Living in Japan

Another Set of Eyes

You’ve spent hour after hour toiling away at your resume, and polishing your cover letter. Finally, you put the finishing touches on both documents and sit back to admire your work. Your employment documents are complete! You’re 100% ready to begin your pursuit of the perfect position.

The only thing left to do is upload them to Jobs in Japan and let the job offers start rolling in!

Not so fast, partner.

At this stage, what you actually need to do is forget about it. After clicking Save one final time, walk away from the computer. Go watch TV, play racquetball, drink some green tea, read a comic book. Whatever you do to unwind, do that thing and forget about your resume for an entire day. You need to rid your mind of any thoughts of your job search and your possible future job in Japan.

After you’ve been job-search-free for 24-48 hours, open up the files and give them one final read. You’ll find things “feel” different after you’ve had time away. Your sizing might seem small. Your experience at Bob’s Big Boy might seem less important. You might find a “you’re” that should be a “your” hidden in your text. These little fixes might feel small now, but even one error in your documents can preclude you from getting the job of your dreams.

Alright, you’ve given your resume and cover letter a proper re-read. So now you’re finally ready to upload to Jobs in Japan!

Hold your horses.

Now it’s time to get another human being to read through your documents. You might be a great writer, or you might be unexceptional. Either way, now is not the time to be too proud to ask for help. No matter your skill level, your way of writing will always be at least slightly different from everyone else’s. And when you write these employment documents, you want to write for as broad an audience as you can. If you can get one or more people to read through them for errors as well as readability, that’s a plus.

Almost anyone is fine for this job, but the further you can get away from your own family and friends, the better. You want someone that will be completely honest with you. While your family and friends are awesome, they might try to spare your feelings. You need mission-focused folks who will give you objective feedback that you can use to improve your work.

If you’re not sure where to find someone for this brutal honesty, the JobsinJapan Facebook Group is a great place to start. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks, you can find plenty of websites that will give your documents a professional review as well (including ALTInsider Resume Review, an industry titan run by yours truly).

Whoever you get to review your work, be sure they know you want them to be brutally honest with you. Your goal is to craft the perfect resume, so you want as much constructive criticism as possible. Tell them to share any thoughts they have, no matter how trivial they may seem. You don’t have to act on every note they give, but you want as many improvement ideas as possible.

So, you’ve written your resume and cover letter. You took some time away from them and came back to review your work with fresh eyes. You’ve gotten at least one extra set of eyes on your work. Now you’re finally ready to upload your resume to…right?

Yep, you’re all set. Good luck!



I'm Charlie and I've been in Japan since 2012. I started Live Work Play Japan to help foreigners in Japan to find their own version of success. I also wrote "The Smart Guide to Teaching English in Japan" which you can get on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle book.

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