In Today’s Tight Job Market, Virgos Need Not Apply

While China’s recently graduated—including many of those who enjoyed their higher education abroad—are facing bleak prospects on the job market, the South China Morning Post’s Amy Li looks at an additional layer of difficulty facing many young job seekers: “zodiac discrimination”:

If you are a recent college graduate in China and happen to be a “Virgo”, your chances of getting a job may be much less than your “Gemini” or “Pisces” competitors,  according to the Liaoning-based Bandao Morning News.

Xu Jingmin, a  college graduate and recent victim of such “zodiac discrimination”, said she was disheartened after finding out she matched all the qualifications of a job opening at a travel agency except its requirement for the applicant’s zodiac sign.

“We are looking for Geminis, Libras, and Aquarius,” the ad allegedly said. This means Xu, who is a “Leo,” was disqualified.

Stereotypes are also held against  ”Virgo” and “Libra” job seekers, who employers believe would be “picky” and jump ship sooner than their peers from other Zodiac signs, according to the report.

While a zodiacal sign lasts a lifetime, looks are another story. The Financial Times looks at the popularity of plastic surgery among young students who hope that it will improve later job prospects:

[...]In China, nose and eye jobs are among the most popular graduation presents for high-school students who survive the gaokao university entrance examinations. Parents see it as an investment: piano lessons, mathematics tutoring, double eyelid surgery.[...]

[...I]n today’s China, all this is about jobs. Ask the 15 university students who came to the Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital last month to attend a seminar on physiognomic enhancement. They weren’t warbling on about Ms Peng’s ear lobes or Ms Obama’s upper arms – they were talking salary. [Source]

As China’s pool of university graduates grows by more each year—nearly 7 million joined the ranks this year—an op-ed published in the South China Morning Post explains the constricting job market and offers some advice for the young and unemployed:

A record seven million students are expected to graduate from mainland Chinese universities this year, up 2.8 per cent from last year. But with the employment market tightening and competition rising, how are they all going to find jobs?

[...]Let’s examine a few of the reasons why graduates are finding it more difficult to find work. The Chinese economy’s growth is slowing, which would tighten the job market. And often graduate recruitment is the first area to be cut. The Ministry of Education has reported that 15 per cent fewer jobs are on offer for new hires this year than in 2012, according to a survey of 500 leading firms. This causes more competition for the fewer jobs that are available.

[...]Graduates need to maximise their chances of finding work. To do that, they need to consider the following: [...] [Source]

Also see prior CDT coverage of college graduatesunemployment, or jobless college graduates.