Less makeup, better prospects, say Japan’s universities

Less makeup, better prospects, say Japan’s universities

Young college graduates are increasingly seeking a cleaner, fresher look for job interviews, or so we're told
Japanese cosmetics
Perhaps not exactly what employers have in mind.

If you believe the mainstream media here in Japan, it can seem like silly season never ends. Just take the news that many of the country’s universities are hiring cosmetics firms to help their female graduates look that little bit more appealing to prospective employers.

Newswire Kyodo reports that companies like Kao and Shiseido are dispatching makeup artists to colleges to instruct young women on how to look the part in job interviews.

The story is filled with the usual hokum about how slaphappy youngsters need taking down a peg or two so they scrub up clean like “fresh-faced debutant[s] into the job market.” Whatever that means.

One thing that is clear is that Japan’s giant cosmetics vendors need to push into new, untapped markets. Shiseido says demand for college makeup instruction is up 30 percent year on year.

Still, in the name of balance, we particularly dig the personnel manager who Kyodo quotes as saying, “Physical appearance does not count much in our screening process for new recruits.”

Really? So why is it still common practice in Japan for all jobseeker resumes to include a mug shot? Maybe they’d all be better off tilling the land for a living.