Need to prepare for a career change as an engineer? Specific steps and details explained.


  • Advice for Engineers

If an engineer wants to change jobs, he or she must first be well prepared. Although it is common to see people who begin their job change activities out of the blue, lack of preparation can lead to a prolonged period of time and failure. In this article, we will explain the necessary preparation and specific steps for engineers to take in order to successfully change jobs.

Preparation required for a career change for a systems engineer or web engineer

When a systems engineer or web engineer changes jobs, it is important to prepare in advance. There are a number of things you need to do, but let's start with the following preparations.

Understand the outline of your job search

Before you begin your job search as an engineer, it is important to understand the outline of your job search. For example, as explained below, you will need to understand the flow and steps of the job search process and prepare the necessary materials. If you do not understand the outline, you will not be able to determine what you need to do.

However, the tasks required for a job search vary a bit from person to person. For example, if you are creating a portfolio on a regular basis, the documents you prepare for a job change will vary. You do not need to create it anew for your job search; you only need to modify your existing materials as needed.

Without an overview of your job search, you will not have a clear picture of what you need to do. This will affect your planning for your job change, so start with an overview.

Expect to spend 3 to 6 months in your new job.

It takes a surprisingly long time to change jobs, and you should expect to spend between three and six months on the job search. Although it is possible to complete your job search sooner than this, it is important to plan ahead and allow yourself plenty of time. If you set a schedule that does not allow enough time, you may end up deciding on a new job in a hurry. Also, you may end up leaving your job before you have decided on a new one, creating a blank in your career. For example, consider the following

However, it is not advisable to anticipate too long a period of time. The longer you wait, the more tedious the job search may become. You should allow enough time to prepare, but try to finish within six months at the most.

Clarify your vision for the future and acquire skills

Clarify your vision of your future after changing jobs, and acquire the skills to achieve it. For example, if you want to use your current skills in a cloud environment in the future, acquire skills in AWS and other major cloud services. There are a wide variety of ways to improve your skills, including learning from books, Internet content, and video sites.

In general, in order to successfully change jobs, you must have skills that will make you immediately effective in your new position. In other words, if the skills you possess at the stage of changing jobs are out of step with your future vision, you may end up working in a position that is different from your future vision. On the other hand, if you work hard to improve your skills in preparation, it will be easier to change jobs to the position you want.

Focus on your work history and self-analysis.

When you begin your job search, you will need to create a work history and resume. In order to create these documents, you will need to analyze yourself, so focus your efforts on each in preparation.

First, in order to create a resume, you must clearly identify the projects you have participated in, the technologies you have used, and your position. The description should be as detailed as possible and in chronological order, so remember to create it without any errors. If there are any ambiguous parts, it should be prepared in such a way that it does not contain any falsehoods, for example, by referring to e-mails from that time.

In parallel, you should also focus on self-analysis. For example, in the process of preparing your resume, you may find the following

  • Programming languages in which you are proficient
  • Frameworks
  • Team structure
  • Position

Since you need to use your strengths as a weapon in your job search, analyze them first based on the facts of your work history.

Also, analyze how your past experience will be utilized in your new company. For example, "I have participated in many projects involving more than 20 people, so I will be able to play an active role in the projects I participate in after my new job. In addition to analyzing your skills, you must also focus on analyzing your experience.

Gather information about potential new employers.

Gather as much information as possible about your potential new employer. Regardless of whether you are changing jobs or finding a new job, gathering information about the company is the most basic preparation you can do. It is no exaggeration to say that if a lack of preparation is communicated to the hiring manager, there is a high possibility that your job change will fail.

The easiest and most accurate way to gather information is to visit the website of the potential employer. Check each company's officially stated corporate philosophy, business activities, and strengths. Since this information is available to anyone, if you do not understand what is described here, you will be judged to be ill-prepared.

Also, if you want to gather realistic information, you may want to refer to word-of-mouth websites. For example, there are Web sites where retirees share information. Not all of it may be true, but if you have any concerns, you can ask questions at the interview.

General Flow and Steps of Job Search

While the details of a job search vary from person to person, we will introduce the general flow and steps involved in this process.

