Culture

Kanji Cheat Sheets

Kanji Cheat Sheets
Kanji Cheat Sheet: Writing the Education Section of Your Japanese Resume
By GaijinPot Blog March 3, 2020

Japan does practically everything different from the rest of the world. Resumes for jobseekers are no exception. In contrast to the West where you are pretty much free to do what you want with your resume, Japanese resumes all follow the same template and rules. You can even buy resume templates at convenience stores and ¥100 shops!

Japanese resumes don’t include things like your language skills or hobbies.

Japanese resumes are basically just a timeline of your life with dates attached to the places where you studied or worked. The things you actually worked on and skills you’ve acquired go on another document called the 職務履歴書 (shokumu rirekisho) along with the more familiar cover letter called 志望動機 (shibou douki).

In this Kanji Cheat Sheet, we will focus on the education section of your resume with Japanese education fields and degree names. It’s the first section you have to fill out on your resume!

Basic vocabulary for institutions

The standard Japanese resume for a freshly graduated Japanese national usually starts from high-school, sometimes even from elementary school, mainly because school reputation prevails here in Japan.

However, unless you attended school in Japan, you probably want to leave out your whole secondary education history as it won’t matter much to a Japanese recruiter. One line mentioning that you graduated from high school should be enough to start your resume.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
University大学daigaku
Grad School大学院daigaku-in
Vocational School専門学校Senmon gakkou

Education fields in Japanese

Here are the main education fields with their Japanese equivalent, separated into humanities and science.

Humanities fields

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Humanities人文科学Jinbunka-gaku
Philosophy哲学Tetsu-gaku
Ethics倫理学Rinri-gaku
Aesthetics (e.g. Beauty School)美学Bi-gaku
Theology宗教学Shukyou-gaku
History歴史学Rekishi-gaku
Geography地理学Chiri-gaku
Archaeology考古学Kouko-gaku
Anthropology人類学Jinrui-gaku
Linguistics言語学Gengo-gaku
International Studies国際学Kokusai-gaku
Literature文学bun-gaku
Arts芸術学geijutsu-gaku
Pedagogy (Educational Studies)教育学kyouiku-gaku
Human Sciences人間科学ningenka-gaku

Science fields

EnglishJapaneseJapanese
Science科学kagaku
Natural science自然科学shizenka-gaku
Physics物理学butsuri-gaku
Chemistry化学kagaku
Biology生物学seibutsu-gaku
Geology地質学chishitsu-gaku
Planetary Science惑星科学wakuseika-gaku
Space and Astronautical Science宇宙科学uchuka-gaku
Engineering工学kou-gaku
Architecture建築学kenchiku-gaku
Agriculture農学nou-gaku
Medicine医学igaku
Dentistry歯学shigaku
Nursing看護学kango-gaku
Pharmacology薬学yaku-gaku
Social Science社会科学shakaika-gaku
Economics経済学keizai-gaku
Trade商学shougaku
Politics政治学seiji-gaku
Sociology社会学shakai-gaku
Psychology心理学shinri-gaku
Formal science形式科学keishikika-gaku
Mathematics数学sugaku
Statistics統計学toukei-gaku
Computer science計算機科学keisankika-gaku

University degrees in Japanese

Since Japanese resumes are a timeline of your education, your degree level needs to be mentioned along with the university you graduated from and the department you studied under.

For example, “イェール大学大学院 社会科学研究科 国際商学専攻 修士課程” would translate directly as “Master’s Degree in International Trade & Commerce (acquired at the department of social science from Yale University Grad School).”

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Major専攻senkou
Bachelor’s degree学士gakushi
Master’s degree修士課程shushikatei
Doctorate (Ph.D.)博士課程hakasekatei

When writing your Japanse resume, you’ll need the kanji for both your admission and graduation date.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji
Admission入学nyugaku
Graduated (with diploma)卒業sotsugyou
Completion (without diploma)修了shuryou
Dropped退学taigaku
Undergraduate見込みmikomi

A standard sentence would go like this:

(year)年 (month) 月 (university name) 大学 (university department) 部 (sub-department) 料 入学 (admission or other status mentioned above).

If the line concerns a master’s degree or a doctorate, the 部 (bu) becomes 研究科 (kenkyuuka) and the 料(ryou) become 専攻(senkou).

Practical examples:

EnglishJapanese equivalent
2014 – 2018: Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages, Yale University (international study department)2014年9月イェール(Yale)大学 国際学部 外国語学料 入学 2018年6月イェール(Yale)大学 国際学部 外国語学料 卒業
2018 – present: Master’s degree in International Trade & Commerce, Yale University (Social Science department)2018年9月 イェール(Yale)大学大学院 社会科学研究科 国際商学専攻 修士課程 入学 2020年6月イェール(Yale)大学大学院 社会科学研究科 国際商学専攻 修士課程 卒業 見込み

Now that you know the equivalent in Japanese for everything related to education, you can get started translating your resume.

Next time we will take a look at how to write your work history in Japanese.

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