Looking for a job here in Japan? You better prepare yourself for these four quirks.
“Do you know what day it was yesterday? It was our wedding anniversary.”
Pass the first stage interview with karaoke! Or, by playing wink murder.
Traditionally, Japanese resumes are handwritten on a special form. Recently, however, typed resumes are becoming more common – and one recruiter is not happy about this. Writing anonymously on Japanese website Hatelabo, the blogger, who works for a chain restaurant in Japan and is involved in recruitment, sets out his reasons for why an applicant who submits a typewritten resume should be the first to find their application on the “no” pile.
“You young people, don’t you have any common sense?” he asks of applicants with the typed resumes. “Are you crazy? In my day, this would have been unimaginable!” Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the handwritten CV.
As any young Japanese college graduate can attest, Japan’s hellish job hunting process can be one of the most stressful and demotivating periods of a person’s life. Numerous rejections, along with that feeling of isolation after seeing those around you get job offers, is enough to make anyone severely depressed.
So what does that have to do with a gas company, you ask? A commercial by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. which features a girl in the midst of the job hunting process has been stirring up controversy and was even taken off the air. Why? Apparently, its portrayal of the painful job hunting process was so accurate that it left people feeling a little too miserable after seeing it.
As far as things not to say in an interview go, you’d think it’d be pretty high up on the list. But the young Japanese university student, rejected by all the other companies he’d applied to, was prepared to take the risk. “This company is the only option I have left,” he pleaded with the interviewer. “I’ll do anything!” An unusual strategy, certainly. But he got the job.
Japanese site Niconico News reports that the man is now entering his ninth year of employment with the company, so it seems the gamble paid off. But is the company’s positive reaction so unusual? Some Japanese employability experts are arguing that, for many companies, the ideal graduate recruit is a “hakushi” – a blank page that the company can do what they want with. When companies train new recruits extensively, an across-the-board willingness to learn is valued more than previous experience.
During Japan university students’ final year, many go through a long, physically and mentally draining process of finding a job before they graduate; a process known as “shuukatsu.” Students don matching black suits and attend job fairs, company briefing sessions and employment seminars en masse in the hopes of obtaining a job offer, or “naitei.” Young people often complain about the soul-sucking system and how difficult it can be to land a job offer without completely abandoning your personality along the way.
Recently, an animated short film has been making waves among Japanese netizens for the horror movie-like way it portrays the difficult and often depressing job hunting process in Japan.