Writing the rirekisho

The following sample 履歴書 (rirekisho) and a blank template are available for download as Microsoft Word documents at the end of this walkthrough.

For ease of explanation, we’ll be looking at a rirekisho that’s already been filled out. Here’s what one looks like, split into two halves for ease of viewing. (Click any of the following images for a more close-up view. The red, circled numbers are for explanatory purposes and will not appear on the rirekisho itself.)

Now let’s look at each of the 6.5 sections (one of them bleeds over into the next column) one at a time.

Section 1 – Personal Info.

1. The date in Heisei
Dates on the rirekisho are rendered solely in the Japanese calendar system, wherein years are according to the reign of the emperor. (Japan-guide.com has a handy online converter that will let you plug in the year to find its Japanese equivalent.) This field is for the 現在 (current) date upon which the rirekisho was filled out; it should be updated each time you submit a resume. As you can see, the date is 平成20年8月4日, or August 4, 2008.

2. Your name
The 氏名 (name) field tells us that this particular rirekisho is for a young woman named Jessica Smith. Notice that this is rendered as ジェシカ・スミス. Yes, Japanese name order is surname first, but don’t flip your name to match: putting Smith Jessica in big bold letters on your resume is only going to look strange. It would also look strange to put じぇしか・すみす in the ふりがな line above, so just leave that blank.

3. Name stamp
This is where the 印鑑, or name stamp, goes. If you have one, great — stamp it on a sheet of paper, scan it, and attach the picture to your Word template. Otherwise, just leave this field blank.

4. Personal photo
Yes, you must include a photo of yourself. This may be completely outrageous in your home country (it is in mine), but in Japan, it’s standard. The only explanations I’ve heard for the photo are that it lets prospective employers know it’s really you when you show up for your interview (!) and that it helps said employers remember which candidate is which when making their decision. As feeble as these explanations are, the fact remains that the photo is a necessity, and there are some rules to follow:

・The size should be (height x width) 36-40mm by 24-30mm
・It should be a professional, passport-style photo
・You should be wearing business attire (guys, that means dress shirt and tie)

Sitting down in a photo booth and taking the picture yourself is always a possibility; personally, I slapped some work clothes over a pair of shorts, gave the specifications to the person at the photo lab and had her take it for me. In any case, once you have your photo, scan it and attach it to the Word document.

5. Birth date, age and gender
Our Mrs. Jessica was born 昭和56 8月3日, or August 3, 1981 in the Western calendar. Her age is in parentheses. The two options below are for 男 (male) and 女 (female), the latter of which is circled. The circle itself was accomplished by doing a screen capture of the document, trimming out the appropriate gender and putting a circle around it, all accomplished in glorious MS Paint.

6. Current address
Jessica is applying from overseas, so this field lists the katakana rendering of her mailing address, which is in English below. (If you’re applying from within Japan, your address will look as it does in Cell 8.) The ZIP code is next to the 〒 symbol.

7. Current phone number

8. Contact information
If you have a contact person in Japan (close friend, in-laws, etc.), place that information here. Otherwise, leave it blank. The 方 at the bottom corner stays as-is.

9. Contact phone number

Section 2 – School and work history

10. School history
This is the really odious part, where you list, in chronological order, all the schools you’ve attended since time immemorial. For whatever reason, a 入学 (entry) date is only required for high school — elementary and junior-high entries simply list the date of 卒業 (graduation). Because Jessica moved around a lot as a child, she decided to skip the line for elementary school altogether.

The method of notation in this section is rather straightforward, and uses the Japanese calendar system mentioned above. A few points of note:

・Some universities have multiple branch schools. In Jessica’s case, she attended the University of Washington at Tyler, or ワシントン大学タイラー校, where she enrolled in the 学科 (college) of Japanese.
・If you’ve attended some sort of educational facility and earned a certificate, note that here. As you can see, Jessica entered ABC Language School, where she earned a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. (See Section 3 for how this is rendered in Japanese.)

11. Work history
Jobs are also listed in chronological order. Any time you enter a company, list the company name followed by 入社. When you leave that company, use the stock phrase 一身上の都合により退社, or “Left the company for personal reasons.”

