There are four main aspects you need to be aware of when writing your resume; Objective, Experience, Qualifications, and Skills. The key of a good resume is to give enough information to the hiring manager to make them wan to bring you in for an interview.
Follow our guide to write a resume that stands out and lands you that important interview!
Your objective should be clear and focused. A vague objective that can be applied to a variety of jobs may seem like a good way to cater to many different employers, but it won’t impress anyone enough so that they remember you.
To spark their interest, be sure to tell them what you want to achieve at their company, be it gaining experience teaching, meeting a variety of people, learning about Japan or promoting the culture of your home country.
Whatever you put down, be sure that it is an objective that is achievable at that specific position.
If you have worked in Japan before, be sure to list what schools you have worked in, what level/age-range that particular school was, your position, length of employment and daily duties.
If you are able to obtain a reference from a previous employer include that as well. If at all possible, these references should be written by a native Japanese, but a foreign reference is far better than nothing.
One thing to remember when writing about your experience is to stress relevant work that you’ve done. For example, if your resume is full of work at a retail store, the employer might question your ability to be a teacher.
The goal of a resume is to get the interview. Don’t overload it with unnecessary information.
Many jobs in Japan require at least a Bachelor’s Degree from each of their applicants, so be sure to write out the full name of the institute you attended, what years you studied there and what your major was.
Most Japanese schools will be familiar with the American style of grading degrees, so if you attended a British school, you may be required to explain that a “2-1” is a rather good grade.
Besides your education, listing any other qualifications is always a great idea. And for teaching jobs there are two key categories; those listing your teaching ability and those stating your proficiency with the Japanese language.
Very few teaching positions actually require a teaching certificate, but having proof that you have studied the trade will be a great benefit to you.
As for speaking Japanese, most schools prefer that you don’t speak a word of Japanese in the classroom but having a conversational understanding of Japanese is important for a number of reasons.
Firstly and perhaps most obviously beneficial is that larger employers have programs in place that financially reward teachers with a JLPT qualification, the higher your proficiency, the better the reward.
Secondly, by studying and mastering Japanese, you are showing the employers that you are keen to stay in Japan for an extended period of time and won’t be returning home half way through term.
On your resume, you will have the chance to list your skills. Try and avoid simply bullet-pointing these and instead explain why they would be beneficial to you at work.
For example, it may seem strange listing your passion for a particular sport, but this could help with ALT positions, as it shows that you would be willing and able to join in with the sports clubs at school, a massively important aspect of Junior and High school life.
If you are musical, this could aid your chances of landing a job teaching children and if you are comfortable with a variety of computer programs, this could help you with a business English application. As always, only list the skills that are relevant to the position and keep it concise and interesting.
The key to a good resume is to keep it relevant and concise. Hiring manager only have so much time and you want to make sure that the information in your resume is directly relevant to the job that you are applying for. Doing so will make sure that your resume is the one that gets considered for a follow up interview.
As a person who has interviewed hundreds of candidates throughout my career, allow me to add my two cents. It sounds like in general that the resumes being suggested in the article are geared towards kids who are applying for a position right out of school. Also it seems that the resume suggestions are geared towards English teaching positions. I will suggest tips for a more general resume.
Objective- generally not needed. If you are “cold-calling” for a position, include the objective in your cover letter, not your resume. Otherwise the interviewer generally knows what position you are applying for and your objective, plainly, is to get the job.
Experience- add some color into specific duties that stand out. Projects you were involved in with positive results, and how it impacted the company you work for. (revenue numbers would be great). Add details but keep it concise. do not drag on forever. Focus on projects with direct relevance to the position you are applying for. This is where you are going to be selling yourself the most, in many cases.
Qualifications- if you have experience then your grades in school really don’t matter after about 2-3 yrs. Just your university, gradundergrad school degrees and year of completion are fine. Add language fluencies, computer languages and Excel/Word if desperate to fill in stuff, but most positions in business will expect you to be proficient in those packages at least. Any publications, qualifiactions, go here as well with year achieved. Do not put in anything prior to (or even during) college unless you won the Nobel prize when you were 20 (maybe mention if you were a Rhodes scholar). No one cares about high school achievements.
Skills- some of it was covered in qualifications, but you can put in computer skills here if you want. If applying for a business role it is pointless to put in sports or musical abilities. You might want to mention special quantitative abilities or qualitative ones if your resume looks sparse.
The majority of what you want to say is going to be in your experience section. Try to avoid using “I” a lot in your sentences. Do not overuse any individual word for that matter. Try to use the active tense of verbs. Make sure that you proof read, have someone else read it too. My recommendation- write your resume. Then close it and re-visit the next day. What you thought was a good sentence will look like crap the next day and you will thank God you looked it over with fresh eyes.
The resume is not the end all of your career, but for the most part it is what will open doors for you if you don’t have a network. It is your chance to sell yourself and look professional. Have resumes set up for each type of job you apply for so that you are gearing your descriptions to the job. Have an IT resume, have a finance resume, have an enigeeering resume etc. if you are applying to those fields. Most important you cannot afford spelling/grammar errors in your resume. It looks like crap and interviewers will think that if you don’t put care into your resume, why would you care about work?
Also if you are still stuck you can always hire a resume professional to work with you to get your resume up to snuff.