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Help with Job Applications - 01-10-2011, 10:47 PM

Hi guys,

I'm currently busy applying for teaching jobs in Japan, and I was wondering if someone with a little experience would mind having a quick look over the jobs i'm looking at and let me know what they think? Such as, if it's a good prospect, or a bad one, or simply too good to be true, or any points I should be aware of.

EDIT: Also, Interac? Actually terrible as I have heard rumored, or not so shabby? Turns out one of the jobs I'm looking at is Interac in a cunning disguise as a different recruitment company, which is slightly suspicious.

Last edited by Columbine : 01-11-2011 at 12:27 AM.
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01-12-2011, 12:43 AM

Interac is not such a bad place to work. I haven't worked for them myself, but one of my fellow teachers has. He was provided with a company car during his term, and when he renewed his contract they actually transferred ownership of the car to him as a bonus.

Keep your resume simple, and limit it to one page. A photograph is required in nearly every case. If the company you are applying to requires a cover letter or the commonly asked for "Why I want to Live and Work in Japan" essay, make sure these are written carefully and contain no mistakes.

Many companies will request a resume in text format, which does not have the spell-check and grammar-check features of a Word resume.

In you resume photo (which should be shoulders-up) make sure you are wearing a conservative suit and tie, and that you are very neatly groomed.

Hiring season for the school year in starting in April has commenced, so you had better hurry.

Good luck,

PM me if you have more detailed questions,
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01-12-2011, 03:06 AM

I've heard mixed things about Interac. The people I know who have done it had to pay for their flights and stuff like that. Their salary is lower than that of a JET. I think, but I'm not sure, that there'd be less communication going on with the city/board of education which can cause some confusion. I have heard that they get significantly more time off though. I don't know if that time off is guilt-free or not though.

I know that with the current economic situation cities might be looking to cut down on some of their spending, so swapping JETs for Interacs might be something they're out to do. So if you sign up for JET and are set on going to Japan you might want to write a resume for one more company as a backup.

Sangetsu made a good point though- the school year starts in April, and I think Interac kind of complies with that. JET starts their contracts in July/August.
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01-12-2011, 04:22 AM

My experience with interac is that they take a huge overhead off your salary from the place you're working, including a lot of your holidays.
If you do what they do, which is contact the schools and ask if they need subs, then you can easily cut out the greedy middleman.
It all depends on where they place you too, some places they have contracts with which force them to give certain benefits to the teachers, if they can avoid it and pocket it instead they will.
For example, don't expect to see a bonus when all your Japanese coworkers do.

Honestly, the jobs you can get are 100 times better if you look for them from Japan, and simply walk into the workplace with a resume in hand.


マンツーマン 英会話 神戸 三宮 リアライズ -James- This is my life and why I know things about Japan.
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01-12-2011, 06:08 AM

Unless things have changes, I can't imagine JET is still accepting applications for 2011. If I remember correctly, they will be conducting interviews this month after a couple months of processing applications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RealJames View Post
My experience with interac is that they take a huge overhead off your salary from the place you're working, including a lot of your holidays.
If you do what they do, which is contact the schools and ask if they need subs, then you can easily cut out the greedy middleman.
It all depends on where they place you too, some places they have contracts with which force them to give certain benefits to the teachers, if they can avoid it and pocket it instead they will.
For example, don't expect to see a bonus when all your Japanese coworkers do.

Honestly, the jobs you can get are 100 times better if you look for them from Japan, and simply walk into the workplace with a resume in hand.
A school contracted with Interac is not going to hire anyone off the street.

Also JETs do not get bonuses either.
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01-12-2011, 07:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
A school contracted with Interac is not going to hire anyone off the street.

Also JETs do not get bonuses either.
I never said to contact the schools which have contracts with interac, just to contact schools directly to try and cut out the middleman, which in this case does nothing more than take his cut and then some.

Public and private schools do in fact both hire "off the street" if someone walks in with a resume and leaves it there. (seen it happen)


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01-12-2011, 08:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RealJames View Post
I never said to contact the schools which have contracts with interac, just to contact schools directly to try and cut out the middleman, which in this case does nothing more than take his cut and then some.

