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therealwindycity
October 1st, 2013, 08:07
It seems like a large part of the activity in applying right now is asking for help with Statement of Purpose editing. The people who have posted in this thread are willing to help review and offer constructive advice, so applicants, feel free to send a PM to any of the following people and ask if they're still available and if so, what their preferred format is.

therealwindycity (USA), coop52 (USA), Teishou (USA), Lianwen (USA), word (USA), lilyanphino (USA), aayl1 (UK), OdysseyOfNoises (?), documentarian (?), Merkypie (USA?, prefers google docs), wicket (Australia, prefers email), Japanna (?)

Please be sure to give us a few days' turnaround, too. The application deadlines are:

Jamaica: Nov. 22
Australia, Canada, UK: Nov. 29
South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago: Nov. 30
New Zealand, USA: Dec. 3 (US application deadline extended)
Ireland: Dec. 6

General points of advice:


Try to stick to as many concrete examples as possible. Everyone who applies to JET has had some sort of interaction with Japanese culture that sparked their interest/dream of living in Japan; the important thing is to show what you've done to act on that interest - hosting exchange students, studying the language, volunteering, taking Japan-related classes, participating in school clubs or Japan-related events, etc. There are probably more than you think.
Be specific about what you plan to contribute to JET ("internationalization" is a very vague goal) and how you plan to deal with the problems that you'll inevitably face in Japan (which browsing this forum will probably give you some idea of ...).
Even if you don't have Japan experience, try to spin your international interest as something more than just "it seems like it would be interesting" or "I dream of going to Japan and becoming an ambassador for change."
Remember that this is a job application, and you need to demonstrate why it would be beneficial to JET to hire you, and not just why it would be an amazing experience for you.


As word has mentioned, we are happy to offer advice, but we would be thrilled if you joined us on the rest of the site as well. We'd love to hear your opinions in the Lounge/Japanese language study areas (many of us are bored at work, after all), and you might get a better picture of what an ALT's day-to-day life might be like. Applications are usually stronger when they show that the applicant has really considered the difficulties of working as an ALT and presented specific ways that they plan to overcome those problems.

coop52
October 1st, 2013, 08:49
I can read stuff.

Teishou
October 1st, 2013, 09:39
I'm available to read. I'm a bit strict though.

Lianwen
October 1st, 2013, 10:02
I can read too, but it might be a day or two turnaround.

word
October 1st, 2013, 10:23
I had sworn off helping new applicants after having a bad time with a particularly self-assured one, but I'm feeling a bit better about it all now, and with the closure of "Aspiring" on Official, am anxious to encourage new folks to give us a shot, so... I'll help! I may have a longer turnaround depending on my schedule, and MG and I are preparing to move, but I'll try to make time for ya, *especially* if I like you (http://www.ithinkimlost.com/aspiring-applying/18826-attention-lurkers.html)!

lilyanphino
October 1st, 2013, 11:02
I'll be happy to look over some, but it might take a day or two for a response.

aayl1
October 2nd, 2013, 15:54
I'd also be happy to look over SOPs. Not the most regular of posters here, but I'm not bad at critiquing.

Illuria
October 2nd, 2013, 22:53
Are there any from the UK who would be willing to look over personal statements? I understand the criteria are slightly different and would appreciate the viewpoint of someone who applied from the UK. Still, general critique is welcome so I shall be messaging some of you shortly

aayl1
October 3rd, 2013, 08:32
I'm from the UK, and will take a look at it for you.

Jiggit
October 3rd, 2013, 08:54
As far as I'm aware the only difference between JET and a similar job is that you have to address the cultural exchange aspect. Otherwise your aim is to present yourself as capable and professional, as well as being flexible/open-minded enough to deal with moving to Japan (often to a rather remote part of it). This would seem pretty universal, can anyone from the US or other countries elaborate if there is a difference?

uthinkimlost?
October 3rd, 2013, 09:32
Both the US and UK sops should cover the same basic material, but I think the UK had a more specific set of questions to answer, as well as a different length limit. Almost all of the UK sops I read were broken down by question, which seemed like a terrible thing to do to me. (Makes it seem like you can't segue.)

That said, anyone should be able to read the prompt and tell the applicant if it was answered.

Jiggit
October 3rd, 2013, 09:34
Oh, I didn't do that :P. They did ask specific questions but I just chose to read that as "address these points in your statement".

aayl1
October 3rd, 2013, 09:47
Oh, I didn't do that :P. They did ask specific questions but I just chose to read that as "address these points in your statement".

