Saturday, June 1, 2013

履歴書 Challenge #4: 資格 Understanding Japanese Ideas of Achievements and Expectation

Probably one of the most confusing areas for me at least is what to enter into the section for 資格 qualifications. The clearest piece of advice is to include your driver's license. In my case, as an American, I need to mention which state it is from (or I am choosing to do so on the off-chance that the interviewer or reviewer understands that this is a state by state matter in the United States:

アメリカのインディアナ州普通自動車第一種免許 取得

It does seem odd from an American perspective, but in Japan, earning a driver's license is part of a complex system of licensing. Many students fail the test multiple times and for some of them, it is the only experience they have of being scolded by others. To get a rough idea of what counts, look at this wikipedia entry on licenss: which gives all the licenses and this one which lists all of the different types of qualifications offered by organizations and their corresponding tests. To get a vague impression of how vast and encyclopedic the Japanese qualification system is, look at which has everything imaginable under the sun, the pass rates, the price, and all sorts of other details.

What else to include? I am not entirely sure, and I will update this entry as I get feedback. I've won several minor prizes at conferences and a major scholarship from the Japanese government. I also have exceptionally high test scores. On an American CV, it would be odd to list my GRE scores or my LSAT score as a holder of a PhD.  In Japan, however, it seems that many 履歴書 include things like TOEIC scores or 英検 qualifications. Consequently, I am tentatively including some exceptional test scores in my CV to prove that I am not merely a native English speaker but (at a minimum) a highly effective test-taker.

Like the TOEIC and 英検, you should include the 日本語能力検定 if you have it. Before writing a 履歴書 and researching the process, I never could understand the point of the JLPT tests beneath 2 (or for that matter 2). The only thing that really seems to have great impact is the JLPT 1. But now, I can see why it may be worthwhile to take the lesser (and more easily passable) tests -- this provides at least some proven qualification of limited Japanese competency. Alas, it is too late to pursue the JLPT 2 for July. Instead, I hope to take the JLPT 1 in December.

Right now, I am planning on the following section:

平成10 10 アメリカの○○○州普通自動車第一種免許 取得
平成14 10 LSAT 162点 取得
平成18 8 GRE Verbal 760点 Quantitative 800点 Writing 6点 取得
平成17 12 ○○○大学 教育失格
平成23 5 ハワイイ大学の上広学会のベスト ペーパー賞品
平成24 10 日本政府(文部科学省)奨学金留学生 研究生 取得

The 教育資格 is a certificate I received from my MA institution for taking a teaching course. While I would not say I greatly valued the class, I would say I learned things in it and it is precisely the sort of thing that seems to make sense when comparing with Japanese example 履歴書.

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