Section 2.5

Many of the points worth mentioning are in the company name. Whereas 株式会社 earlier appeared at the beginning of the names of companies that Jessica has worked for, here it comes after. Why? This company just prefers it that way. As for what 株式会社 means, it could be rendered in English as “Inc.” or “Co., Ltd.” or even “KK” (an appellation that more and more Japanese companies seem to be adopting). The point is, like the company name says, 油断大敵: lack of diligence is your greatest enemy. Take the time to make sure you’re getting the company information right. Not doing so could come back to bite you.

If you happen to still be employed while looking for a job, note this with 現在に至る, or ” up to the present.” The 以上 (finished) a couple lines down stays there to note that your school and work history is complete.

Section 3 – Accomplishments

12. Licenses and certificates
Yes, the very first thing listed in this field is that the applicant 取得 (received) a 第一種 (Category 1, or “normal”) driver’s license. And no, said applicant is not nuts for mentioning this. In a country like Japan, where so many people rely on mass transit, it’s not unusual that a lot of folks simply can’t drive. The Japanese note ownership of a driver’s license among their resume qualifications, and you should, too. You’d be surprised — it could nudge you ahead of another candidate.

The next thing listed in this field is a 資格 (certificate) for 外国語としての英語教育, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). If you happen to have that particular certification, that’s how you say it in Japanese. Also, Jessica 合格 (passed) Level 2 of the JLPT, or Japanese Language Proficiency Test. If you have no formal certification of your Japanese ability, or your skill level exceeds your current certification, there’s room to note that below.

Section 4 – More personal info.

13. Skills, reason for application, etc.
The first thing noted here is why you’re applying for this job. You can get creative, but feel free to use the stock phrase 営業経験を活かして、 [industry] の仕事にて活躍したい, or “I want to utilize my previous work experience and play an active role at a/an [industry] job.” (A quick linguistic note: the にてis a polite で, and there’s no need to use a 。unless separating two sentences.) If you feel you have relevant experience but not from a traditional work environment, just leave off the 営業 (work) part. If you want to emphasize skills over experience, substitute everything before the をwith 語学力, 計算力, or whatever 力 (lit. “power”) you have.

Next up is 特技 (special skills). This is your time to show off what you can do, so use it. Jessica lists Japanese first, and notes that through self-study and work experience, she feels (lit. “it can be thought that”) she’s gained a knowledge of Japanese at or above JLPT Level 1. She lists specializations in two areas of translation, which she separates with 及び, a much nicer-sounding version of と. Finally, she notes that she can use both Macintosh and Windows 版 (versions) of Office, and uses 等 as a way of noting she can do more without going into further detail. (Obviously, if applying for a technical job, you wouldn’t want to skimp on this part.)

Following this is 好きな学科, or subjects you enjoy. Just put whatever you like. This is followed by a space and 趣味, or hobbies. Reading books, watching movies and listening to music seem to comprise the Big Three of hobbies listed on rirekisho (including this one, where Jessica renders her watching of movies with the polite-sounding 映画鑑賞). If you can come up with something other than the Big Three, by all means do so. If you’re a guy and you can cook, that’s a conversation starter. If you own a Web site, I’d put that down as well.

14. Commute time
If you don’t live in Japan, or if you’re applying from inside Japan but from a location far removed from the company, just leave this blank. If you’re not sure where exactly you are in relation to the company, use Yahoo’s 路線情報 tool.

15. Number of dependents (excluding spouse)
Place the number of dependents next to 人. If none, insert “0.”

16. Spouse
Circle 有 if married, 無 if not. And yes, the next field gets even more personal.

17. Spousal support
Circle 有 if you support your spouse, 無 if you don’t.

Section 5 – Hopes and desires

18. Where, when and how much
This is sort of a gray area with no set definitions. The Japanese states, “If you have any particular desires regarding salary, type of work, work hours or work location, list them here.” If you know the company and know specifically which department you want to work in, type 勤務部署 and list it. If you don’t know, or have no preference where in the company you’ll be assigned, omit 勤務部署 altogether. Below that is 勤務地 (work location). Some companies run multiple branch offices; if there’s somewhere in particular you want to work, state that here.

Finally, there’s 給与 (salary). There are a couple different ways to handle this.

