The Exact Steps I Took in Landing an Internship in Japan

As I’ve mentioned previously, I was able to land an internship in Japan against a huge stockpile of odds. This is a follow-up article which outlines exactly what I did to help me get the internship. I’ve linked the actual groups that I joined as well as the actual sites that I visited (only as far as my memory takes me) So if you’re looking for some sort of a step-by-step, this is the one you’re looking for.

You can read my previous article here : “Getting an Internship in Japan with Nearly Zero Connections and Level 1 Language Skills”

I consider that internship one of my favorite achievements ever. It’s certainly not the most glamorous but it’s that one where I could proudly say is attributable solely to my unwavering faith, grit and will power. I know for a fact that it’s brough me one step closer to living in Japsn which has been a dream of mine for quite some time now.

My circumstances may not be the same with everybody who may be reading this. But I must say that the steps I took will undoubtedly be helpful to most no matter the circustances. It even may very well set a pattern for achieving just about anything in life.

Without further ado, let’s get into it:

1. Tap into the community — build a network, make friends.

I knew that in order to succeed at virtually almost anything in life; it helps a great deal to know people here and there, to have that network that would open to you the best gigs, the best opportunities in a certain field.

I started with the most basic thing — making Japanese friends. It could also be as simple as befriending people who actually have been to Japan in the past. In my case, it was my Microbiology Professor who so happened to be a graduate of Osaka University.

I eventually did manage to make some Japanese friends though, even while I was in my own country. I got affliated with the Japanese community here, volunteered, made some friends and expanded my network even more.

When I got to Japan, I met up with them which really felt good, knowing I had friends in a foreign land. I continue to keep contact with them over Social Media.

I didn’t stop there neither as I got in contact with foreigners in Japan as well when I was there. There’s a group on facebook, Cool Foreigners in Japan, that’s well regulated and looked after. In order to be accepted to join the group, you need to be specific with your reason to join especially if you live outside Japan. But if you show sincerity and true intent in moving to or getting affiliated with Japan, you shouldn’t have any problems in getting approved.

Building a network isn’t necessarily the first thing one ought to do. It’s something that you should constantly build over time from day one with no stopping.

2. Scour the Internet for postings — look under every rock and pebble.

The very place that got me the internship at Axispoint (a real estate company in Shibuya), was in fact a Linkedin Group called Internship Japan. It’s basically a group that helps foreigners look for exactly that — an internship in Japan. It took a bit of scrolling and it obviously required me to apply to a bunch before finally finding the one that said yes.

This was not the first website that I came across obviously. I had to go through quite a good number of sites before I ended up with the Linkedin Group. I was looking at Facebook, Twitter with Twitter Search (which is a tool I highly recommend).

I was looking at popular sites like gaijinpot.com and not so common websites like kopra.org, which is a site I highly recommend as well.

Interestingly, Craigslist also a great place to look. There’s Craigslist Osaka, Craigslist Tokyo, Fukuoka among many others. . Yes they have internship postings there too and in fact, I got accepted to one that I applied for on there as well! It was a company in Kyoto but by then I was alread well into the process of getting ready to leave for Tokyo for my internship.

You really have to go crazy with google search as take advantage of internal search engines of the various Social Media Sites. The internet is such a valuable resource that’s often untapped or not not tapped enough! Talk about taking things for granted.

3. Build a killer resume and cover letter.

I’m always one to throw shade on school and the educational system but there’s this one class that I thought was one of the few that was extremely useful — Business English.

In this class we were taught how to make a killer resume and cover letter down to the smallest details.

Apart from it being aesthetically pleasing with good readability and sound typography, the resume’s content should be well constructed and tailorfitted to each company that you apply for.

I’m talking abou the introduction portion of the resume, where you write that short paragraph about yourself and how your skills and attitude fit well into the company whom you’re applying for. Even more so with your cover letter, edit them well and think of the recruiters as they look at your resume.

In my case, I had to edit my resume each time for each company that I applied for. The purpose of this really is for them to see right off the bat that you’re a cut above the rest. What better way to show that than to start knocking recruiters’ socks dead early on with your resume and cover letter?

There you have it. Everything’s rather simple really. You just have to take the time to do it. I for sure took that time and eventually reaped the reward for my efforts.

At the end of the day, we go back to how much we want a certain thing. Because if you truly do want it, you wont’ have a hard time getting motivated to keep trying to get it with unrelenting zeal and enthusiasm.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

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