Japan has a unique culture, and some aspects of everyday life vary significantly from other countries. One example of this can be found in the workplace: Some companies still like to receive handwritten resumes. Indeed, stationery shops often sell standardised career history forms to be filled in by hand.

That said, times are changing. Many companies want to store a digital copy of your resume, so it can be quite acceptable to prepare your resume using a program like Microsoft Word or Publisher.

Here’s what to consider when it comes to choosing between a handwritten resume and a document that you have prepared on a computer.

Is it wrong to choose to handwrite your resume?

Japan is a country of traditions, and the practice of handwriting your resume is still preferred by some companies.

In fact, the neatness of your resume can even be part of the hiring manager’s filtering criteria. Many will look for clearly written kanji that are consistently aligned.

There is also a view among some hiring managers that a handwritten resume takes longer to write, and your dedication to the task is a reflection of your character as a hard worker.

Should you use a computer to prepare your resume?

The downside of a handwritten resume is that it can end up being hard to read.

Preparing your resume on a computer overcomes this issue, and of course, it’s far less time consuming.

A digitally prepared resume also demonstrates that you have basic computer skills – something that can be masked if you opt for a handwritten document.

Understand the type of company you’re applying to

The key to knowing whether you should use a computer or pen and ink to prepare your resume, lies in understanding the nature of the company you are applying to work for.

For several types of companies in particular, it is important to provide a computer-generated resume. These include:

  • Overseas-based companies which are likely to operate on international norms
  • IT companies where the workplace environment will see computers play an integral role in daily activities.

Among these types of companies, handwritten applications can actually create a negative impression of you.

On the flipside, if you’re applying for a role with a small company or one attached to tradition, it may work in your favour to send in a handwritten resume.

Ultimately, handwriting your resume may show dedication to the task, but in today’s digital age there are sensible reasons to head to your computer to complete your resume.

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