・If you know what you’re worth and that’s what you want, enter 年収[amount]万円以上であればと思っております. (Note the formal-sounding ~ばと思う form.)
・If you want to make as much or more as what you made at your previous job, use the phrase 前職と同程度(年収[amount]万円以上)であればと思っております. Substitute 現職 for 前職 if currently employed.
・If you’re going through a recruiter (who would likely be doing the salary negotiations for you) or you just don’t want to talk about money until you can do it face-to-face, use the phrase ご相談させて頂きたいと思っております, which basically means, “I’d like to confer with you about that.”

Section 6 – Legal guardian

19. Your guardian and you
Chances are extremely good you’ll be leaving this last section blank, as it’s only filled out in the event that you’re a minor (under 20 according to Japanese law). For completeness’ sake, the information requested is phone number, name and address.

Some employers request you submit a rirekisho along with an English-language resume. In cases such as these, it’s never a bad idea to make the HR person’s job a little easier and standardize your filename conventions. In Jessica’s case, her filenames would look something like Smith_Rireki and Smith_Resume.

And that’s it. You now know how to fill out a rirekisho. Here are a few MS Word documents to help you write one of your own:

rirekisho_sample, being the rirekisho we’ve just looked at, complete with the red circled numbers
rirekisho_template, a blank template for you to begin typing into.

Finally, don’t forgot to check out this previous entry which gives a bit more background info. on the rirekisho.

74 Responses

  1. Wow this was really helpful. Thanks.

  2. Haven’t had to fill out one of these for proper yet, but I’ve bookmarked the link should that time come. Great work!

  3. Wow! this is SUPER helpful. very in-depth. I was just wondering, when listing one’s job history, it seems to be just a list of employers. is there any need to specify one’s former position at the company? or is that something addressed later, in an interview, for example?

  4. Thanks for the comments all.

    Shannon, you’re right, the rirekisho simply lists job history, not positions held. What exactly you did at the company would be, as you said, addressed during the interview itself (or via a shokumukeirekisho, the *other* Japanese resume that, at least in my experience, isn’t requested that often).

  5. Thanks for posting this. Especially the template.

  6. This is incredibly helpful. You should win an award for your diligence. Not even some of the Japanese sites I have been browsing go into so much depth about what should be said and how one should say it as you do. Also, the template is very useful. Would there be problems though if someone handed in a resume that was in landscape view as opposed to two portrait pages of document? Thanks!

  7. Thanks for the kind words, Ben. It was the paucity of cosolidated rirekisho-writing info. on both the English and Japanese internets that made me want to post this in the first place. Hopefully it will be of some use to you.

    I’m afraid I don’t quite follow your question though. Two pages instead of one? The document appears as a single … uh, rectangular page for me, which I assume would be landscape. Is the document bleeding out onto a second page for you?

  8. Hi John,

    Great entry. I think that a lot of people will find it useful, but I have to take issue on one area. I think that when it comes to writing your name on the RIREKI it should be your legal name. Which for foreigners in Japan is their name as it appears on the Alien Registration Card. If you look at your ARC you’ll see that your name is written Family name, followed by given names in block alphabet.

    So on your RIREKI and any other legal or semi-legal documents in Japan (for example an application for a bank account) your name should be written this way. It might look strange, but it is your legal name.

    Anyway, don’t take my word for it. I agree with you that there is very little good information on the Internet either in Japanese or English. The truth is that most Japanese people don’t understand the conventions for writing a RIREKI. Which is why I went to the bookstore and bought 3 REKISHO KAKIKATA books.

  9. Hi there Wil,

    Thanks for the comment. BTW, I don’t have to take anyone’s word on naming conventions on the rirekisho — I’ve landed all my jobs here with my natural name order intact and in katakana, and haven’t received a single comment from either recruiters or prospective employers. Never saw flipped/Romanized name order when I used to review foreign rirekisho at my old company either. The flipped version is used for bank accounts, etc. but for rirekisho it’s a non-issue; it’s a work history, not a document for legal or business-transaction purposes.

  10. Thanks for posting the link at ringo.net, John.
    Timely and relevant.

    Look forward to seeing you there again.


