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How to be successful at a japanese-english bilingual fair. Be an explorer.

Quest for a job in Japan - Part 1

Career Forum is a bilingual job fair organized by DISCO International worldwide (Boston, Tokyo, Osaka, London,etc). You have to register through the CFN website.

Rome wasn't built in one day. Finding a job is a lengthy process. Furthermore, nothing could guarantee you to win the first prize: a secure position. So, it was a gamble for me to attend the London Career Forum (ロンドンキャリアフォーラム), last April.

Job fairs, as well job hunting and interviews, are nerve-racking. What is the key to success? According to my humble person, an ambitious job-seeker should be passionate (1), with a rock-star resume (2), and keep his feet on the ground (3).

1. Ambition, passion, motivation

Since I came back from Canada, I have nurtured my ambition to move abroad as soon as possible. I knew I was setting realistic expectations. I have been living in Tokyo a few years, worked with Japanese coworkers and in Japanese. My one year stay in the Pacific Canada has taught me how to realize I had more potential than I thought.

Needless to say, I thought a lot about this career forum. Do this job fair really help me to land a job? Am I too old? Why did a French native speaker and freelance translator choose to go there? Passion. Ambition. Motivation. Three strengths always drive me.

I love challenges. I stay hungry, I stay foolish.

Know what you are looking for.

2. Create a killer resume and impressive impression into your target language(s)

I created an exciting, impressive British resume instead of a namby-pamby one. Then, I tailored my Japanese resume (rirekisho/履歴書), 志望動機 (motivation for applying) and 自己PR (self-introduction). The best useful websites I have found were written in Japanese: mynavi , employment. If you don’t read Japanese, check the following English websites: Daijob, GaijinPot, Maggiesensei. Do your research.

Do proofread your resume by a professional.

In the meantime, I was practicing assiduously my Keigo (敬語) skills and advanced grammar with a Japanese teacher. Don't be ashamed to ask for some help. Don't overestimate your language abilities. Even if you feel comfortable in English, French or Japanese, don't skimp preparation.

You need to prepare yourself to be familiar with Japanese etiquette, customs, and interviews. It means knowing what might be asked, how to behave, how to demonstrate you are the right candidate.

And how to reply. If the recruiter asks you:

"あなたの理想の結婚生活はどのようなものですか。日本人はどのような人たちだと思いますか。どうして日本の企業で働きたいと思いました。",

could you give strong answers...?

Do you know how to introduce yourself in Japanese? If no, study hard!

Be yourself & professional.

Be passionate about people & business.

3.Don’t expect too much. You never know what could happen.

Before applying online, check Shainhakusho, Careercross and Glassdoor.

For anyone seriously considering working in Japan, I recommend you to go to some bilingual job fairs and to be well-prepared for the interviews.

You could get brochures and information on the company, have a direct access to many local employers. For those selected, you will have a face-to-face interview under some booths.

Make a killer impression and get the most of your job fair. You might get a job!

Twenty companies were looking for candidates at the London Career Forum. I was concentrating on networking and getting information. I met a lot of dynamic foreign recruiters as well Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and British candidates. I also took part in several formal presentations in English and Japanese by company representatives.

This job fair was a valuable experience, both professionally and personally.

To sum up, this event has taught me five precious things:

- How to market myself in my job search and build up my personal brand.
- How to enlighten my "transferable skills" such as resilience, culture empathy, and resourcefulness.
- How to behave and work on my personality.
- How I am still passionate by learning Japanese language and brush up my English speaking skills.
- How to pursue my dream like Kimicho Yoshinoya, the American-born geisha did it.

by Naoka

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