Step 1: Prepare for your job change

First, you need to prepare for your job change. As explained above, you will need to understand the job change process and conduct self-analysis in preparation for your new job. Although this may be tedious, take the time to deal with it, because how carefully you prepare for your job change will determine whether or not you will be successful. It is acceptable to devote the first month or so of your job change period to preparation.

There are a number of things to prepare for, but the two most important things to focus on are clarifying your vision of the future and self-analysis. If you do not have a clear vision of your future, you will not be able to make a decision on what kind of job to apply for. It will also make it difficult to answer questions such as "Why did you apply for this job and what do you want to do in the future?

Step 2: Determine how to find a job

There are a number of ways for engineers to find new job opportunities. Specific support services are listed below, but it is important to decide which of the following you will use.

  • Job sites
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Hello Work
  • Other public support

Generally, job sites and recruitment agents are used. It is also possible to use more than one service at the same time.

When deciding how to find jobs, you must take into account how much time you can devote to your job search. If you have the time to spare, we recommend using a job site; if not, we recommend using a recruitment agency.

Step 3: Search for jobs and prepare the required documents.

Once you have found a job that you feel you would like to apply for, prepare the required documents. You may have already prepared your resume and other documents, but you will need to fine-tune them to suit the position you are applying for. For example, if you have experience that is suited to the type of person they are looking for, you may want to revise your resume to make it more detailed in those areas.

In some cases, you may have to submit documents in a specified format. In such cases, you should prepare by replacing the content you have prepared in advance with the specified format. Engineers should keep the following points in mind when preparing a resume.

  • Describe your technical stack correctly.
  • Focus on what you have accomplished, not just what you have participated in.
  • Include content that demonstrates your communication skills.
  • Prepare outputs that are consistent with the content.

These are not exhaustive, but at the very least, these points will help you to be more highly regarded by the person in charge of your application.

Step 4: Prepare for the interview

After applying for a job, you will have an interview. Since both in-person and web interviews are possible, you should prepare for and take steps to prepare for the interview according to the method specified. Since there are common interview questions, you need to work on thinking about the content of the interview so that you can answer them. For example

First round interview

  • Please summarize your work history.
  • Please tell me why you joined/left your last job.
  • What is your reason for applying to our company?
  • What do you emphasize in your job search?
  • Please give us your personal PR.
  • Please tell us about the technologies and tools you have experienced and their applications

Second interview

  • What do you emphasize as an engineer?
  • Please tell us about the positions you held and what you were conscious of at the time.
  • How have you solved problems when you hit a wall?
  • Please tell us about your experiences of failure and the reasons for them.
  • What do you consider to be your most successful job to date?

If you are not used to interviewing, you may also want to check your mannerisms. You will be evaluated extensively from the beginning to the end of the interview, not just your delivery, so you should avoid any behavior that could give a bad impression.

Step 5: Preparing for the Interview

Once you have taken steps to prepare for the interview, all that remains is to get to the interview. Some people may be nervous about the act of talking to others, as in an interview, but you should remain calm. If you are well prepared, all you have to do is communicate that information to the interviewer. Unexpected questions may come up, but do not rush and respond calmly, even if it takes a little time. Since interviews can be conducted both online and offline, please be aware of the following

Online Interviews

Online interviews have been increasing in recent years, so you need to prepare based on the following process.

  1. Preparation of the environment (by the day before): If you do not have access to a camera or microphone, the interview will not proceed smoothly, so you will need to test in advance.
  2. Dress (by the day before): It is safe to wear a suit or office casual attire, even for online interviews.
  3. Access to the interview environment: Access the site about 5 minutes before your appointment. If you arrive too early, the URL may not be available.
  4. Conducting the Interview:During the interview, look at the camera, not the screen, or you will appear slumped over.
  5. End of interview: the interviewer will ask you to leave, etc., so leave first

Offline Interviews

While online interviews are increasing, offline interviews are not disappearing, so proceed as follows

  1. Preparation (up to the day before):Check the route to the office and make sure your suit is clean by the day before
  2. Travel to the interview site: It is recommended to arrive 30 minutes before the interview.
  3. Arrive at the interview site 10 to 15 minutes before the interview and check in.
  4. Guidance to the waiting room and interview room: Follow the instructions of the person in charge.
  5. Entering the room and interview: When your name is called, knock and enter the room, calmly state your name, and take a seat.
  6. Conducting the Interview:It is important to look the interviewer in the face and speak as slowly as possible.
  7. End of Interview: After the interview is complete, thank the interviewer for his/her time and remain calm until you leave the interview.

