What are the dos and don'ts of finding a job in China?

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in China? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in China? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


To answer your question, i must first point out that i have been in China for 9 years now and have changed jobs 3 times; working on average 3 years/company.

All the companies i have worked for are relatively small or mid-sized, and not big multinationals.

I have started as an intern, and then progressed throughout the years into more managerial duties.

To answer your first question, below is how i found my jobs in China:
1- Through university connections.
2- Through a direct job listing from the company on a social website in China.
3- Through a  job listing from the headhunter on a social website in China.

From experience, the listings on such social websites makes the application more visible. In fact, throughout the years i have applied directly to various companies, headhunter agencies as well as jobs on Linked in and there was always limited feedback; although this is not to discourage as different field/profile/experience have an effect.

My experience with Multinational companies has been mainly through headhunters, or through a connection inside of the company. My candidacy did not go through mainly for 2 aspects:
1- Salary expectations: Smaller companies do pay more as they have limited career options so they need to make up for that. Bigger companies do have more advantages but less in Net salary.
2- The fact that the HR look more to Chinese candidates, which was happening at a large scale in managerial positions since few years ago and which is understandable.

Lately most of my job opportunities i get them through Linked in, as headhunters or HR contact me directly using that medium. Applying on job listings there is not very useful as most offers are old; not to mention priority to premium profiles.

Regarding the resume, i limit myself to 1 page with all the important information; although i do provide additional documents such as motivation letter and portfolios. I do not put my picture, although lately the headhunters have been asking systematically for me to provide a picture with my application (separate from the CV); which was not the case few years ago.

The local language is for sure a plus and the level of proficiency depends on the job you are applying for.

Regarding the behavior during an interview; i think the most important thing is to be prepared and be consistent.

I have worked several jobs in China. The first was just an offer that came out of the blue, bit the rest are ones I specifically hunted for.

In the education industry, training schools are the easiest to get into. They have high turnover rates and OK pay. So they are always hiring. You can apply directly online at company websites.

For the more competitive world of private school teaching, it helps to use a head hunter agency. They do the leg work of finding schools that best fit your qualifications and can provide advice on the state of the job market. Some will even assist with contact negotiations.

DO apply directly to any job you are interested in.
DO follow up to ensure your application was received, but DON'T pester the company.

DO dress nice for your interview, even if it is over Skype.

DO brag about your career accomplishments just a little. It is OK to show off as long as the information is relevant to the job you are interviewing for.

DON'T lie about your credentials. China has a rather extensive visa process for teachers. Fakes will be discovered and punished.

DON'T cross your legs if you are seated in an office with someone. Showing the sole of your shoe or foot is an insult. Keep your feet on the floor. Crossing ankles is OK.

Dear mam ,

Thanks for your mail actually i was on training for 1 year in shanghai and after this i came to Bangalore India so i want to go back on a job so please let me know if there is any openings i well send my Resume to you  please send me your mail ID ill forward my CV to you this is my mail Id Gopinarayan123[at]

Thank you


I think you can find a job by:
1, University connections, friends connections.
2, recruiting website ( there are many recruiting websites)
3, Job Fair
4, Introduce yourself directly to the targeted company.

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