Wantedly: Japan’s answer to LinkedIn for the creative and tech industry.

Wantedly: Japan’s answer to LinkedIn for the creative and tech industry.

Wantedly is a website dedicated to connecting companies and potential employees as well as connecting professionals from the creative, tech and startup industries across Japan. Founded in 2010, by Akiko Naka, an ex programmer, formerly of Facebook and one of the leading women in the Japanese startup scene.

Wantedly styles itself as a “Social Recruiting Service” and it really is a hybrid of a social media and an employment site. While at first Wantedly might sound a lot like LinkedIn there are some interesting differences in the way Wantedly works which we will cover for you here.

How Wantedly works

CEO Akiko Naka describes Wantedly as “In order to give our clients opportunities to find high-skilled talents, our approach is to reach people who are neither seeking jobs not interested in changing their jobs. We would be grateful if the service can help more people learn about other jobs that they have never seen before. We want to call it a job version of AirBnB.”

First you must create an account and log in to access any of the listings on Wantedly. Much like LinkedIn, you create a detailed profile which doubles as your CV and has all the usual information on it. Once your profile is up and running you have a few options to connect with prospective employers.

First up you can search for jobs or companies, pretty standard procedure here – put in what you are looking for and where and see what’s available. There is a good set of filters to help you narrow down the results. You can filter by roles, employment type, industry and company traits.

Now the company traits are a really interesting element that Wantedly have introduced to their site. They are very diverse including – students welcome, levels of funding received, CEO and co worker average age, and my favourite – CEO can code. These traits are a great way to filter employers based on their culture.

This feature reflects the current culture in many new Japanese companies, especially startups, where there is a trend towards less hierarchical and more transparent silicon valley style workplaces.

On Wantedly you can find jobs across many creative industries, including publishing, tech / startups and advertising. As Wantedly has positioned itself as a youthful and modern brand you will find many of the companies advertising through Wantedly to be of a similar mindset. However you will find that there is a real lean towards digital/tech jobs on Wantedly

Connecting through Wantedly

Wantedly also gives you the opportunity to connect with other users. You can search for users by name, view their profile and skills and request a connection. Once connected you can also message each other and give endorsements of skills. But there are some other very cool ways Wantedly facilitates connections between users and companies.

You can chat through the site to get an idea of what the company culture is really like.

Wantedly allows you to connect directly to a company or it’s employees. You can chat through the site to get an idea of what the company culture is really like. You can request to visit a company for an informal chat instead of applying directly for a position. This is a great, informal spin on the usual job application process and it’s even more revolutionary for Japan.

Wantedly have, in a way, cut out the HR / Recruiter process with their informal model. This makes it easy to speak with anybody from new staff to the CEO of a startup. And many of them will be responsive to a friendly request to connect.

How to get the most out of Wantedly

Wantedly is Japan centric, so it is the best site we have seen for connecting with Japanese companies. There are few to no international/global agencies present and thus Wantedly is largely a tool for those who are Japanese literate.

Even though the site has both English and Japanese language interfaces, the bulk of the listings and content are in Japanese. This can be quite intimidating if you’ve a low level of Japanese proficiency but if you see an interesting job or company just reach out and see how they react.

Having a strong, well presented profile is key to getting the attention of companies and individuals on Wantedly. Here are some key tips from our experience at TGD to help you:

  • Upload a profile picture
  • Include a Japanese self introduction if possible
  • Be precise on your resume, especially when listing start and finish dates. Japanese companies are really particular about how long you worked at a company and how much time you spent between jobs. While this might sound like a pain, considering that on a traditional Japanese resume (Rirekisho) you are expected to list the reason you left your last job, it’s really not so bad.
  • Complete the “Your Ambition” field. Its very important to show companies you have a vision, personal goals and a five years plan.
    Talk about the challenges you want to achieve and the skills you want to improve.
    You might find that even if your skills don’t match the requirements, your personal vision may fit the company culture! Especially with startups.
  • Connect with people, build a personal network. Because there are less HR and Recruiters present than on Linkedin, it’s important for you to be active.
  • Join events organized by wantedly and show up your face. Thats always the best thing you can do.
  • While Wantedly lacks some of the extra features of LinkedIn, such as groups and articles, it is one of the best resources for job hunting in Japan. And you can never have too many options at your disposal when looking for work! So if you’re looking for a job in Japan, then head over and look at Wantedly.


    Tim O'Hanlon

    Tim is an Australian born Communication Designer with passion for applying design and strategic thinking to all of his work. Tim moved to Tokyo in 2014 and has been working as a freelance designer since. In his spare time Tim loves to travel around Japan hiking, cycling, eating and snowboarding.

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