The power of referrals

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    Japanese employers don't care much about LinkedIn (unless your job is social networking), nor do they particularly like written references. Instead Japanese companies rely on word of mouth recommendations, especially those from within their professional or social circle.

    Likewise the protocol for asking for a referral is much more circuitous in Japan. Instead of asking for a recommendation you express a general concern about finding a new job, and the other person talks to their contacts, making their recommendation in the process, and eventually you're approached with an invitation to submit a resume (by which point the job is normally all but a done deal).

    The methods suggested simply don't work in Japan.

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    Absolutely, what Frungy said. I have never, ever had to attend a job interview in Japan (except as a mere formality, when the deal was already done - sight unseen, no less! - and my new employer only wanted to hammer out the small details. All of my jobs, and I've had some great ones, have been through word of mouth, and I've almost always been able to use my current job as a jumping off point for a better one.

    Never underestimate the power of connections in Japan. Japanese people would far rather deal with the devil they know rather than the one that they don't, even if that "devil" is only the friend of a sister-in-law's cousin.

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