National

Hair care and taxi fares: Firms offer new class of job-seekers a variety of services

Kyodo

The job-hunting season kicked off this month for university students due to graduate next spring, and companies are offering services to assist them while promoting their businesses at the same time.

A cosmetics maker is offering a grooming and appearance seminar to give advice to male students, while a retailer is holding a fitting event for suits that can be worn by sexual-minority students.

In early March, Mandom Corp., a maker of hair and skin care products and deodorants, held a seminar on the campus of the Chiba Institute of Technology in Chiba Prefecture to offer male students tips on their appearance.

At the event, which drew about 50 students, a Mandom official said recruiters tend to sense students’ everyday attitudes and characteristics through their appearances, calling on students to take care of their skin and hair.

“I learned that even a hairstyle could change my impression,” a 21-year-old student said, adding that he hopes to utilize what he learned from the seminar as much as possible.

The Osaka-based firm plans to offer similar seminars at several universities, seeing an opportunity to promote its products to young people.

The Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association and job information website operator Recruit Career Co. are distributing vouchers for job-seekers allowing a free taxi ride up to a ¥1,000 fare.

They are also providing a shuttle service between a venue for joint-company briefing sessions and a nearby station.

A 21-year-old female student who participated in a mid-March session in Tokyo welcomed the service.

“As my home is in Kanagawa Prefecture, just a round-trip train fare is a burden, so I’m glad to receive a free ticket,” she said. “I can make phone calls and do research in a taxi.”

A Recruit Career official said that moving from place to place takes time and that students who come from regional areas can get nervous when they have to change trains or buses.

“We would like students to use their time effectively by reducing travel time,” the official said.

An official of the taxi association said many young people have never used a taxi.

“We hope this will become a chance for them to continue using taxis after they start working,” the official said.

Department store operator Marui Group Co. has teamed up with nonprofit organization ReBit, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and organized a suit-fitting event targeting mainly sexual-minority students.

The event was held on a sales floor at the Marui department store in Tokyo’s Yurakucho district in February and March. At the event, sales staff worked with each student for about an hour, allowing them to get advice and try on suits.

Marui officials said the company offers a wide range of original products available in various sizes.

The company also sells men’s shoes from 22.5 cm and women’s shoes up to 27 cm.

“My dream (of wearing beautiful women’s shoes) came true,” Marui quoted a participant as saying. Another said: “I was glad to find small men’s shoes.”

“We’d like to reinforce our product-making and marketing targeting a variety of customers who feel distressed about their physical size,” a Marui official said. “And those who want to enjoy clothing that does not draw a line between sexes.”

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