Yeah, same. I thought that was what they meant by it, anyway, as it seemed rather childish to just flat out answer each question separately.

aayl1
October 3rd, 2013, 09:56
These are the criteria for the US and UK respectively, for those curious souls;


No more than two sides of A4, size 12, double spaced

You should incorporate all of the following points in your essay:


Relevant Experience: Describe applicable experiences, professional skills, relevant interests and personal qualities, and how you feel these will be useful to you as an ALT or CIR.
Motivation for Participation: State why you wish to go to Japan and participate in the JET Program and why you are interested in the position for which you are applying. Also address what you hope to gain, both personally and professionally, and what effect you hope to have on the Japanese community and internationally as a result of your participation in the JET Program.




800 - 1000 words, size 12 double spaced

It should comprise of three main sections, including the following points:
1) General Statement (Both ALT and CIR applicants)



This should set forth your reasons for wishing to participate on the JET Programme.



2) What can you contribute to the Programme? (Both ALT and CIR applicants)






If you have any experience of living abroad for an extended period, what aspect did you find the most difficult to adapt to? Was there any specific problem you had to overcome?



OR



If you have not had any experience of living abroad, do you consider yourself to be adaptable to new circumstances and people? What situations have you found yourself in that have required such adaptation?







3a) For ALT applicants only: Teaching ideas






If you have some teaching experience, what methods of teaching, classroom approaches, etc., have you used, and which have you found the most valuable?



OR



If you have little or no experience, imagine you are in front of a class of 40 students, many of whom are not interested in studying English. How would you go about motivating them? What methods or approaches do you think you might use? What advantages do you think your methods might have?




3b) For CIR applicants only: Current affairs



What political or social issues in the UK do you think a Japanese person is most likely to be interested in and why?

Ini
October 3rd, 2013, 11:58
Looks like spelling and grammar will be held to a higher standard on the British one. If the Americans can't even spell programme correctly on their own application form I doubt they will be too strict with applicants......

Tzvi
October 3rd, 2013, 18:39
So for the UK SoP would you recommend trying to fit these questions into a more organic structure or should we play it safe and break it down by question?

aayl1
October 3rd, 2013, 19:19
I used a more organic, flowing structure and now I'm on he programme. Make of that what you will.

Tzvi
October 3rd, 2013, 19:35
I used a more organic, flowing structure and now I'm on he programme. Make of that what you will.

I guess it's time to start rewriting then.

OdysseyOfNoises
October 5th, 2013, 16:13
Not a regular poster on here but am happy to be sent SoPs.

documentarian
October 10th, 2013, 12:19
I can read SOPs!

I WILL DESTROY THEM!!

Corvus
October 13th, 2013, 09:04
.

Corvus
October 17th, 2013, 04:01
Sent a few of you PMs. Thanks for the input so far, its really helped me a lot.

Merkypie
October 20th, 2013, 23:45
If you know how to use Google Docs, I don't mind looking at an essay or two. I don't deal with emailing or attachments.

word
October 21st, 2013, 12:07
Hey guys; just a quick update--I've received a few SoPs now, and am trying to look 'em over in the order I got 'em. Also moving house right now, so things are a bit hectic for me. Don't be bummed if it takes me a bit! It doesn't mean I don't love you!

uthinkimlost?
October 21st, 2013, 12:14
Minor note: word still has not sent me revisions for my sop.

word
October 21st, 2013, 12:40
Did I not? I'm sorry :(

uthinkimlost?
October 21st, 2013, 12:52
Sorry won't get me into JET!

Corvus
October 21st, 2013, 13:38
.

aayl1
October 21st, 2013, 14:02
I am up to date on the ones I've been sent now. Sometimes I think I'm being overly harsh, then I remember I hate this world and everything in it.

moshimoshi
October 21st, 2013, 23:32
US SoP- we are supposed to use "Programme" right?! (not program)

Shincantsen
October 22nd, 2013, 03:49
US SoP- we are supposed to use "Programme" right?! (not program)

The official US spelling is "program," as seen on the official website (http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET/). I don't think you'd get any deductions for using Programme, though.

moshimoshi
October 22nd, 2013, 04:43
oh, good lookin out!

therealwindycity
October 22nd, 2013, 08:30
Hey guys; just a quick update--I've received a few SoPs now, and am trying to look 'em over in the order I got 'em. Also moving house right now, so things are a bit hectic for me. Don't be bummed if it takes me a bit! It doesn't mean I don't love you!

Thanks word!

It looks like the application deadlines are:

USA: Nov. 26
Australia and Canada: Nov. 29
South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago: Nov. 30
New Zealand: Dec. 3
Ireland: Dec. 6
UK: ??

So if you're a prospective applicant who would like us to review your SoP, please be sure to give us plenty of time before the application deadline! It might take a few days to get it turned around.

lilyanphino
October 22nd, 2013, 09:15
I've got a lot going on at work this week and a conference next week, so I won't be able to check SOPs from now until November 4th. Please feel free to send them to me after that date.

wicket
October 22nd, 2013, 10:28
i haven't been on here for a while, but i've done a few already this year, so feel free to send me yours - especially if you're australian.

