The Japanese practice of shushoku katsudo, or job-hunting, can be a strict, no-nonsense procedure. College students typically have to change themselves to conform to the same look as everyone else: black and white suit and tie for men; blazer and skirt for women; black hair, with a low ponytail and a side part hairstyle for women; and no frills, sensible makeup and styling.


The idea is, presumably, that companies want someone who is a standard, sensible, upstanding member of society, who does nothing to stick out, and therefore, will cause no trouble.

Not so with Japanese cosmetics company Isehan Group, however. This year, for their 2020 recruitment–for graduating students who will start working in 2020–they're focusing on one thing: seeing the true you.
And it's not only about the makeup: the recruitment campaign home page says that you can also wear whatever you like to express yourself as "you". "We really want you to come to our interview after you've carefully thought about what makes you, you." The company won't judge style based on technique or by comparing candidates to any "standard", and they won't differentiate between men and women, so candidates can come freely as they are without worrying about perfection or judgment.

Since Isehan Group is a cosmetics company, it's reasonable to assume that an original, creative mind might be something that they are looking for in a candidate. The recruitment page does specifically mention that they're a company that covers all of the bases, from product conception to package design and marketing, so they're probably looking for people creative enough to devise new products and market them efficiently, just as they market themselves with their makeup style.

Japanese netizens were impressed with the new campaign, calling it "modern" and "wonderful":

The application period for 2020 graduates and new hires has already started. To apply, they want you to send three or fewer photos of yourself in your own style, and a 200-character explanation of your style and how it represents you. What's more, applicants can even apply via Instagram, or on the web page.
Since Japan is often known as the country where "the nail that sticks out gets hammered down", it's nice to see some companies look for individuality in its employees. Plus, it seems like more and more companies are striving to break the mold of austerity, uniformity, and conformity, like the company that recruited anime fans for their ability to sing anime songs. Perhaps Japan is slowly taking steps to become a more flexible and open society!
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