How Many Companies Should You Apply for? A Strategy for Effective Job Hunting in Japan

August 25, 2021 1 min read

What does "Entry" (エントリー) – "Pre-Entry" (プレエントリー) and "Actual Entry" (本エントリー) mean and how many companies due students usually apply to during shukatsu? In this article, we provide you the average number of companies applied to as well as why you should categorise companies using the 1:2:3 ratio.

Applying for a company = “Entry" (エントリー)

There are several meanings to “Entry”. First is “Pre-Entry" (プレエントリー), which is when you register your information to the application website to signal the company you are interested and want more information.

Second is “Actual Entry" (本エントリー), which is when you submit your ES or Web Aptitude Test scores to start your application process. In this article, Entry refers to both, including applying for company information sessions or internships.

Average number of companies people apply to in shukatsu

It really depends on individuals--however, in Shukatsu, it’s important to apply to a bunch of companies, even those that are not on top of your lists. The average number of companies each student applies for is 20-30. Keep in mind that this is average. Some students only apply to a few, while others may apply for nearly 50.
In this article, we’ll be breaking down the strategy for the most common method, 20-30 companies, but don’t forget to do it at your own pace!

Pros and cons of applying for 20-30 companies


• Good practice for ES, Web Aptitude Tests, and interviews
• Can choose the company that matches you well from a variety of choices
• You can most likely avoid not receiving any job offers (内定)


• Less time to prepare for each application (example: company research)
• Schedule becomes very tight

Why and how to categorize the companies based on priority

When you have 20~30 companies, not all of them are your top choices. So, do the company research first and choose 20-30 companies to “Entry”. Then, sort them into 3 groups based on priority. 

For example, assume that you are applying to 30 companies. Choose 5 top priority companies, 10 second priority companies, and 15 third priority companies. By making your priorities very clear, you can decide how much time you want to spend on each category. In addition, you can think of your third priority group as a practice job hunting experience. You can get used to the shukatsu experience before challenging yourself with the top 5 companies.  We hope you can use this 1:2:3 ratio categorization strategy to master Japanese job hunting!

JPort Student Support Team
We create Borderless Japan

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