Step 6: Receive the interview results

Once the interview is complete, all that remains is to receive the interview results. Check to see how long it will take to receive the results, as you will often be told when the interview is over. It is expected that you will hear from us within a few days, but if there are many applicants for the position, it may take longer. If you do not hear from them by the due date, you may have to inquire about the results, so you must make sure you do not miss anything.

Step 7: If you have passed the interview, tell them if you accept the job offer.

If you have passed the interview, you must tell them whether or not you accept the job offer. In most cases, you will probably accept, but if you are applying to more than one company, you may decline. In that case, you should prioritize the following points

  • Treatment (salary, bonus, other benefits, etc.)
  • Vacation (number and rate of annual leave granted, availability and rate of maternity leave, etc.)
  • Benefits (maximum transportation expenses, rent subsidies, company club activities, etc.)
  • Position (mid-level employee at a major company, management position at a venture company, etc.)

It is difficult to generalize what should be emphasized as it depends on each person. Be sure to prepare a list of priorities that you are comfortable with.

If you must decline a position, it is important to respond politely. Needless to say, if you respond inappropriately or ignore the contact, you will make a bad impression.

Support Services for Engineers Changing Jobs

Engineers should use support services when changing jobs. There are a number of options available, but we will introduce them in the order of most frequent use.




Recruitment websites

Very large number of jobs, so you can change jobs at your own pace

It takes time to decide if the job is a good one or not.

Recruitment agencies

You can leave much of the job search to the person in charge.Mismatches can occur if you don't communicate your needs during the interview process.

Hello Work

Many jobs are available for people with no experience.Conditions may seem low for experienced candidates.
Other public supportEven with no experience, it is possible to acquire skills and change jobsAlmost never used by experienced people to change jobs

Job Search Websites

When it comes to changing jobs, you will generally gather information from job sites. Engineers are in great demand by many companies, so you can find jobs where you might be able to make a difference by checking job sites. Many of these sites are free and easy to use, but you must do your own search to find a job.

Many of the sites are free and easy to use, but the fact that you have to search by yourself tends to be a bottleneck. Especially if you are working as an engineer, you may not be able to spend a lot of time searching for jobs. Some people think that because you search on your own, you are free to do so, but be aware that this can be a heavy burden for you.

Recruitment Agents

A recruitment agent is a service where you register the necessary information in advance and they will search for and introduce you to job openings. While job sites require you to search for jobs on your own, a recruitment agent does not. Although some preparation is required, such as providing information in advance, more and more engineers are taking advantage of this service.

Because you provide information about your skills and hopes as an engineer in advance, you will not be presented with jobs that do not match your requirements. With job search sites, you have to check the details yourself while narrowing down your search, but there is no such hassle at all. This is a very time-efficient support service.

In addition, the recruitment agency can also help you with various advance preparations, such as arranging interview dates. Such adjustments can be time-consuming, but with a recruitment agent, you can generally leave the work to them.

Hello Work

Engineers with limited experience may not be able to find the job they are looking for, even if they have prepared well. In this case, you can also refer to Hello Work for job openings. Hello Work has more job opportunities for inexperienced or novice applicants than job sites or recruitment agencies.

However, if you have some skills, it is better to find a new job on a job site or with a recruitment agent. If you do not meet the requirements, you may want to consider improving your skills in preparation for a new job and then looking for a new job.

Other public support

If you have not worked as an engineer before, there are ways to change jobs with public support. For example, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare provides job training in the IT field. However, this is an exception to the rule, so it is best to know that there are other ways to change jobs.

Points to be aware of when preparing for a career change for engineers

Engineers should keep the following points in mind when preparing for a career change

Change jobs while continuing to work as much as possible.

When changing jobs, engineers should continue to work at their current position as long as possible while also pursuing their job search. Although there is a method whereby you can quit your current job beforehand and concentrate on your job search, we basically do not recommend this approach. Although it may be more burdensome, you should prepare for your new job and go to interviews with the company of your choice while you are still working.

