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Resumes

Cultural Factors to Consider in writing a Resume

Japanese Traditions

Other Cultural Factors

Japanese Rirekisho

Japan has a very different traditional form of a "resume." They call it a Rirekisho, and it is more of a personal profile than a way to show your talents and what you can bring to the job. Japanese companies usually want someone they can train. Often they are not looking for people to come in and make a huge difference, but want a team player. So they want to see how you would fit into their team. This includes your education and work experience, but also you general areas of interest, if you are not Japanese they would like to know what exposure you have already had with the Japanese culture (can you really work here comfortably?), and your hobbies.

There are specific forms you must fill out. The format is NOT flexible like an English Resume. Standard forms are available in the Baiten.

Rirekisho require your nationality, marital status, age, sex, etc. You should also HAND WRITE them because the Japanese can learn a lot about a person based on their hand writing. Of course, they should be written in Japanese.

The CC&S includes Rirekisho in the Resume Book we publish every year. We have modified the format to fit on one page. These forms, and instructions on how to fill them out are available at the CC&S. We encourage you to use as much Japanese as possible and to fill them out in your own hand. If there is no way you can do this, then you may have someone else write it for you, but we must indicate this on the top of the form. You may also use a computer do fill it out, but again, most companies prefer a hand written document.

Resume Book RIREKISHO forms are available on the Network: IUJ-home à OSS à CC&S folder

For details about Rirekisho, please attend the Resume Workshop offered in early Fall Term.

Cultural Factors to Consider

Different cultures have different expectations and taboos about resumes. For example, in Europe you are expected to have your age, sex and marital status on your resume. In the United States, this is not accepted. The U.S. must be very careful not to select employees based on race, sex or religious preferences. Even stating your nationality is not expected for a U.S. audience.

Americans' resumes tend to be more dynamic and more self praising than Europeans and Asians. If you are in competition with other cultures for a specific job, consider this. Also, be sure to consider the reader of the resume, and their expectations. At IUJ, for the IUJ Resume Book, we ask you to write an American-styled resume for the English version. The thinking is that our audience is mostly Japanese companies, or American or Multi-national companies in Japan. The Western audience accepts American-styled resumes. Your Japanese Rirekisho requires your age, nationality, sex and marital status, so you need not repeat these in the English version. This give you more space to add content to highlight yourself, and show how you are unique among the others in the Resume Book.

However, when you prepare a Resumes for a specific purpose (and each time you submit it it should be different), be sure to consider the cultural background expectations of the person reading your resume. For example, if you are applying to a British firm or a company in England, you should consider compiling a CV.

There is more information in the Career Library, and be sure to attend the Cover letters Workshops. Use IUJ's vast human resources. With people from 40 countries on campus, surely you can find someone who can give you good cultural advice!



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