Is it at all possible to find a job in 2023 from overseas with no/minimal language profficiency?

Hi guys, I’m new to the forum, but I did some research on this site as well as on a couple other ones.

I’ve been a full stack web developer (Python/Flask + JS/Vue) for 2 years and now I’m a DevOps Engineer - had to take this job because, as much as I despise it, the Polish economy is in shambles and that’s the best I could get after 3 months of job hunting.

Either way, I have 2+ years of experience in general but no CS degree, and I’ve only started learning Japanese recently. Being proficient in Mandarin (the upside is that kanji is actually easier for me than kana), I do realize it would realistically take years of studying Japanese for me to be able to speak it in a job environment. This leaves me with something like 10% of positions I could apply to, but it gets worse. Most of these ads require one to already live in Japan, which is simply not possible for me. I don’t have a girlfriend or relatives in Japan I could move in with, and I can’t afford to rent an apartment and stay idle for months in hopes of finding a job. I could’ve pulled something like this off when I was still a student, but now I can’t risk having a gaping hole in my resume or burning through much of my savings in vain.

I tried to apply for some jobs via this page as well as Japan Dev and LinkedIn, but not even once have I gotten any feedback. Just dead silence; often times there wasn’t even an automated response. I imagine that even for the positions I am technically fit for (which are not that many; a great deal of them are for senior developers with 4-5+ years of experience), there are still thousands of candidates for each of them. It looks like the market has gotten really saturated, and you really have to be exceptional to even be considered, which I am not; I’m a regular developer.

Sorry if this post sounds more like a rant than a genuine question, but I am pretty disappointed by how things look from my perspective. I guess I just wanted to get some educated opinions, since you guys have much better insight into Japan’s tech market. My impression so far is that it’s just not happening, but I would love to hear your guys opinions, especially if somebody had actually landed a job despite being in similar circumstances as I am right now.

Do you have any university degree? If not, it sounds like you don’t qualify for a working visa.

As for not receiving replies to applications, it’s unfortunately very common in Japan for companies to not send rejection notices.

More generally, to get a job from overseas in Japan, you do have to be exceptional somehow. It’s a buyers market for talent, as there’s way more demand for the positions than jobs available. This doesn’t necessarily mean picking up more skills, but could be looking at how you can better highlight what you’ve already done.

One service the TokyoDev community is offering is feedback on your resume. See the #resume-review channel of our Discord. Maybe there’s something about it that is turning of employers.

Hi, thanks for your response! I’m glad I could get a reponse from you directly, thanks for your time.

I do have university degree, BA at Chinese Studies and MA in economy-related field. It’s irrelevant to what I do professionally though. I imagine I qualify for working visa or WH visa, but as I said, I would need to land a job from overseas. I had gone on working holiday to Taiwan when I was 21 without any money or job perspectives and fortunately it ended up fine, but I can’t risk doing the same with Japan. I have responsibilities now.

As per highlighting my skills, I do believe my resume is pretty decent right now. It’s honest but at the same time pretty descriptive. I also have a letter of recommendation from my former CTO bundled with it which says I’m a pretty smart guy and I made a good impression by coding a Game Boy emulator on my own while entirely self taught. But I don’t think recruiters even read that stuff, I feel like all they do is just compare dates on your positions and if your experience is not enough or just enough, they just stop reading at all.

Thanks for linking the Discord. I will make sure to drop by. You really help, because months of job hunting in my own country really took toll on my self-esteem.