the Toyo Keizai Publishing Company. Access job portal.
In general, new graduates are recruited in spring and summer. This site is aimed at those who either missed or weren’t successful in the “main season” and still want to find a job in fall or winter. You can also use it if you already got a job but are unsure after all and want to consider some more options. Access job portal.
During the job-hunting season, transportation costs can increase quickly, especially if you apply to companies outside of your home region. By applying to companies via Supporterz, you’ll be able to get small refunds on train tickets, etc. (Up to 10,000 Yen, depending on your location). Access job portal.
Tsunoru specifically focuses on small to medium companies. It features an extra portal for young people that have already left university and want to change jobs (第2新卒, だいにしんそつ). Access job portal.
A portal site for start-ups and business ventures. Among the usual stuff, this site highlights the company presidents. For example, you can look at their resumes and search for companies based on what kind of medieval warlord they resemble. Access job portal.
As the name already says, this site focuses on foreign companies, but also companies on top of the Nikkei index. In short, it’s a portal you should use if you only want to see the top-ranking businesses. Access job portal.
In comparison to the “catch-all” portals, these specialized sites focus only on one specific area, like a certain educational background or a specific target industry.
The overall number of companies present on these sites is lower than on the general ones. In return, there will often be extra functions ( e.g. being able to filter engineer positions by the required skill level) or specialized information (e.g. job-hunting know-how for engineers) in the form of articles, etc. that can’t be found on the bigger portals.
A portal aimed at postgraduate students (Master’s Degree, Doctorate) as well as engineers. Access job portal.
IT-focused job portal for students both with and without programming experience. Job offers can be filtered by the required skill level. Access job portal.
Aimed at science majors in general. The featured main industries are manufacturing, IT, finance and consulting. Access job portal.
Focused on creative jobs in mass communication, advertising, games, film and IT. Companies using the site include Toei, Game Freak, Bandai Namco, Konami, and Comix Wave Films (of “Your Name” fame). Access job portal.
Another portal for creative jobs in design, music, web, publishing, editing, advertising, film, etc. It features a great number of articles and interviews from people working in the related industries. Access job portal.
Brand Career Junior
For students looking for a job in the fashion/apparel industry. Used by companies such as Diesel, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, and Dior. Access job portal.
This site is focused on the hotel/hospitality industry. The site offers a scouting service in addition to the regular company search and entry functions. Access job portal.
A job portal for international students with an English interface (job descriptions and articles are in Japanese though). The company behind the site also organizes job fairs, with the last one taking place around August each year. Access job portal.
Works Japan. Global
Another portal aimed specifically at international students in Japan and abroad. Job hunting seminars are held both in Japanese and English. You can also apply for a (free) job fair attendance in either Tokyo or Kyoto (March). Access job portal.
The main feature of these portals is that they reverse the job-hunting process. Instead of you looking for positions and job openings and applying to them, you set up a profile, to which companies then send offers.
In addition to its standard functions, this site gives you access to a job placement service through an agent. The service is free of charge. It may be worth trying out if you’re having trouble finding a company on your own. Access job portal.
The feature separating of this scouting site is that you can check how many companies have looked at your profile. You can also send special notifications to companies that are considering hiring you to show interest. Access job portal.
The literal translation of this site’s name is “Reverse Recruiting”. After preparing/uploading your profile (自己PR, じこPR) you can apply to scout events, where you get the chance to talk to HR or company presidents directly. Regardless of whether you end up being scouted by them or not, you’ll receive feedback on your performance afterward. Access job portal.
Scouting portal for IT engineers. Many other portals require an extensive amount of personal information to create an account (address, telephone number, etc). Here, you can register easily using your Facebook, Twitter, Google or GitHub accounts. Access job portal.
A reverse job search portal for creators. You start by putting together a portfolio. Companies on the platform can then “like” your work. If they do, you can “like” them back and start chatting with the people there. Access job portal.
You certainly won’t have to create an account on all the sites listed here. It’s perfectly possible to find a job using just Rikunavi or MyNavi. Especially bigger companies just put their offers on multiple portal sites anyway.
However, depending on your specialization and interest, a few of the lesser-known sites could have some benefits. So when searching for a job, keep them and their features in mind!