4 Tips to Enter the Chinese Job Market: Working in China After Graduation

Are you about to graduate from a Chinese university soon, and looking to enter the Chinese job market?

If you’re a student at a Chinese university, especially if you are taking remote classes outside of China because of Covid, the process of entering the Chinese workplace can feel completely overwhelming.

Though China Admissions is not a job or career service, we still are passionate about helping students through their university journeys…from finding the perfect program and applying, to finding a great job after graduation! Thus, we’ve provided several resources and analyzed the relevant laws for foreign students who want to work in China.

If you want to enter the Chinese job market and work in China after graduating from a Chinese university, here’s everything you need to know.

Can Students Work in China After Graduation? All the Laws!

There are a few things you need to know if you want to enter the Chinese job market after graduation.

  1. If you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from a Chinese university, you need two years’ work experience before being able to get a Chinese work permit.
    1. There are some exceptions for students who graduate from top Chinese schools and will work in certain free trade zone areas in Shanghai (info here) or Zhuhai. You need to confirm this path with your university or reputable visa agency.
  2. If you graduate with a Chinese Master’s degree, you can start working in China right away without two years’ work experience.
  3. It is illegal to be a full-time student and full-time work at the same time.

These laws are only relevant to students who are looking for full-time jobs post-graduation. Students on an X visa can intern and complete work studies in China: To learn more, click here (internships link and work-study laws).

foreign students working in China

Prepare to Enter the Chinese Job Market

If you’re about to graduate soon, there are a few things you need to prepare…

  1. Consider where you want to work, China, or another country?
  2. If you want to work full-time in China after graduating…

How can students Enter the Chinese Job Market? Policies for students

Tips on how to find an internship

Tips on how to find full-time work

Tips on how to find teaching jobs

Insider Job-Hunting Tips for Students in China

I successfully applied for and was offered positions for both internships, full-time, and freelance jobs from Chinese companies even though I was located outside of China because of Covid. Here are my tips:

1. Research ahead of time

If you know what field you want to work in, start a year or even longer ahead of time by looking at job descriptions and application calls from companies in your field. Take note of what companies today are asking their applicants to have. Then you can prepare accordingly and begin learning new skills to make the perfect Resume.

For example, if recruiters in your field want job applicants who know Photoshop, then you should start learning Photoshop on your own before you even start applying to these jobs.

You can also check here: 5 Free Ways to Improve Your CV/Resume From Home

2. Write a GOOD resume

Learn about the difference between a CV and a Resume, and get free sample templates, here.

You can also design resumes for free on Canva.com.

Your resume should have…

  • Professional photo of yourself
  • Share your education, work, and volunteering background
  • Highlight your unique skills
  • Easy to read
  • Not too crowded with text
  • Tailored to the position you are applying to
  • References (past employers or professors who can give you a good review if needed)
  • No grammar or spelling mistakes
  • A resume should be one or two pages. A half-page is too short and probably means you do not have enough experience to apply for jobs at this stage.

3. Learn Chinese!

This is extremely important for you to enter the Chinese Job Market. Even though it might not technically be required for you to speak Chinese, HSK 4 or above will give you a huge advantage in the job market. If you want to work in China, you should be able to speak the language.

Keep in mind you’ll also be competing for jobs against Chinese students who have studied abroad and learned English as well. Being bilingual in English-Chinese is the silent requirement for the best jobs in China.

Find Chinese Classes Here!

students practicing calligraphy- study business at CUHK Shenzhen

4. Apply to a lot of jobs

You probably won’t get the first job you apply to. Maybe not even the twentieth or the fiftieth. But, if you have good grades and some relevant experience, you are sure to hear back eventually. Persistence is key. Remember that your self-worth is not defined by your resume. Reach out to classmates, former employers, professors, or your university’s career services for help and advice on the job hunt.

If you are applying to hundreds of jobs and still not hearing back, it might be time to revisit your resume and see if you need to learn new skills, learn more Chinese, or get another degree that will help you be more employable.

Read More: Find a Job in China: Companies Hiring Foreigners in China

Enter the Chinese Job Market

Savannah Billman has a master's degree in Chinese Law and Society at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. She holds a B.A. from NYU Shanghai and has also written for The World of Chinese, TechNode, SupChina, and Sixth Tone.
Savannah Billman
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