Mar 26 2018 Top Five Channels to Build Your Digital Brand

Irrespective of the sector you’re targeting, companies in Japan are more likely to scan your skills and background online before you have a chance to step through the door for an interview. In Japan, larger companies will use large online application systems typical of the traditional job-hunting system (known as ‘shukatsu’) that doesn’t allow for much individuality. That said, younger companies (SMEs and ventures) are branching out and experimenting with new methods such as instaviews’ (i.e. interviews through Instagram) to screen candidates. As companies diversify how they source and screen candidates beyond paper-based applications, it’s important to know what digital channels are out there and what platforms and tools suit you. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most popular platforms to help you put your best (digital) foot forward!

  1.  Use LinkedIn to Build a Domestic and International Network

    Although the popularity of LinkedIn in Japan is debatable, the value of this platform globally is undeniable. With +4.5million users in +200 countries, for Japanese companies looking to globalize, LinkedIn is an inevitable part of creating a more diverse HR strategy. For people with international backgrounds, LinkedIn can play very much to your strengths. Depending on your career interests and expertise, you can structure your profile to attract companies and connect with professionals in your field. Whether it’s soliciting endorsements from past and present colleagues or publishing articles to show thought leadership – LinkedIn is worth investing some time in to connect with potential employees; strengthen existing connections and reach out to potential mentors and professionals to help you achieve your career goals.

  2. Make your Facebook One Worth Finding

    If a company doesn’t find your LinkedIn, they will most likely stumble across your Facebook account. As Japan’s second most popular social media platform, it’s worth taking some time to scan through your profile. Whether it’s your photos or the content you’ve posted and/or shared, cross-check your privacy settings and recent posts to ensure you’re sharing the highlights of your achievements and personality to potential employees and colleagues. This isn’t to say you need to get an account or censor your posts, but it’s worth doing a spring clean! After all, you’re not as ‘active’ or present on other digital channels, this might be the first hit a potential employer or recruiter will find.

  3. Make a Little 日本語 Go a Long Way on Twitter

    Twitter is Japan’s most widely used social network – trumping other social media platforms, Twitter has seen a surge in users as an especially effective communication tool after natural disasters to coordinate relief and rebuilding efforts. In addition to this, the number of characters in English is completely different in Japanese – a few characters can be 10 times the content in Japanese than English. For members who are eager to build their Japanese, this is a great way to practice and build your vocabulary with a few hashtags in Japanese and reposts of content in Japanese or English. The benefits are twofold, as it shows your up-keep of new trends and your motivation to learn/use Japanese irrespective of your JLPT level. Similar to LinkedIn, its worth using Twitter to connect with companies and/or industry leaders you’re interested in working for but also to understand what drives them. Keeping tabs on reposts or likes of executives and/or companies you’re keen on can open an invaluable window into the ideas and individuals that inspire and influence them.

  4. Fast-track IT Job Applications through Github

    The highest labour shortage in Japan and globally is in the IT sector. For engineers, Github provides a powerful platform to showcase your programming skills and IT interests. For companies that have technical tests, seeing personal projects that candidates create or contribute to on Github is always a strong appeal. It can at times bypass technical screenings or help supplement applications. For applicants who may not have an academic background in computer science, having a strong portfolio on platforms like Github can be the make or break into that career shift into the booming IT sector. Of course, there are limitations for professionals and researchers who have signed NDAs, which companies will always understand if disclosed during the application process.

  5. YouTube Your Way Into a Japanese Company


Last but least, is YouTube. This platform isn’t for everyone but it can be a strong asset for candidates who are interested in marketing and communications. Why? well, precisely because it requires strong skills in both areas to be successful. For Japanese companies targeting global markets, candidates who have clear influence or connections to target  these markets have a strong competitive advantage. Creating content on YouTube doesn’t necessarily have to be lengthy Vlogs, it can be 2min presentations of your research or simple snippets of your experience in Japan. In addition to communication and marketing, having a strong YouTube Channel by default shows a wide spectrum of skills that are not limited to content creation but curating, editing, design, etc.

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