Teishou
October 23rd, 2013, 08:49
I've been a bit busy lately, so the SoPs I've received, I will get to within the next week.

moonbeam
October 29th, 2013, 06:30
Hey guys! I have a draft SoP ready if anyone wants to read it, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Valkerion
October 29th, 2013, 06:34
So I took about 20mins between classes and kinda made a super rough SoP. Going to send it out to you guys and see what you think, and YES I PLAN TO EDIT/REWRITE. Some parts of it were more descriptive of some personal things I've done that would make me a good candidate and I am 90% sure they will be removed or definitely reworked.

Either way going to PM a few of you guys and hopefully give some more details on why I wrote the sections they way I did and look for some rewrite advice or tips for rewording. Have not sat down to edit this myself yet (got a paper due tomorrow) but was super critical when thinking about what I wrote lol. would love if someone could take a look sometime this week, hopefully by Thursday?

Merkypie
October 29th, 2013, 07:47
I have a favor: Please open.your google docs for editing when you give them to me. I cant edit read only files on my tablet.

Sent from my BNTV600 using Tapatalk

wicket
October 30th, 2013, 22:22
i have a request. please PM me for my email address if you want me to check your SoP. don't just send me the whole SOP as a PM. thanks.

therealwindycity
November 5th, 2013, 15:54
I'm really happy at the response this has gotten! I've read quite a few SoPs so far and it looks like quite a few other posters have as well.

One thing that has surprised me is that, contrary to a lot of the applications I've seen in previous years, this group of applicants all seem to have pretty strong ties to English and education. Last year I saw a few SoPs that didn't make much mention of why the applicant would be a good educator/gave the impression that the applicant didn't care about teaching except as a reason to get to Japan.

Tzvi
November 8th, 2013, 03:55
Hi are there any UK JET people still willing to read SOPs? I only just finished a rough draught of mine and would appreciate any kind of input.

Japanna
November 11th, 2013, 22:00
Oops, a little late to the game here! Another willing JET for reading SOPs. I ain't gonna sugar coat shit though, so make sure it's up to snuff and steer clear if you bruise easily.

Tzvi
November 11th, 2013, 22:39
Oops, a little late to the game here! Another willing JET for reading SOPs. I ain't gonna sugar coat shit though, so make sure it's up to snuff and steer clear if you bruise easily.

I'd happily get the full truth about mine if you are willing to look over it. To be fair I know it needs improvements as I was using the hour between waking up and going to work to write it the last couple of weeks so it might be a little incoherent.

Aurano
November 12th, 2013, 04:23
Does anyone want to crucify my personal statement? I'm a UK applicant.

kjak
November 13th, 2013, 06:49
please will someone read mine? Do I email it to whoever or...?

therealwindycity
November 13th, 2013, 09:26
OP updated with list of posters and general advice

Merkypie
November 14th, 2013, 14:17
Protip: Please do not send me SOPs expecting me to say it's perfect or amazing and get mad when I point out what's wrong with it. Just take the criticism and decided whether to use it or not.

Shincantsen
November 14th, 2013, 23:38
Protip: Please do not send me SOPs expecting me to say it's perfect or amazing and get mad when I point out what's wrong with it. Just take the criticism and decided whether to use it or not.

I like imagining your avatar saying this sentence.

MinisterDM
November 15th, 2013, 07:51
So, do I just PM my SOP to someone? I need someone who is brutally honest though. No sugarcoating please. Your not gonna offend me, at least I won't say anything if ya do. So, anyone willing and able to look over mine?

therealwindycity
November 15th, 2013, 08:26
Sure, PM me

MinisterDM
November 19th, 2013, 06:24
Has anyone made any progress on reading my SOP? I am not trying to be pushy, just curious...

therealwindycity
November 19th, 2013, 09:04
Sorry for the delay - I got a bunch of SoPs in the last few days but it was my school's culture festival and staff trip so I didn't really have time to read them through properly. Going to get to them today

MinisterDM
November 19th, 2013, 09:20
No worries, I appreciate you looking through them at all. I sent that before seeing the extension on the app deadline email. So, really there is no rush. Do it as you can.

Shiro_Kuma
November 22nd, 2013, 05:21
Hey guys, another UK applicant here. I've finally made enough revisions of my SoP to have it looked over by someone. Is it possible for anyone to have a look at it?

People are more than welcome to destroy it if need be as long as I get an honest opinion! :D

Merkypie
November 26th, 2013, 09:44
Sorry i havent gotten back with a few of u but ive been rly busy as of late. Ill get them done tonight

Sent from my SCL22 using Tapatalk

Libellule
December 4th, 2013, 02:25
Just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone who looked over my SOP!