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China: Please, Give Me a Job

Although there are almost half a year before graduation, the seniors in the universities of China have already thrown themselves into the cutthroat job-hunting war. With the meticulously-made resumes, those ready-to-be graduates are busy running about the various job fairs, which can often attract tens of thousands of senior students flocking to seek their ideal work.

Youku vlogger Haomang Yigen (好芒一根) shot a piece of video of the recent “super surprising job fair in Nanchang University” (if the video is slow, you can click here to see the same one in YouTube):


Today is December 8 when it's time for Nanchang University to hold job fair! Some of the nearby graduates have been streaming to the Front Lake Campus(前湖校区) of Nanchang University which owns the biggest gate of Asia! The surge of the students waiting outside the job fair hall has resulted in some incidents that a couple of girls were trampled on in the crowded! Thinking of the serious situation and employment pressure of Chinese graduates, even if there is a variety of ways to help ease the employment pressure, the expanded college students in extremely large quantities still make the measures nonsense!

The report of the 17th CPC National Congress clearly required “the employment work for the university graduates should be done well”, which has fully reflected the Central Party Committee‘s ardent expectation of educational development especially the progress of higher education, the great attention to the employment work for university graduates and good care for the graduate students, China's Education Minister Zhou Ji indicated in a video conference of the 2008 national graduate employment work, which was held on December 5 in Beijing. Despite Minister Zhou's confidence, the annual job fairs across China universities from north to south have been a tough struggle to each senior who is going to work after graduation next year.

Generally, the enormous number of applicants is the stubborn headache to the authorities so that almost every time the organizers have to ask for policemen or security guards to keep order of the job fairs, however, the huge surge of people sometimes still makes the place of recruitment like a battle field.

leafmin in the tianya blog community collected a set of pictures of explosive scenes of job fairs in 2007:


Ten-thousand-people job fair of Zhengzhou, in which the gate was crowded down and the escalator was out of shape


A sea of people, it had been luckier to meet the company's interviewers. No space to consider whether you were hired or not!

After seeing a news about the graduate job fair in Tianjin, Sina blogger Zhang Le (张乐)recalled a similar scene which he had experienced at the beginning of December in Changchun. The heavy employment pressure had left him little latitude to select a good job:


Changchun Job Fair



The teacher said, it's a peak for signing contracts before the New Year. We should grasp this period of time, collecting information as much as possible and holding any opportunity to submit applications, otherwise we had to wait until March of next year, in which it would be really troublesome if we failed again.
Recently, I surf the Net everyday to browse through all kinds of recruiting information, extremely busy and extremely disappointed. I made some complaints on Net and a friend told me the express service was “very popular” now, so why not work as a delivery man for the express company. Having heard such suggestion, I could hardly fall asleep last night. Although the graduates have been awfully abundant, how can I work as a delivery man after graduating from the university which has f*** cost my family tens of thousands RMB? The words may let someone think I'm a fastidious and demanding man who's actually inept, but indeed I have always prepared for the worst. If there's still no proper job for me until the graduation day, I will do any job no matter how hard it is. After all, it's a question about living.
Exceptionally disappointed

Netease blogger flyheart, a postgraduate in Guang Zhou, described part of her job-hunting experience:


To be honest, since November 24 when I attended the job fair held in Bei Ting of Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, one of my feelings is no matter what sort of job fair, there will be a swarm of graduates; no matter what kind of position, there will be a great pile of resumes. Facing such situation, I can do nothing. China lacks everything but people; before 1999 China used to be short of graduates, too. Postgraduates at that time were really precious, but in recent years even masters and doctors have been surplus.

Another Sina blogger Qianqian Ruoshui (浅浅若水) personally analyzed the other side of the graduate job fair:






The upsurge of recruitment for the 2008 graduates has started, but people who have attended the job fair or known the inside story are both complaining. A friend in Nanjing University who did a good job in study and had an outstanding ability of social practice recently told me he had sent dozens of resumes but got no reply and the high cost of job-hunting had made him hardly afford the life, so I lent some money to him. The situation of the graduate employment is difficult, but what's the so called great job fair busy at? No one employ person there? After inquiring I found the general prospect was not good, everyone was disappointed and the dead line for graduation was approaching day by day, which demanded immediate action. Then what is it behind the graduate job fair? Let's have an analysis.
Big Enterprise Busy at Advertising
Every time when the recruiting season comes, the big enterprises like following the fashion would go to the universities overnight to hold publicity meetings which mostly emphasize the publicity but not aim at employing workers! All the big and prestigious enterprises regard the recruiting season as a great chance to publicize themselves. They never attend the so called large job fair.
Small Company Busy at Bragging
Lifting a signboard of recruiting, many small companies just interview the applicants without employing! According to some company's personnel manager, they actually wouldn't take on anyone there, but only wanted to do publicity. It's so ridiculous. …
Organizer Busy at Making Money and Shows
A lot of job fair organizers are not concerned about the student employment at all but only busy at making money. No matter big giants or briefcase company, the host will provide display stand to anyone as long as they pay the cash. It's free and simple to give a name to the fair like “2008 so-and-so Large-Scale Job Fair” and what does the large-scale mean really deserves a discussion. The organizer will take advantage of the chance to gain lots of money because almost all the job fairs can easily magnetize thousands of people and each person always has to buy a 10 RMB admission. Besides, some university enrolment and vocation offices only make a show for dealing with checks and the like from the above.
The Graduate Is Nothing
However, only the intelligentsia, the new disadvantaged group after graduation, have to keep busy at job fair for living. But finally, their carefully-made resumes which cost a full amount of effort and money are thrown away into the garbage bins by those immoral companies that don't mean to recruit the graduates at all. The graduate students not only lose some of their personal information, but also the dignity.