  11. Thanks for this very well done article. It is very helpfull and goes well into the details.

    I found this page through google, but now I’m going to surf on the rest of your blog 😉

    If you have some time to lose, feel free to browse my matsuri pictures on my website 😉


  12. Thank you very much for this! It was very enlightening.

    I’m currently applying for an exchange year and my university wants me to write a CV (in table form) ‘that adheres to what is common in the target country’ so I’m having a hard time now deciding what to put in. I thought I’d stick to the contents of a rirekishou but a lot of it just doesn’t fit this purpose. Currently I only included personal data, education and (part-time) work history and the whole thing is rather short and bare. I wonder whether it is necessary/advisable to include hobbies and favourite subjects or anything else?

    Even if you have no idea about that, I’d also appreciate any kind of opinion. Thank you and sorry for bothering!


  14. […] One of my favorite blogs about life in Tokyo is John Turningpin’s Mad Tokyo. The guy is an old YD watcher who I found through this inane network of JP blogs. He’s got a way with words, which is why I feel bad that I’m not linking his story about headbanging coworkers or his disdain of… well, just about everything, but rather his most educational entries, Know your rirekisho and Writing the rirekisho. […]

  15. Thank you very much for posting this entry!! It’s very, very, very helpful! 🙂

    I was wondering… Is it common for one to include a cover letter with his/her rirekisho, or does one just send his/her rirekisho?? If one does include a cover letter, is the format the same as in the U.S. or different? Would you mind explaining? 😀 Thanks!!

  16. I’m glad if the post was of use to you.

    To answer your question, no, it isn’t common to include a cover letter per se … BUT because so many rirekisho are submitted electronically these days, you need something to go into the body of the e-mail, which ends up essentially becoming your cover letter. The format is pretty standard and not at all difficult.

    I’ve been kicking around a walkthrough-style entry about the cover letter for a while but haven’t quite finished it yet. In the interim, you can check out the sample I’ll be basing the walkthrough on here: http://www.jobi-joba.com/header/guide/mail.htm

  17. Just a quick question: I am graduating University this year, and I’m writing a Japanese resume. I have no full-time work experience (working for companies, I mean), so is it appropriate to list my part-time job experience? I just thought it would look so empty if only listed school information…

  18. Most definitely include part-time job experience. Many, many people here work part-time jobs before moving on to become full-time employees. And without that information, as you mention, it would be a pretty bare-looking rirekisho. Best of luck to you.

  19. Fantastic help, thank you so much!

    Just wondering if it’s standard to have a one-page landscape document, or should I expand the template to a two-page portrait one?

  20. The one-page layout as presented would seem to be the norm.

  21. I just finished writing my rirekisho! This was very very helpful! Thank you very much! ^_^

  22. do you have any example shokumukeirekisho? its hard to find an example in english explanation… Thanks!

    • I have a shokumukeirekisho that I personally use, but I haven’t posted it or written up a guide for it because shokumukeirekisho format varies wildly depending on what kind of industry you’re in, duties you’ve performed, etc. Without fail, any Japanese guides I found had multiple formats grouped according to job type; after much searching, I finally said “Screw it” and modified a pre-existing format to suit my own needs. Doing likewise would probably be your best bet.

  23. Hello

    Thank you for posting this. I find it extremely useful. I also appreciate the fact that you have been answering everyone’s questions very promptly on the comments section.

    I was wondering… I know it’s not common in Japan to leave school in the middle to go off to work. In my case, I did not finish my second degree but went on to work so I am not sure what to put. “退学” seems very negative. It’s not like I was kicked out for causing trouble like some 不良. I chose to not finish it because all that was remaining were electives and I did not feel the need to take them as they were unrelated to my field of study. I have a degree prior to that as well and thus felt I was well rounded enough not to take the electives. I don’t want to put 卒業 in case anything comes up in the future. I see enough political scandals on the news over there and it’s ugly. Maybe 必修科目完了?

    Thank you for your input in advance.

  24. Hi there NN,

    I’m glad you’ve found the posting of use (though, as I’ve mentioned recently, it’s badly in need of an upgrade to incorporate additional information I’ve come into recently).

    To answer your question, there are two ways I can see that you could go about this.

