Job Hunting in Japan: How to Research Companies – Methods and Resources for a Better Resume and Interview –
Company research is an essential step in shukatsu, especially in interviews! It is also the earliest step you can take, and is useful throughout the recruitment process. Understand 1) the purpose, 2) what to look for, and 3) how to research!
With company research, you can:
• Deepen your understanding of a company and decide whether or not it matches to you.
• Discover new industries and roles.
• Write a convincing ES that aligns with the company's visions and culture.
• Answer the interviewers’ questions on your reasons for applying and what you want to do in the company. (sample questions and format in this article!)
• Ask interviewers relevant questions (逆質問, gyakushitsumon).
Important Mindset to Have during Company Research
① Think back to your own experiences and skills.
When you look at a company's vision or employees’ comments, think about how your experiences reflect the same values. When you look at the projects and businesses, think about whether you have relevant experiences or skills.
② Think forward about ES and Interviews.
As you look at information, you can brainstorm Entry Sheets and Interviews. What information will you be able to use in your “reasons for applying”? What can you mention in interviews to show you’ve done your research?
What do you look for?
There are four things you need to look for:
• Corporate philosophy (企業理念 kigyo rinen)
• Business contents (事業内容 jigyo naiyo)
• Benefits and Corporate Systems (福利厚生と制度 fukuri kosei to seido)
• Employment information (採用情報 saiyo joho)
Use the guideline below like a checklist, and feel free to modify and add sections as needed.
Corporate Philosophy (企業理念)
Vision and Mission Statement [理念, rinen]:
• Do they aim to be a global company?
• What is their goal?
Business Contents (事業内容)
About the company [企業概要, kigyo gaiyo or 会社概要, kaisha gaiyo]
Investor Relations [投資家情報, toushisha jouhou]
• Message from CEO and the recruitment team [メッセージ message]
• Investment capital [資本金 shihonkin]
• Headquarters and offices [本社所在地 honsha shozaichi]
• Countries of operation
• If available: Growth rate of the company from at least the past 5 years, in regards to sales, employees, etc.
• If available: Company’s long-term plan
Benefits and Corporate Systems (福利厚生と制度)
• Holidays [休暇 kyuuka]
• Bonus [ボーナス]: How many times a year?
• Promotion [昇給 shoku]: How many times a year?
• Health benefits [福利厚生 fukuri kousei]
Employment information (採用情報)
• Application requirements [募集要項 boushu yoko]
• Application Timeline for this year [採用スケジュール saiyou sukejuru]: When do they usually start their hiring season?
• Open Positions for Shinsotsu [新卒] (new-graduates)
• Do they hire as a group company, or at a subsidiary level?
• Average salary [平均年収 heikin nenshu]: How much can a fresh graduate earn on the first paycheck?
• How many fresh graduates did this company hire last year? [新卒採用人数 Shinsotsu saiyou ninnzu]
• Internship Opportunities [インターンシップ]
• Company’s social media accounts to get all the updates
Research: So where should you look?
Company’s website and recruitment pages
Head to pages like “About" (企業概要/会社概要), “investor relations" (投資家情報) in addition to recruitment websites (採用情報). Check their Press Release, as well as social media, to get updates on their recent projects and events.
Many companies integrate these in their recruitment process. You may submit your ES through them. In these websites, you will find useful information like
• Concise summary of the company information [企業概要]; history, vision, image
• Job postings
• Company information sessions
• Company’s blog to learn about the work environment
• Discussion board with other job-hunters
• Articles on job hunting
These are some popular websites to rely on.
• WANTEDLY (Japanese) For start-up/international/small JP companies
• Gaishi shukatsu (Japanese) For foreign companies in Japan and global Japanese corporations
• Shukatsu no Mirai and Career-tasu shukatsu (Japanese) Career information website with analysis articles as well as seminar/workshop applications.
• Infra intern (Japanese) For internship opportunities
• OfferBox (Japanese) Information websites featuring interviews with young professionals, recruiters, and student job hunters.
• Goodfind (Japanese) Job hunting platform with selected high-profile job postings, and network and seminar opportunities.
• LinkedIn A social media career platform where you can set up an online resume and profile to network. Almost all postings are from international companies.
• OpenWork (Japanese) Benefit review website from employees.
• Glassdoor Benefit review website from the employees. Mostly international companies.
To learn researching and scheduling methods, read this article here!
OBOG Visitation [OBOG訪問]
If you want to ask specific questions about a project or a role, you may plan a meeting with the employee at the company. This is not a requirement, but if you’re really passionate about it, it may be helpful and interesting to hear about the first-hand experience. Read this article to find out more.
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