Guide to Job Fairs in Tokyo and Beyond

Job Fairs Win

BFF Tokyo Guide to Jobs in Japan

This article on job fairs is one of a series of guides on how to find a job in Japan as a foreigner. We have articles on full-time positions, part-time positions, job boards, networking, and everything else you need to know about finding a job in Tokyo and in Japan.

Understanding Japanese Job Fairs

With a have a population of more than 100 million people, Japan has a ton of job fairs throughout the year. The job fairs in Japan are normally organized into the following categories:

Going to a job fair can be stressful. You need to wear business clothing, iron your outfit, and be well-shaven and styled. Job hunting is a game of persistence, so please read this article and choose the right type of job fair for you.

Japanese vs Foreign hiring events

All the major jobs fairs in Japan are run by Japanese companies. The main difference is the question of the target candidate audience: foreigners or Japanese? If the target audience is Japanese, they expect a native Japanese speaker candidate and are most likely not interested in interviewing a foreigner. The reason is that they have quotas to meet and may not know if they can hire a non-native.

The good news for foreigners is that the Japanese population and working age people are decreasing, and companies are much more open to hiring foreigners. This has to lead a major increase in the amount of job fairs for foreign hires, from one or two in 2010 to ten or more in 2019. Additionally, the same job fair held in different locations may likely have different companies based on the region. If you are willing to relocate, attending the same job fair in different location is a viable option.

New graduate job fairs

When a job fair mentions they want new graduates, they aren't kidding. Many companies in Japan like to hire someone fresh out of university or graduate school. If you go to one of these events, many companies will be very polite in turning you down without explaining that they are ONLY looking for new graduates.

Can I attend events meant for Japanese?

As a foreigner, you can attend job fairs meant for Japanese new graduates. The main theme of these events is the search for new graduates, so if you are a new graduate and can speak fluent Japanese, you will be able to find some companies that will give you an interview. Rest assured that you won't be the only foreigner at the job fair. There are always other non-natives attending a Japanese university who are job hunting, just like you.

Looking for an entry-level position

There's a big difference between new graduate and entry-level position seeker. The companies attending events don't want someone to fill an entry-level position, they specifically want someone fresh out of university whose first job will be with their company. I was 28 years old, a fresh graduate of a Japanese language school, and looking for an entry-level position. Since I had already worked for five years before attending school, I was not considered for most of these positions even though I was in the same situation as the other candidates.

For those in this situation, you're considered a mid-career hire because you technically started your career elsewhere. Frustrating, but that's how it is.

Mid-career job changes

If you read the section above on new graduates, you know exactly what the term mid-career means now. If you have not read it, give the section a quick 30-second skim. Mid-career job fairs can be industry-specific, like education, finance, start ups, or technology, or can be position specific, like programmers, accountants, and teachers.

I have not personally attended the job fairs meant for Japanese mid-career hires. My assumption is that you need N1 Japanese and that your odds of finding a company here is super low, but it's always worth a shot. There are some fields where you can be operation-ready with conversational Japanese, but you wouldn't understand the nuances of deep Japanese interactions, so you probably wouldn't get hired. The only field like that I can think of is programming.

Ergo, looking for a service and sales position at job fair for Japanese would not be a good use of your time.

Job fairs for foreigners

To summarize what we covered above: if you are a new graduate, you can attend job fairs for Japanese new grads and job fairs for foreigners. If you are not a new graduate who has not held a full-time job of any kind, you are a mid-career hire. This also means going to mid-career job fairs for Japanese is not a good use of your time. Focus on attending as many job fairs for foreigners as possible.

Job fairs for new-grad foreigners may not accept mid-career hires, but it could be worth a shot; they might have some mid-career positions available. You don't know if you don't go.

There are several types of job fairs for foreigners. Some are only looking for new graduates, and others are only looking for bilinguals. Some job fairs welcome foreigners with daily conversational skills, and others may only focus on a specific industry, like start-up jobs, designers and coders, or teachers.

If you want to know what these job fairs is like, one of our writers talks about her experiences at the GaijinPot job expo in November 2019. She explains  how some companies do interview in person, what the information sessions are like, and what the general feel of a job fair is like.

Tokyo Opportunities

GlobalLeader DOORS GL Job Fair

07 December 2019; future dates TBA

  • Free admission; registration required
  • Participating companies: Science and Automotive
  • Graduates of 2020 or 2021

TOKYO WINTER CAREER FORUM 2019    

14-15 December 2019

  • Free admission; registration required
  • Japanese-English bilingual (minimum conversational level) and one of the following:
  • Graduated from or currently enrolled in a Bachelor's, Master's, or Ph.D. program outside of Japan
  • Graduated from or currently enrolled in a Bachelor's, Master's, or Ph.D. program in Japan including at least one year of study abroad
  • Mid-career professionals
  • Participating companies: 78 (estimated) and job-hunting seminars

Global Career EXPO 2019 WINTER

21 December 2019 Tokyo

26 December 2019 Osaka

  • Graduates, or expected to graduate, from universities or postgraduate schools outside Japan,
  • Studying, or are planning to study for about one year at universities or postgraduate schools outside Japan,
  • Graduates, or expected to graduate, from universities and speak more than two languages, each of which is higher than that is required for business use, and wish to stay/work/study abroad.
  • Both those that have working experience and those who do not are able to register and participate in EXPO.
  • Participating companies: 39 (estimated) and job-hunting seminars.

2020 JET Programme Career Fair in Tokyo

09 February 2020

  • Register online to receive updates and information
  • Register to find overseas hiring events

 Tokyo Career Forum for International Candidates 2020  

18 February 2020

  • Free admission; registration required
  • Native level in any language other than Japanese and a minimum of beginner level in Japanese, and one of the following:
  • Graduates or students currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or higher degree program (Master, Ph.D, etc)
  • Professionals with study abroad experience in Japan

Tokyo  JOB HAKU SPRING TOKYO 2020  

21 March 2020

  • Free admission; registration required
  • International job seekers
  • Bring: Writing utensils
  • Tickets (ID print) are required for reception and the number of companies you are attending
  • Participating companies: 30 (estimated) and job-hunting seminars.

Osaka/Other City in Japan

Asean Job Fair

23 March 2020

  • Free admission; registration required
  • Trade show & Job Fair
  • 100+ exhibitors

Osaka JOB HAKU Spring Fair   

18 April 2020

  • Free admission; registration required
  • International job seekers
  • Bring: Writing material
  • Tickets (ID print) are required for reception and the number of companies you are attending
  • Participating companies: 20 (estimated) and job-hunting seminars.

Daijob Career Fair - Tokyo

Check for dates

Overseas Hiring Events

Job Fairs Overseas for Jobs to Japan

Careerforum

Careerforum holds events yearly in London, Los Angeles, Boston, Shanghai, and Singapore.

Large English School Chains who Hire Overseas

AEON

GABA

NOVA

INTERAC

Saxon Court

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