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Writer: Athaya Hardono | Illustrator: Safira Marini W.

Needless to say, the unforeseen corona pandemic has laid the economy to a fallout and the whole society to shock. Plunging oil prices to below zero, trading halts here and there — these series of unexpected events may be overwhelming for some, thus disrupting their economic activities. Though most activities are forced to be put on a hiatus, this is not the case for college juniors and seniors who are currently seeking fresh opportunities to jumpstart their careers.

Entering the job market in an abruptly shifting economy is a challenge that every job seeker has to face this year. With the abundant number of applicants and a conversely limited amount of opportunities available, this year’s job hunting will not come easy. But how does one keep their heads above water despite all the drowning facets of job hunting?

APU INA recently talked with a couple of senior year students as they share their personal experience on job hunting in Japan and Indonesia.


In spite of the whole Corona situation, Job Hunting in Japan is fiercely competitive. Each year, usually through the course of February to April, companies would open their doors and convene a series of tests after tests to find the best candidate from the massive pool of applicants to be recruited. “This year, a lot of the Job Fairs are cancelled and it’s really up to us to go through all the lengths to reach out to different companies to be well informed of their job openings”, as explained by one of our seniors who’s currently expecting her graduation this Fall. But there’s not much of a difference in the overall hiring process except for the shift from physical meet-ups and interviews to online arrangements. About the number of vacancies itself, the effective job openings-to-applicants ratio dropped, and is currently at its lowest point within the last 3,5 years. A lot of recent graduates are also made restless by the news that some job offers are withdrawn. Although it seems excruciating, it’s not all gloomy and grey for Japan’s job market. A lot of the FMCG companies are still opening vacancies for management trainee positions as well as for Japan’s megabanks and conglomerates. Our source even shared with us her experience when she got a potential job offer through LinkedIn, and emphasized how social media and networking platforms could function as a nifty channel for job hunting amid the current unnerving situation.


Unlike Japanese companies, Indonesian corporations accept job applications all year round. The hiring process in Indonesia is also more relaxed, thus online arrangements for interviews and tests is not something new for both ends. But in terms of its paucity, applying for jobs in Indonesia is the same as in Japan. As companies are cutting their budget short, the number of employees are tapered. Consequently, companies are implementing a hiring freeze until an indefinite time. This is especially true for fresh graduate vacancies in marketing agencies and smaller ventures of other industries. Also similar to Japan, FMCG branches in Indonesia are also still opening vacancies for management trainee positions. Job seekers who’d rather immerse themselves in emerging start-ups could also still apply for an internship or even a full-time position, as their vacancies are still commonly advertised in social media and other networking platforms, although some may not be paid. Another source who’s currently job hunting in Indonesia also shared with us her experience of securing an offer after applying for a vacancy through Twitter. This is just another concrete example of a job hunt that is rather unusual, but surprisingly fruitful.

Though things have not been easy, don’t let these sluggish times deter you from starting a great career; that is not only great for the title and position but one that could help you grow as a person. Keep your spirits up and be creative! We believe that opportunities will always be there at one’s fingertips to those who truly seek.

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