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Shuukatsu (job hunting)

Like in many countries, getting a job and becoming independent of your parents is not easy in Japan, especially in recent years. However, Japanese students HAVE to secure a job before graduating from university, or else they will be regarded as though they have dropped out from a societal system. So students go to seminars, send their CV to many companies (sometimes more than 100), have interviews, etc. in order to secure a job offer. In Japan, job hunting is called “shuukatsu.” Let’s learn a little Japanese. “Shuukatsu” is an abbreviation of two words. “Shuu” from “shuushoku,” which means employment. “Katsu” is from “katsudou,” which means activity. So “shuushoku” means “job hunting activities.”

There’s a dress code.

Learn how to improve your appearance for shuukatsu!

There is a strict dress code for shuukatsu. Let’s learn how Japanese female students prepare.


Recruit Suit

It’s better to wear a black suit than a colored one, and avoid suits with designs, even with pinstripes. Suit shops or big department stores will have a “recruit suit” corner meant for shuukatsu.

Hair style

▼Black hair

This is the shuukatsu ideal hairstyle. First of all, you should have black hair, which means many students have to dye their hair back to black as many Japanese girls dye their hair to light brown. Make sure your ears are shown.

▼Bangs above eyebrows

If you have bangs, you must set them above your eyebrows. If not, the interviewers may find you gloomy.

▼Not too casual

If you have long hair, tying it up is desirable. However, don’t tie it up too casually.

Make up

▼Wear natural makeup, but enough so that people notice you have some on

It’s important to give the impression that you are a cheerful person. In Japan, if a woman doesn’t wear makeup, some people consider that impolite. People would find her lacking common business sense. No makeup is not accepted. However, if you wear too much makeup like if you were going out with friends, the interviewer would not find you as someone who works seriously. So stay natural.

What not to do

She looks cool, but she has too much makeup on. If she was going clubbing, it wouldn’t cause any problems though.

Unsure about your makeup?

If you are not sure if your makeup is acceptable, attend a shuukatsu makeup seminar. They take place everywhere in Japan.


▼Simple and black

You must buy a bag specifically for shuukatsu. It must be simple, black, and square. If it’s advertised as a shuukatsu bag, that’s perfect.


Black pumps

Buy a pair of black pumps. As you have to attend many seminars and go to each company’s office for interviews, during shuukatsu season you walk a lot. Consider the pumps you choose well because they will be your partner. Recently, many shoes specifically for shuukatsu have been sold, so you can find yours among those collections.


Take off everything before going to the interview.

This is a photo of what not to do. You shouldn’t wear any accessories in front of the interviewer, so make sure to take them all off.

In conclusion…

Don’t be “original”.

As you may have already noticed, in Japanese job hunting, you shouldn’t be original when it comes to appearance, even though you have to differentiate yourself from others to sell yourself at the interview. How do you find this “Japanese system”? Don’t you think originality can help us show people who you are? Let’s see how this shuukatsu system will change…

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