Job hunting guide – personal appearance (male edition)


Job hunting in Japan has many rules concerning personal appearance that you usually would not mind about.

Unfortunately, there is the possibility that an unsuitable personal appearance might lower the first impression the interviewer gets. So, what general rules for personal appearance should be taken account of when job hunting in Japan?

Male edition


Let’s choose a suit in black, dark blue or gray.
The jacket should have 2 or 3 buttons and the shoulder length should be fit to your body. Make sure to iron the pants before a job interview and confirm they have a nice crease. When wearing the pants the belt should be on the height of your hips. If you wear them too low it might make you appear slovenly.

Shirt and necktie

As for the shirt, there are many different designs but in general you should choose a white button-down shirt without a pattern. You are on the safe side if you avoid colored shirts. There are many different designs for the necktie too but rather stay with the no-pattern or simple striped ones. Also, it is a good idea to not use bright colors.
In addition, I would recommend you to use a necktie pin since it keeps the necktie in place even when bowing.

Shoes and hair style

The shoes should be plain and black.
They easily get dirty during job hunting. Therefore, it is important to frequently clean and polish them. There are even companies which look closely at the heel and if it has been worn out they will immediately reject the applicant. Hence, it is easily forgotten to keep the shoes clean but it still is very important.

The hairstyle is just as important as the shoes. As a University student many dye their hair, but unfortunately, when job hunting you should dye it back to black. (Europeans and Americans whose hair color is not naturally black can of course leave it that way.)
Male University students should not forget that their hair will contribute a lot to the neatness of their first impression.
If you go to a job interview with your hair just the way it is after waking up you most likely will be rejected right away. It is important to neatly comb your hair. In case that your hair is short, make sure that your forehead can be seen and that the hair won’t reach your ears.

【In addition…】

As for the pockets do not put too many things in them to avoid making them look jam-packed. In general it is a good idea to only put tissues or a handkerchief in them. Also, make sure that the pocket flaps are out and not in.

Nails should be kept as short as 1mm or shorter and make sure to go to information sessions and job interviews freshly shaved.

So, what do you think?
These are all basic things that companies emphasize here in Japan.