    Option 1: Quantify the reason for your departure
    One of the things I’ve learned recently regarding the rirekisho is that it’s all right to add a bit more information to explain the choices you’ve made regarding your educational and work history. In your case, you may consider something like 「XX株式会社に雇用された為、途中退学しました」, or, “Left [university] prior to graduation due to having been hired at Company X.” This provides a valid and respectable reason for your not having completed your second degree.

    Option 2: Lie and say you completed your degree
    This is obviously an ethical decision, and I am not advocating one course of action over another; just let it be known that there will be *zero* effort on the part of your potential employer to verify your educational history (and in many cases, your work history), so bending the truth and saying you completed your degree is an option.

    (Note to other readers: Again, putting aside ethics, I offer Option 2 as a suggestion because this poster already has a prior degree, which will allow him/her to get the requisite visa. Lying and saying you have a four-year degree when you actually don’t, thus precluding you from obtaining the work visa you’ll need unless you’re married to a Japanese citizen, are of Japanese ancestry, etc. is not a good idea.)

    Hope this helps, NN. Take care.

  25. thanx for the great walkthrough. like others I have the problem of having to send in a 職務経歴書 for a position i try to apply. on the other hand, my japanese is not that great. You think a 履歴書 could be enough as a sign of good will, after an english version is handed in already?
    The HR is informed of my low japanese skills, so this gives me quite some head ache!
    but your walkthrough helped to create a good 履歴書.

  26. very very helpfull! Thank you for posting this!

  27. Thank you for your helpful post. Just one question on the work history section: If I participated in an internship for several months, what choice of words should I use to describe my ‘termination’ or closure of the internship. 一身上の都合により doesn’t seem to work

    • Thanks for the comment Alexander, and your question is a perfect example of why this rirekisho write-up needs an overhaul. Sorry I haven’t gotten around to it yet…

      Please note that I’ve never done an internship myself, so unlike other aspects of the rirekisho write-up, I can’t say, ” I know this and stand by it because I’ve personally experienced it!” That being said, my guess would be something like “研修期間が終了したため、[outcome],” as in 帰国しました if you went back to your home country, 退社しました if you left the company and are still in Japan, and so on. Hope this helps.

  28. Thanks very much for this. I’m filling out my first rirekisho now!

  29. Hi! Like everyone else, Wow! this is helpful! Thanks so much for your time and effort!

    Question: What if, through my home university, I participated in a study abroad program at another school? Technically, I was still ‘enrolled’ with my home university while studying abroad, so I didn’t really ‘leave’ my original school. Would saying something like 留学するため、転校 suffice, and then upon return, write 再入学?

  30. Of all the “useful” tips on the web, you seemed to be the only one to provide us with both downloadable rirekisho template and a detailed walkthrough with tips. I think I speak for all who come upon this walkthrough when I say “thanks a million”.

    • Hi MAT,

      My being unable to find a good, clear write-up when doing my own rirekisho was exactly what made me want to write this entry. Hope it helped.

  31. Thank you so much for posting this! An internship I am applying for requires a Rirekisho, and as I’ve never written one, I am eternally grateful to you for writing this up in so much detail.

    I have a quick question for you regarding the 学歴 section. I studied abroad for a year, and wondered if this should be included. I was thinking of something along the lines of “XX大学XX学部XX学科留学開始/完成”…would that be appropriate?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Wendy,
      Please see the reply to Tony’s comment below. Sorry it took me a while to get around to answering.

  32. Extremely helpful, and I’m looking forward to making my own.

  33. Hey, I have a question about this. I am planning to move in with my boyfriend in Japan after I graduate next year, but I don’t know any Japanese formally. I want to obviously work, but I don’t know what resumes I should have, if I should fill out the rirekisho in English, get someone who knows Japanese to write it for me, or just use an English resume.

    What do you think?

  34. Tracey, can you please specify what you mean by “don’t know any Japanese formally”? If you mean you can speak “survival Japanese,” it’s possible you could get something that wouldn’t require much/advanced Japanese, but odds are very high it won’t pay anywhere as much as English teaching would. If you’re in Japan for the long haul, my advice would be to begin with teaching, in which case only an English-language resume would be required, and build up your language skillset (if I’m understanding your situation properly) until you can leave English teaching behind and move into a more Japanese-intensive position, at which case a full-blown rirekisho would be required.

