Most people know what it is or have at least heard of it; some are even bold enough to apply. Its influence is such that even the briefest mention of it on your resume can almost guarantee you a job.
I’ve been working on my Fulbright application, on and off, since May. It’s a pretty hefty job, comparable to applying for JET, only without the ridiculous time window. First the online, basic info portion; then the statement of purpose and personal statement; then the obtainment of three reference letters. By no means can you obtain the reference letters before finishing the SoP — nope, your refs need that to work from. They won’t know what to write about otherwise.
“I recommend Mary for the ETA grant because she’s smart but quiet and so can control the kids by making them think she’s a serial killer.”
“She’s also obsessed with Japan, which is good because so many young people these days don’t bother with hobbies.”
“I love her hair.”
I’d better make this SoP the best one ever written, if only for the sake of my brilliant, wonderful, and surprisingly uncreative reference writers.