Public and private schools do in fact both hire "off the street" if someone walks in with a resume and leaves it there. (seen it happen)
Public school teachers are hired by the prefectural government, not by the school themselves. This is why you will see the rather bizarre practice of having teachers change schools every three years. The schools will hire non-teaching staff, handymen, secretaries, etc.

I know it happens at private schools, but there are many private schools and juku or eki-mae English schools that will not hire off the street, and only recruit overseas. It partially depends on the applicant's visa status.

I am not trying to be contradictory, but am just pointing out if you don't have something besides a tourist visa, dropping off resumes may be an exercise in frustration.
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01-12-2011, 12:38 PM

If you are simply coming to Japan for a year or two to experience the culture, one school will be as good as another. There are many different schools in Japan, but they all offer pretty much the same thing as far as working hours and pay are concerned. If you are coming to Japan to teach English as a profession, you need to get your head examined.

I have never cared much for the ALT system used in Japan. "Dispatch" agencies supply temporary teachers to the various boards of education, and collect a good fee for doing so. Each board of education allots a certain amount of money to hire each teacher. This money is divided between the dispatch agency and the teacher. This is necessarily a corrupt way of doing things, the only people who benefit are the dispatch company and the members of the school boards who receive kickbacks from them. The teachers and students are the ones who are hurt, firstly because the system discourages professional teachers from applying (who wants to get part-time pay for a full-time workload while receiving no benefits?), and it harms the students because they end up being taught by inexperienced pseudo-teachers with no prossional experience who will return to their home countries before they gain any teaching experience.

A few boards of education have offered programs which encourage professional teachers to apply. After a period of part-time employment has been completed, a teacher becomes eligible for paid training and certification as a real, full-time teacher in the school system.

Private and international schools are the best options for those who wish to teach as a career. These schools generally offer full-time pay and benefits, but positions with these schools are hard to come by, who would want to quit?

The eikaiwa schools are the largest employers of teachers, and they are the easiest places to get hired. But as with other jobs, they somehow manage to reduce your 40 hour workweek into under 29.5 hours, and in doing so they manage to avoid providing you with the national healthcare and pension plans.

Your best bet is to get a teaching gig to get your visa, and then find something better once you are here. You are better off going it on your own and running your own school, or looking for other opportunities.
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01-12-2011, 07:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sangetsu View Post
If you are simply coming to Japan for a year or two to experience the culture, one school will be as good as another. There are many different schools in Japan, but they all offer pretty much the same thing as far as working hours and pay are concerned. If you are coming to Japan to teach English as a profession, you need to get your head examined.
Thanks for the advice Sangetsu, and thanks also everyone else who's posted.

I'm actually now a qualified EFL teacher so I'm looking for something other than an ALT position if I can get it, and I'm looking at other countries as well as Japan, although with my background Japan would be preferable as I can then kill two birds with one stone by working again on my Japanese language skills in an immersive location. I'm not looking for a long-term career abroad as an English teacher, but I AM looking for experience in the field in order to progress into other prospects. I've lived in Japan before, so this isn't really about mucking about just to be able to spend a year away from home. One school may be as good as another on paper in terms of pay and hours, but often the reality is more varied, so that's what I'm trying to find out. Doing my research, so to speak.

I've been offered an interview by the Shane English School company, which I plan to accept. They're a bit more professional than JET or the Eikawas that seem to be knocking about, and they seem to offer training opportunities with recognizable qualifications too, which if true would be a massive bonus. They've certainly been a lot more forthcoming than Interac with information.

However, does anyone know anything about them, anyone who's worked there, what they thought, what kind of thing they're looking for in candidates? I've got a fairly good idea from the things I've got here, but as it's all sent by them, I figure it's worth finding out what they might not be saying.
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01-13-2011, 04:18 AM

Shane is fine, if you're willing to teach kids then there are a lot of options for you with decent pay.

@MMM, for full time positions you're entirely right. I was thinking of sub/alt positions, short term fill-ins etc. Also it's possible that what I thought was a public school was in fact private, it's hard to tell the difference for me sometimes.

@Sangetsu, you're entirely right, get any job to get the visa (and experience and connections if you're lucky) and then start your own gig. That's what I did. Anything else generally tops you out at around 3000yen an hour and you wont see more than that for the rest of your career.


マンツーマン 英会話 神戸 三宮 リアライズ -James- This is my life and why I know things about Japan.
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