    One thing you do NOT want to do is submit a resume that someone else has written for you. The rirekisho is a statement of who you are and what you are capable of. Believe me, the question of who wrote your rirekisho *will* come up, and that person not being you is a big strike against you. I say this having been privy to/part of the interview process. Best of luck to you.

  35. Thank you so much for this, its incredibly useful. I have moved a lot in my life so my 履歴書 might look quite full when done, I was wondering if it’s ok to expand it or if the norm is to cut things out for schools or jobs if there are too many to list… Sorry it’s a bit of a random question!

  36. Thank you for your good posting. Could you give me some advise about filling my rirekisho? I have just returned my hometown around the beginning of this year after graduated my degree. Now I have received some mails from the recruitment agency inJapan, they ask me to send my resume.

    Actually I really want to find a job in Japan and I want to tell them that I can go to Japan for the final interview, if they want. What &how are the good way/sentences that I should tell them when I reply? Thank you so much and please advise.

  37. Hi

    Thanks for doing this for gaijin. I am married and have been living in Japan for about three years. I will be applying to we’ll say for the sake of this post, “Sony Japan”. This multinational corporation has a very nice job posting and I’ll need a Japanese CV. Not the regular pre-formatted resumes such as the template you kindly posted for us (similar resumes can be found at convenience stores), but an original resume for a more executive post. Do you have any examples of an appropriate resume for this type of position? I’ve seen Japanese at cafes making these kinds of resumes so I know they’re pretty common for people who are not university recruits. Any formatting or stylistic advice would be appreciated.



    • Hi T,
      The rirekisho is a standardized template detailing employment history, not content. It sounds like what you need is a 職務経歴書 (shokumu keirekisho), which is a different beast altogether. THAT document is customizable (to the point where no single, agreeing template exists). Your best bet is to simply look at some industry-specific examples and tailor them to meet your own needs. See this site for some examples: http://doda.jp/guide/syokureki/

  38. Thanks for your blog! It’s a lot of help.

    One quick question though:
    – Would you list a university you studied abroad at while attending your home university? And if so, should I just list it chronologically between the 入学 and 卒業 lines of my home university?

    • Hi Tony,
      According to the internets, you would list study abroad as a separate explanation after the graduation, i.e., list 入学 and 卒業 as shown, then below that (leaving the date sections blank) write something like 平成A年B月よりC年間休学し[country]D大学へ留学, plugging in A-D with the information relevant to you. Thanks.

  39. hi. just wanted to say how helpful this was. took me a while but i managed to fill out the rirekisho and everything thanks to your step by step instructions.

  40. […] a Japanese-style résumé (which, by the way, is markedly […]

  41. Thank you so much for this extraordinary lesson in “Rikekisho-Writing 101.” I have downloaded your forms and am in the process of typing up a fine rirekisho, which I know will very much impress the person to whom I am going to send my job application! Do you mind if I asked you a question re. the section on 職歴?

    How would you phrase something like “I have been self-employed since (year), working as a consultant and photo-designer.”? Any feedback would be very much appreciated. Again, thank you for this great service, it is a huge boost to my application package!

    • Hi Izabela,

      From what I gather, filling in the start date, same as if you had entered a company, and writing something like 個人フォトデザイン及びコンサルタント事務所を開業 would be the way to go; if/when you cease doing this work, you would substitute 閉鎖 for 退職. You may also want to preface コンサルタント with exactly what kind of consulting work you did. Hope this helps.

      • Dear John,

        Thanks so much for your reply. An agency notified me about this job and had asked me to respond right away, so I already sent off my app!

        I ended up using the compound 自営業者 to describe my self-employed status. I put more info re. the nature of my work in parentheses. Not sure if 自営業者 sounds a little harsh or abrupt, but they’ll probably get what I’m trying to say.

        Overall I was very pleased to have completed my first rirekisho! I wonder if I will ever hear back from this company, but I did the best I could and certainly would not have been able to react in such a short amount of time had it not been for your rirekisho-template. I do admire your command of the Japanese language as well as the fact that you are making your skills, time, and hard work that must have gone into studying Japanese available for free.