The reason why you should continue to work while also looking for a new job is to avoid creating a blank in your career as much as possible. In Japan, a period of time without work tends to be evaluated negatively, so you must continue to work while changing jobs. If you focus on changing jobs, your evaluation will be lowered because of the blank period, and you will not be able to find a new job.

However, there may be times when you cannot concurrently change jobs, such as when your current workplace is too busy. In such cases, it is not a bad option to resign from your job and then concentrate on your job search. If you have any doubts, you may first register with a job search agent and ask for advice.

Give at least one month's notice of resignation

If you are planning to resign from a company when you change jobs, give at least one month's notice. If the company's employment regulations clearly stipulate the timing of your resignation, you should proceed with the resignation procedures accordingly. Resignation procedures are also part of the preparation for a new job, and should not be neglected.

After you have tendered your resignation, you will need to hand over your current duties to someone else. You should prepare some documents and explain your duties to your successor. Just because you are changing jobs, you should avoid leaving without making any preparations for the handover.

The world of engineers is surprisingly small, and if you leave without preparation, bad rumors may spread.

Receive assistance from a recruitment agent.

We recommend that engineers use a recruitment agent to help them with their job search. While it is possible to find jobs on job search websites, it is also a good idea to register with a recruitment agent to reduce your workload and receive assistance.

There are a number of recruitment agencies that you can register with, but we recommend that you use a service that specializes in engineers. Engineers are specialized professionals, and your recruiter must be knowledgeable enough to help you find a job. Selecting an agent is part of the process of preparing for a career change, so be sure to find the right service for you.

In some cases, you may choose to register with two services, one domestic and one foreign-affiliated. Although registering with more than one service may make it more difficult to communicate with the person in charge, you may be presented with a job offer that you did not expect.

Frequently Asked Questions for Engineers Preparing for a Career Change

The following is a summary of frequently asked questions in preparation for an engineer's career change.

How much difference in annual salary does my educational background make?

We cannot give you a definite amount because the specific difference in annual salary depends on the company's annual salary range. However, in general, college graduates and non-university graduates may be offered higher annual salaries than non-university graduates. It also depends on the type of degree you have, so you are more likely to earn a higher annual salary if you match the skills that the company is looking for.

How should I write my resume if I have had many short-term career changes?

You should write if you have changed jobs many times, but you should always include a reason in your resume. We recommend that you write about a project that has been completed, a contract that has ended, a change in organization, etc., emphasizing positive factors as much as possible.

Are there any characteristics of people who are more likely to receive job offers?

In terms of personality, people who are communicative and positive are likely to want to work with you. Also, if you are consistent in your reasons for leaving and your reasons for applying for a job, companies are more likely to be convinced and make you a job offer.

How much can my annual salary increase when I change jobs?

It is a case-by-case basis, but the market average in Japan is about 10%, so instead of stating your highest expectations, such as 7 million yen or more, we advise you to make your application with a range of 6-7.5 million yen, or even 7 million yen (negotiable), while showing your negotiating range.

Many people have a clear idea of what they want to do after changing jobs, such as becoming a lead or developing in-house products.

If you have such a firm commitment, we make sure to confirm with sales that this is a position that is possible for you, and ask you to apply only after it is clear. (This could cause a mismatch later on.)

Since the answer to this question is subject to change, we always try to update it, but we often answer as follows.

Is the current engineering market a seller's market? Is it a buyer's market?

The market tends to be a seller's market, but there are cases where both the hard and soft aspects are looked at and judged strictly, and the competition tends to be high.

What programming languages are most sought after in today's engineering market?

Of course, it depends on the company and the position, but C/C++, Python, and JavaScript are most commonly used.


We have explained the necessary preparations and the general flow of an engineer's job change. Preparation in advance is important for a successful job change. Be aware that preparation is necessary before changing jobs, as it is often overlooked.

The most important part of the preparation is organizing your background and conducting self-analysis. Without putting in these efforts, you will not be able to make a strong case for yourself in your job search. You will also lose support for your reasons for applying for a job, so you should first focus on identifying and clarifying your appeal points.

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