Thursday, April 01, 2010

freshers

Today is the 1st of April. School years start and companies bring in their new employees.

Did you know that most new employees are called "freshers"? Why? Who knows...it is Japan's way of labeling their new employees. (By the way, the correct Japanese word for a new employee is "shinnyushain" (shin-you-shy-in))

In school, there are freshmen, but not freshers...I think Japanese love to take words and add "-er" to them to create labels for people.

What do you wear for an interview? Something bright? Your best suit/dress? In Japan, everyone wears black with a white shirt/blouse. Subdued neckties for guys. You can't wear any old black suit though, it has to be a "recruit suit".

These suits usually come out onto the market during job hunting season (before April). If you look for them at any other time of the year, you won't find them (trust me, I've tried).

Oh and what about your resume? Do you get them printed or print them out yourself? In Japan, they are hand-written and each one needs to have your photo (like the kind you take for your passport, except you are wearing your "recruit suit") attached to them.

As I was sitting and having coffee, I happened to catch this guy writing out his resume. Can you imagine if you apply to 100 companies how many you have to write out? My hand is feeling achy already.

Anyway, it is the start of a new fiscal and school year, hope it is a good one!

16 comments:

Mikuru Hirai said...

Wow! Considering Japan is technologically advanced, I thought they would just save their resume in a flash drive or some micro chip and when they apply they just upload it or swipe it, etc. You know, the kind of paperless process but wow, I didn't know it should be handwritten. What's the reason for this, Kat? I am thinking maybe it's one way for employers to get an initial grasp about an applicants' personality. Is it?

Rowena... said...

Interesting bit on the freshers. I feel for anyone who has to write out their resume. That's just incredible!

K and S said...

Actually there are a lot of areas in Japan's society that are still "manual" Mikuru. Many companies have yet to go paperless. I often wonder the same thing, why a technologically advanced country as Japan can't be "more advanced" in other ways and realize that for the most part they are very conservative people (not wanting to take much risks).

Thanks Rowena, I wouldn't be able to write more than 1 or 2...

Take care you two.
Kat

Jonathan said...

Great photo, like the use of tilt-shift makes the fellow look as if he is writing frantically to finish by today. Oh, and thanks for the info on the suits very helpful.

momijitomitsukoshi said...

I love how the Japanese people always do things their way. There are so many things that are unique to them and I suppose that's what makes it such an intriguing country to people like me. In Australia, we just go with whatever everyone else is doing at the time and that's scary and sad!

K and S said...

you are welcome Jonathan, glad the bit on suits was helpful!

Thanks Momiji :)

Take care you two.
Kat

Rowena... said...

A thought just came to me....do you mean to say then, that online job applications just don't happen there? Or do companies advertise online but if you want to apply for a job, you have to fill out a job app/send in a written resume? That would be really conservative. I know that over here "who you know" does make a difference for some areas, but that would be for coveted government jobs. I think for MotH being in the tech industry, it's more of what you know in terms of skill, but he sends out resumes online, all over the place. I wish we could move to France!

K and S said...

Rowena,
I have not applied for anything here online and have only seen ads where you need to send in a resume/app.

I wish you could move to France too, though I think your kitchen would be smaller...

Take care.
Kat

jalna said...

Very interesting! I guess old habits die hard, especially in Japan where the culture is just steeped in tradition.

K and S said...

I think you may be right Jalna :)

Take care.
Kat

Debinhawaii said...

I remember the handwritten resumes and pictures when i was there for work and we were hiring people. I thought the pictures were a bit scary--no smiles, very serious looking, kind of like a mug shot! lol!
;-)

K and S said...

Even the passport photos are no smile Debinhawaii, I was bummed when I went to get my photo taken here. So now, I have a scary looking passport :p

Take care.
Kat

ilingc said...

Happy Easter Kat =)

K and S said...

Happy Easter to you too Ilingc :)

Take care.
Kat

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - You know how stubborn we Japanese are.... traditions die hard! ;O) I can just imagine folks judging character on penmanship......

K and S said...

They are either judging you on penmanship or how cute you look in that photo you need to attach Kirk ;)

Take care.
Kat