All About Japan

5 Steps to Working at Lawson

| Convenience Stores , Lawson

Believe it or not, Lawson convenience stores actually employ a lot of staff from overseas. That's right: you don't need to be Japanese (or even speak the language perfectly) to work there. So if you need work, how exactly do you get a job at Lawson?

1. Access the Website

First you need to access the Lawson website, which, as you'd expect, has a dedicated employment page. Now, you'll see the first hurdle on the website: it's all in Japanese. You'll be working just like any other member of staff, and that means being able to function in Japanese and offer service to Japanese customers. That doesn't mean you need perfect, textbook language skills, but you do need enough to get by.

- (Japanese)

2. Select Your Area

After accessing the website, select the region of Japan in which you'd like to work. Lawson has stores in every prefecture nationwide, and many of them will accept applications for staff on an ongoing basis. Select a region on the map, or click on one of the individual prefectures (sorry, there's only kanji!).

3. Find an Opening in Your Desired Location

After selecting the area, you'll see a list of stores offering positions. You can further refine your search using the options at the top of the screen, narrowing down the prefecture, indicating the kind of job you'd like (from counter staff to kitchen crew or store manager), the hours you'd like to work, any special programs that might apply to you, and even the kind of Lawson store at which you'd like to work.

The most common position is store staff, or "tenpo crew." Be sure to check the job description and store location, which can be done by clicking on the store name or the red 給与と待遇 (kyuuyo to taiguu/salary and compensation) button on the far right. You'll be able to see details like the pay, the minimum number of working days for shift work, whether it's okay to just work weekends and so on.

4. Fill in the Blanks & Apply

When you're ready, hit the big, red 1分で応募! (ippun de obo/one-minute application) button.

Fill in the blanks on the form, including your name, birth date and contact details. The lower section has fields for optional information like your address and your reason for applying. You'll have to fill these out in Japanese, so if your language skills aren't so hot, you may want to ask a friend for help or do your best with Google Translate.

If you're having trouble reading the kanji, get the Rikaikun (Chrome) or Rikaichan (Firefox) extension for your browser, which will allow you to hover over the characters to find out what they mean.

5. Get Ready for Your Interview!

First off, make sure you have a Japanese resume ready. If you receive a reply from the manager of the Lawson store at which you applied, you'll need to prepare your resume and go in for the interview.

You'll be asked about your strong points, your skills and your experience in the service industry, as well as your motivation for applying. Don’t forget to have a nice smile and convey your enthusiasm! If all goes well, you'll have a job—and a spiffy blue-and-white-striped uniform to boot!

- (Japanese)

Bonus: Lawson Staff Service

Instead of searching for a specific store using the Lawson website, you can alternatively check out Lawson Staff, which can introduce you to the store that best meets your needs.

You can register online or contact the Lawson Staff Call Center on the phone, after which you'll be invited to a roughly 90-minute explanatory seminar at a registration center. While you'll still need Japanese, this service has proven quite popular with overseas nationals looking to work at Lawson.