Kanji Cheat Sheets
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).
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.
|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.
|Aesthetics (e.g. Beauty School)||美学||Bi-gaku|
|Pedagogy (Educational Studies)||教育学||kyouiku-gaku|
|Space and Astronautical Science||宇宙科学||uchuka-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).”
When writing your Japanse resume, you’ll need the kanji for both your admission and graduation date.
|Graduated (with diploma)||卒業||sotsugyou|
|Completion (without diploma)||修了||shuryou|
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).
|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.