What is actually an Entry Sheet (ES)? Is it a cover letter?


Hello guys. Hope you are all doing well.

Today let’s talk about the Entry Sheet (ES). In Japan, in order to apply for the job you are interested in, it is mandatory to submit your Resume and the Entry Sheet (ES) to the company. Even the format of the Resume in Japan and overseas are different. The Entry Sheet (ES) is a really unique feature of the Japanese job hunting and it does not exist overseas.

Normally we would just submit the Resume together with the Cover Letter for applying for the jobs. However, in Japan it is a different case. For a job application in Japan, you have to submit the Resume, which in Japanese is called “Rirekisho (履歴書)” together with the Entry Sheet (ES).

People tend to think the Entry Sheet (ES) and the Cover letter are the same thing, but unfortunately they are not.
Today I am going to tell you the difference between the Cover Letter and the Japanese style “Entry Sheet (ES)”.

What is actually an Entry Sheet (ES)? Is it a cover letter?

Entry Sheet (ES) is a document equivalent to the application form for the job hunting in Japan. Besides your self-introduction, hobbies, what you have done in school or any challenges you have had overcome, and your special skills, you have to fill in one more very essential section, which is the reason why you want to apply for the job, which is called “Shiboudouki (志望動機)”. It is suggested to fill in every section until the bottom of the section with no space left unwritten. Entry Sheet is largely used in many Japanese companies, and it is considered to be one of the most important factors in order to hire the candidate.

Sad but true, sometimes the HR (Human Resources) might not consider reading your ES (Entry Sheet), even if you have tried so hard writing it, just because you do not come from a renowned university. However, just in case you passed the screening process, always make sure that the answers you wrote on your ES (Entry Sheet) can still be referable until the final interview because you will never know the interviewer might recall them.

Furthermore, when you go for the interview, the interviewer normally tends to read your ES (Entry Sheet) along while asking you some other questions, so it is highly suggested that you make a copy of your ES (Entry Sheet) and practice reading them before each interview.

Moreover, some people think ES (Entry Sheet) is similar to the CV and that it might be alright to write the same things on both documents; do not make this mistake! Even though the questions look the same, try to be more creative on your answers and think about a way to make it seem relatable but not the exact same answers.

One of the big differences between ES (Entry Sheet) and the resume is that the Entry Sheet is created by the company you are applying for. Therefore, the questions you will be asked to write down will depend on the company and its field. On the Entry Sheet, you will likely be asked to write your self-introduction [自己PR] and to answer another question (a frequently asked one is to write about a challenging aspect of when you were a student).

Unlike the cover letter, which normally comes with a page of A4 paper size, ES (Entry Sheet) could be in A3 size depending on the company. You can try making your own ES (Entry Sheet) on our homepage or on any job information session websites. You can also write them by hand if there is a lot to fill in and also depending on how you want to appeal yourself, the style of writing also varies as well.

For example if you want to say you are good at Mathematics, can fill in your Cover Letter as:

  • I am good at Mathematics.
  • So I want to work with the numbers.
  • That is why I think I fit this company.

However, for the Japanese ES (Entry Sheet), you might consider writing:

  • I am good at Mathematics.
  • The reason that I am good at numbers is because I have experienced working with numbers before. Thanks to this experience, I realized that I want to work with numbers.

It is really important to show them that you have experience in the field, since the focus will be more on your working experience and that will be a plus if you can explain it in your ES (Entry Sheet).

I hope I helped you getting an idea of the difference between the job-hunting system in Japan and in other countries in the world. The form of the ES (Entry Sheet) is mostly conducted by the company. If you are a new graduate, you might need to write it by hand instead of typewriting. In Japanese job-hunting system, what you are trying to appeal is considered really important so you have to be careful when writing it.

投稿者:NSA Staff