In addition to the cruel competition, the green graduates also have to face different limits and discrimination during the job-hunting. QQ blogger Youth Laboratory (青春实验室) who is living in Beijing summarized four prejudices which some graduates would be faced in the job market:



患肝病的大学毕业生,在找工作时受到的限制似乎更多。事实上,医学上早已确认:乙肝病毒携带者肝功能相对正常,不等于乙肝病人,体力上与正常人无异,也不妨碍他人接受教育。正常的学习、生活、工作中,乙肝病毒携带者与其他人接触不会发生传染。 但用人单位还是谈肝色变。


Girls Are First Out: The Sexism Still Exists
The women graduates always seem helpless when they are hunting jobs. “No proclamation declaring that women are not employed, but why at last all the people who finally pass the interviews are men?”
In the schoolmates who have entered the written examination, the proportion of women graduates is even a little higher than men, but in the final list you can only see the men's names.
Now lots of units won't manifest that they only employ men graduates, but during the eliminating process they will firstly make the women out.
The Academic Background Should “Be Checked to Three Generations”
Doctorate and master's degree of the prestigious university are not enough. The employers will check whether your Bachelor degree is also coming from the key university. Nowadays this kind of examination of educational background in the job fair is called “Be Checked to Three Generations”
Liver Complaint Limit: Why Are We Shunned by All the Employers
It seems the graduates who have liver troubles will face more restrictions during job-hunting. In fact, the medical authority has already confirmed: Not equal to hepatitis B patient, people carrying virus of hepatitis B relatively have normal liver function. They are as the same as the normal people on physical power and won't hinder others from accepting education. People will not be infected when they are in touch with person who carries virus of hepatitis B. However, the employers still turn pale at the mention of liver.
The Physical Appearance Discrimination: It's not My Fault to Be Ugly
Compared to men, the appearance play a more important role among the women graduates. The employers relatively have a higher standard for the women's appearance. To be turned down for the not good face is not unusual and such kind of phenomenon has been more obvious in recent years, but there are no relevant laws that clearly ban on appearance discrimination. As a result, it's very difficult for the applicants who meet appearance prejudice to protect their own rights through legal procedure.


  • hehe

    总的来说确实比较难找,尤其是一些名气一般的学校~ 说实在的,这些学生其实应该定位在技校,中专之类的;盲目的扩招使得原来本不该成为“大i学生”的人成了“大学生”,所以,这些“大学生”找不到工作也很正常~



  • […] Voices have a very disconcerting piece about the current run on job fairs in China. It seems that even before graduation chinese students […]

  • Frank

    Learn English, go to Denmark, get a job. We’re hopelessly short of educated people over here, so you might consider going global.

    That’s just my two cents, anyway.

  • […] Global Voices reports in much detail, the new job-hunting war for next year’s university graduates has begun. Although [they] are […]

  • […] Global Voices ausführlich berichtet (hier; in englischer Sprache), hat die Jobsuche der im nächsten Jahr graduierenden Studenten […]

  • […] We cannot help but wonder where this ‘job warfare’ will lead to. In the face of such cruel competition, how are these young and capable people, who have been studying hard and hoping for a brighter future, going to find a job that is financially and mentally satisfactory, let alone rewarding?

    It seems that whatever is to be done in order to alleviate the situation has to start with social norms that value humanity and give decency to job seekers. […]

    One alternative, as Frank pointed out, is getting a job in Denmark. Frank’s comment makes us question the geographical accuracy of Shakespeare’s great words “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” :-)

  • Probably, Chinese need to adopt more unconventional means of job seeking. Like direct visits to companies, creative ways to get employers attention etc… Going to job fairs around the world immediately puts you at odds with the other X thousand mob. If you want a job in China, you’ve got to take matters into your own hands.

  • peter yang

    This is employment unbalance, few job opportunities vs flood of graduates, and its a result of the systematic failure that is plaguing the whole country every since the reform, simply put – politics has not been reformed when it should with economy.

  • Great job, man!! Really interesting article.

  • lynda563

    A well written resume can be a powerful tool for marketing yourself to potential employers. If you are unsure of how to write a winning resume, these 10 tips that professional resume writers use will get you started the right way. more.

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