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How to Write a Japanese Resume 履歴書の書き方(外国人版)


When trying to find a job in Japan, you might not know where to start. Many foreigners come to Japan on working holiday visas, as language teachers or to study Japanese, then extend their stay for various reasons.

If you're reading this, you're probably looking to take that next step in your career.

So let's start with the most basic and very important first step.

The Japanese Resume  履歴書

(Typical Japanese Resume)

Around the world there are various formats and designs when it comes to resumes and C.Vs, but in Japan there is pretty much one set form.

It's standard for all Japanese companies so if you're seriously looking to step into the Japanese "bijinesu" world, you'll need it. There are slight variations in the layout, but the contents are essentially universal.

When writing your Japanese resume it's acceptable to hand write the information, but for ease of reading it's recommended to use a computer to fill in the details.

Let's go section by section and detail how to write each part.

Personal Information 個人情報
Picture 顔写真
Academic History / Professional History 学歴・職歴
Certifications/Licenses 資格・免許
Self-Introduction 自己PR

Personal Information 個人情報


Simple enough, write your name as it is in your passport. Then above that write your name in katakana.

・Date of Birth

Fill your date of birth Year/Month/Day, and your age.


Japanese resumes require designation of your gender, male or female.


Fill out your address using Kanji and on the line above write your address in hiragana.

・Contact Information

Make sure to check that your phone number and email are correct as it is the only way the company can contact you directly. If you are currently employed it's also important to note what hours of the day you are available for contact.

Picture  顔写真

The required photo is a 3x4 cm headshot.

Japanese resumes are different to the rest of the world in that they require a picture.

This may seem like it could lead to unfair judgement based on your appearance, and well, unfortunately it will. Most good companies will focus on a person's qualifications and personality for hiring, but that can't be said for all.

Take a picture in a suit. Light shirt and dark jacket (neck tie isn't required, but always make sure to fasten the top button.) Same outfit regardless of gender.

The background should be plain white or blue.

When printed it should be three centimeters by four centimeters.

This picture might seem simple, but if the photo was taken in a dark bathroom you could come off as unprofessional, so make sure to get cleaned up and take a nice photo.

If you currently live in Japan you can find photo booths in front of Drug Stores and Supermarkets that have presets to take photos for your resume. They usually cost less than a thousand yen.

For those who really care about appearances, getting professional pictures taken and have them edited and printed to your specifications is another option.

Academic History / Professional History 学歴・職歴

Academic History

Write your academic history in chronological order from top being the oldest to most recent at the bottom. Begin with your education post-high school.

Write the year and month of entry and graduation for each school.

You'll also need to write your major and area of study in Japanese.

E.G. 20XX 8 ○○大学人文学部外国語学科 入学

20XX 5 ○○大学人文学部外国語学科 卒業

20XX 8 ○○大学院言語専攻修士課程 入学

20XX 5 ○○大学院言語専攻修士課程 卒業

If you've studied abroad in a foreign country write that experience as well.

E.G. 20XX 8 ○○大学人文学部日本語学科 入学


20XX 5 ○○大学人文学部日本語学科 卒業

Many work visas in Japan require that your new job has direct relation to your college major. It is best to prepare copies of your transcripts as they will be necessary for visa application regardless of what industry you are applying for.

Professional History

If you are switching careers it is necessary to list your previous companies.

It's recommended you only write work history from positions that were full-time, or a long term part-time job.

Write your professional history using the same pattern as your academic record.

Chronologically list the hire date and date of leaving for each company. If you are currently employed at that company finish the last line with "現在に至る"

Underneath the hire date list the branch name and your position/area. If you were a general employee write (総務).

E.G. 20XX 6 言語学校株式会社 入社

   横浜支店 営業部 教育担当

20XX 9 言語学校株式会社 退社

E.G. 20XX 6 言語学校株式会社 入社

   横浜支店 営業部 教育担当


For Part-Time Work write (アルバイトとして) in parentheses

E.G. 20XX 8 カフェ株式会社 入社(アルバイトとして)

   ロンドン支店 総務


You've come this far. Your Japanese resume is looking pretty slick.

When being interviewed you will most likely be asked to talk about what you studied and your previous work experience if you have any, so it is important to be able to speak about your personal experiences in Japanese.

Certifications / Licenses 資格・免許

The section for certifications and licenses should be used to list relevant and useful certifications. This area is also used for languages, software, or other skills.

E.G. 20XX 日本語能力 N2 合格

20XX 普通自動車第一種免許

英語-ネイティブ 韓国語-日常会話

MS Office, Adobe Photoshop

Python, HTML

Self-introduction 自己PR

The final section is your self-introduction.

Companies will use your self-introduction to judge your Japanese level as well as learn about your personal interests and attitude.

There are a multitude of resources online in Japanese when it comes to writing a professional self-introduction. If you're not a great writer, the best option is to take a generic template and alter the contents to match your academic and professional history, as well as the company and position you are applying for.

Job Mate also offers personalized tips for writing your self-introduction.

(Visa Information and Other Requests Section)

Depending on the resume template there may be extra sections for desired pay/location/commute time, or questions about your visa status depending on where you download your form.

As a foreigner it is helpful for companies to know what kind of visa you have and when it expires as they will need to sponsor you when you apply for visa renewal.

Conclusion まとめ

☑ Personal Information

☑ Photo

☑ Academic History

☑ Professional History

☑ Certifications/Licenses

☑ Self-Introduction

☑ Visa Information

☑ Possibly Etc.

Congratulations! You've filled in all the sweet juicy contents, taken a snazzy photo that may or may not be photoshopped and now your resume is ready to go.

All that's left is to keep practicing your Japanese and you'll ace the interview.

Then comes the hard part. Working in Japan!

Job Mate matches foreigners seeking permanent employment (正社員) with small & mid-size Japanese companies.

We can arrange company tours, interviews, and internships for free.

If you are looking for a permanent position in Japan send your resume to

or for a quick consultation call or send an email.

Office hours are Monday – Friday 9:00~17:00

TEL: 092-260-1907

FAX: 092-260-1908


福岡市博多区博多駅前1-7-22  第14岡部ビル 10F 1003号室


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