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How Not To Get Hired In Japan
In Japan, job applicants are compelled to attach shomei-shashin or ID photos to their resumes when they send them in. Could we get hired for our own jobs in Japan?
On a recent trip to BuzzFeed Japan, our colleague Kensuke Seya introduced us to the concept of shomei-shashin.
This practice was unfamiliar to us as Americans, but we decided to see if we could take photos that were good enough to get us hired for our own jobs in Japan.
Jack found a booth outside a post office in Tokyo that's specifically designed to take these photos. His pictures came out looking clean, crisp, and professional (if not a little grim).
Tanner had his own problems following instructions, and instead of finding an ID photo booth, went to an arcade in Tokyo's nerd capital: Akihabara. Luckily, arcades in Tokyo have purikura booths.
Tanner's pictures came out looking amazing, but the decision to emphasize his qualifications by writing them over the photos was undermined by a catastrophic spelling error.
We showed our pictures to our coworkers in Japan (including Kensuke's, as a control) to see who they'd choose to bring in for an interview based on our photos:
But the opinion that mattered most was Daisuke Furuta's, the founding editor of BuzzFeed Japan, and the person who'd probably hire us for our own jobs in Japan.
Would Daisuke hire Jack, who remained a consummate professional throughout the interview process?
Or would he hire Tanner, a complete ass who screwed up his resume photo and couldn't even be bothered to wear a tie to his job interview?
Daisuke would hire Jack! Obviously! Let this be a lesson to all of you if you're applying for a job in Japan. DON'T MESS UP YOUR ID PHOTO!
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