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Grads spend big to find good jobs

A RECENT survey shows that Chinese college graduates have spent more money looking for jobs, but higher costs have not led to more offers.

The Central China Human Resource Market, a government-funded organization in Hubei Province that hosts job fairs, surveyed 1,000 graduates from January to June.

"We found the average cost of seeking jobs stood at about 2,000 yuan (US$290) per person," said Xue Li, a CCHRM senior human resource manager in charge of the survey.

The average monthly income is 1,617 yuan per capita in Wuhan, the provincial capital.

A 2007 survey by Beijingbased Peking University of 16,388 graduates from 15 provinces, including Hubei, showed the cost of finding a job was 1,132 yuan per person.

The money was spent on resumes, interview clothing, communications and transportation. A large part went to resumes, Xue said.

Ma Jing graduated from Beijing University of Technology four years ago and recently changed his job.

"I met some new graduates this year. They invest heavily on resumes and clothes. A resume will cost about 30 yuan and a person might need a dozen resumes," he said. "Fewer students did this when I graduated."

However, nicer resumes and clothes did not necessarily lead to more offers.

"Embellished resumes do little to land a job. It is just a move to make the graduates feel better about themselves," Xue said.

According to a report issued by the China Association for Employment Promotion in March, 76 percent of the resumes the researchers collected from 19,893 respondents failed the evaluation of human resource experts, but 78 percent of the respondents thought they were good.

Most of the poorly written resumes looked the same. They did not highlight the job seekers' skills, experience or personality, the report said.

"Many new job seekers did not know what human resource managers look for. They might bury useful information in empty words," Xue said.

She said employers pay the most attention to work or intern experience, but many graduates emphasize their academic credentials.


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