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Job situation looks grim for graduating students

EMPLOYMENT prospects for graduates in the city remain grim, according to a new report released by the city's largest employment agency, the Shanghai Foreign Service Co Ltd.

The report says more than 70 percent of students due to graduate in two months' time had yet to find a position.

"March is usually the peak season for graduating students to sign job contracts," said Wu Xiaohui, senior campus recruitment consultant with SFSC, adding that normally about 70 percent have job offers by now.

"This time, the situation is completely upside down," he said.

Among the 500-odd first-time job seekers surveyed, 35 percent had sent out 30 to 50 copies of their resumes since the job-hunting season started last autumn. Another almost 30 percent had submitted 50 resumes or more.

The most frenzied student said he had distributed about 600 copies of his resume.

"Most of us have adopted a very broad approach, submitting CVs to every potential recruiter at any opportunity - job fairs, campus recruitment sessions or by e-mail," said Wu Zhongfu, a student at Donghua University. "People are just plowing through every single possibility to see whether there's an open door."

Most students, however, had heard nothing back.

"Many multinational corporations have stopped hiring on the instructions of their global headquarters, even if professional demand is still out there in China," Wu said.

About 55 percent of the 104 multinational corporations surveyed didn't intend to add any new staff this year.

Among those that are still recruiting, half will hire less than 10 people, compared with an average of 50 to 100 people in previous years.

To boost graduates' employment prospects, SFSC teamed up with 157 multinational corporations to offer 1,000 vocational training opportunities, 1,000 internship positions and 1,000 job openings for graduates earlier this month.

Also, a funeral industry job fair on Saturday unexpectedly attracted hundreds of students looking for jobs in cemeteries and funeral parlors.

More than 3,200 people arrived to compete for nearly 400 positions. There were openings for, among other things, grave-stone designers and make-up experts for corpses, as well as customer services and archivist positions.


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