        Most sincerely,

  42. Many thanks, Izabela. I’m happy if you’ve found any of the information here useful. Take care, and best of luck.

  43. 本当にありがとうございました。You’re a lifesaver!
    I really appreciate the clarity and detail of your explanations.

    I have a few questions. I’m a college student applying for a summer internship at a Japanese company. I’ve only been studying Japanese for a year and a half, so I’m not sure how to say/write many words and phrases. I found that there are some items I’ve listed under “Experience” in my English resume that don’t exactly classify as “work,” but were valuable experiences nonetheless (and I wouldn’t include them under 趣味 or any other section). I was wondering if I could include the following under 職歴:

    1. Undergraduate research – I spent two years volunteering in a biotech lab. It was like a part-time job, but without pay.

    2. Student organizations, such as Engineers without Borders, in which I’ve invested a good amount of time working on international humanitarian projects, including traveling for site assessments and construction.

    3. Volunteer positions, such as tutoring through a university organization

    Also, could I include a minor (Spanish) on the rirekisho?

    Should I include my expected graduation date, or simply type 現在に至る below the entrance date?

    Is it not customary to include scholarships on the rirekisho?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I really appreciate your help and your efforts in breaking down the rirekisho writing process. Thank you again. よろしくお願いします。

  44. Thanks a lot. Even three years later this is still tremendously useful. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was despairing of having to recreate the rikekisho in Word all by myself, so thanks for saving us all the trouble.

  45. Searched “rireikisho” for the first time and found your post.
    Great, i am just about to complete my resume in Japanese with your help. Thanks.
    I have used english instead of japanese in all the fields so far, with only the years info. etc in japanese. I think it almost renders my qualifications unreadable when I use japanese.
    Will it be ok to do so?
    Actually I have all the japanese information stored in a document and just need to copy paste it here if need be.
    Please let me know.
    Thanks again for this fantastic help

  46. wow this is so very helpful!thanks a lot!:D

  47. Thank you so much! 🙂

  48. The answer to the “two pages” question is simple. The template is set on a Japanese B4 page size, the same size as the real form that you can buy in konbini. The B4 paper is kind of big, so you have to fold it in two to put it in the B5 size envelope (that is provided with the form in konbini).
    If you print the document, you have to use B4 paper to get the right result. If you want to print it on amerian 8,5×11 or A4 paper, then you need to change the template to put in on two pages

    Check the “Japanese B-series variant” of the “Paper size” article on Wikipedia to have an idea of the sizes.

    P.S. Useful template and explanation, thanks. I read all the comments and many of them where interesting, so I hope this comment can help other readers.

  49. Just awesome! Your page is the best, very well explained. Just that I had trouble with kanji reading (still not an expert) the furigana reading of the kanji would of been a plus to your already super post xD

    • Much appreciated, thanks! I’ve fooled around with Ruby furigana readings before and it was pretty nightmarish. Hope it was all right for you to navigate!

  50. […] history, expectations for the job you’re applying for, and hobbies. When I was starting out, John Turningpin’s wonderful rirekisho guide over at Mad Tokyo was a big help. Some job magazines provide paper for you to use, so all you have […]

  51. thanks for the amazing advice! working on it right now!

  52. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am really impressed to
    read everthing at single place.

  53. […] 履歴書 Rirekisho – This is your CV. This has your details, education history, a list of where you worked, your goals and accomplishments and so on. (Guide) […]

  54. […] An A4 formated CV. Keep it simple, 1 page and clean formatting. You may not be able to get as creative as you want but be glad most animation companies don’t ask you to submit a rirekisho! […]

  55. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article!
    It is the little changes that produce the most important changes.
    Thanks for sharing!

  56. Thank you for the amazing advice ! It’s really helpful. Do you think it’s possible to write in english in that document ? Or only in Japanese ? Thank you again !

    • I would also like to know the answer to Jullet question. Thank you.

      • A rirekisho is, by definition, a Japanese-language CV. If you’re unable to write it in Japanese, you’re 1) better off submitting an English-language CV, and 2) probably not at the skill level, Japanese-wise, that the job requires.

  57. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

  58. Okay, thank you so much. I finally found this rirekisho on the internet because I wish someday I want to work in Japanese company. I have a rirekisho back then when I was in the college and it’s already printed out. By the way, thanks again..:)

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