Don Quijote receives a 500% increase in applications after it removes its requirement for an overly detailed resume.

An aging population and a shrinking workforce don’t mix too well, especially for a labor market that needs new blood as much as Japan’s does. However, the bar for freshly minted graduates remains high and could do more damage than good for Japanese companies that are already struggling to hire new employees. Now companies are ready to cut some corners, starting with foregoing elaborate resumes.

A traditional Japanese resume, known as rirekisho, is far more than just a concise summary of your skills and experience. These resumes are meant to include an applicant’s educational background—many times, even starting from elementary school—and include precise details about every job you left and why you chose to resign. The rirekisho is designed to make a good first impression on potential employers and also serve as a demonstration of the applicant’s thoroughness, accuracy, and attention to detail.

As you can imagine, it’s also a tremendous hassle (you can get sense of how much work would go into creating your own rirekisho here), and it’s something that must be done, even for low-wage positions. Either as an experiment—or maybe because it might be just as much of a hassle for human resources staff to wade through stacks of rirekisho—the Japanese discount chain Don Quijote cut out the requirement for these rirekisho in March, and according to a Reuters report, applications to the company have grown five-fold.

Japan’s labor force has been shrinking for years, falling to 65.9 million people in 2010. Making more moves like this just might help the country keep up with the new dynamics of the labor market, and hopefully other companies will take similar action to attract and hold on to young workers.

Feature Image: Sebra /

Don Quijote, job applications in Japan, Japanese workforce