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Online job fairs become more popular for grads

By CAO DESHENG | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-02 08:03
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A college graduate attends an online job interview. [Photo/Xinhua]

Online job fairs have become the main channel for university graduates in Wuhan, Hubei province, to pursue their careers amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has made finding work more challenging.

Graduates usually attend job fairs between January and April, but the outbreak has significantly reduced access to these events, leaving grads scrambling to find employment.

In Wuhan, the city hit hardest by the outbreak on the Chinese mainland, the rate of university students who have found jobs in mid-March is 20 percentage points lower than it was during the same period last year.

At Wuhan Polytechnic University, only about 400 students out of 4,195 graduates from the university are confirmed to have signed employment contracts with employers so far this year.

"We have taken concrete measures to help graduates find jobs," said a teacher surnamed Zhang who is responsible for job promotion at the university. "Due to the epidemic, students cannot come back to school, so we are helping them seek more job opportunities from online platforms."

Around 340,000 students are expected to graduate in July from universities in Wuhan.

Both the provincial and central governments have also worked out policies to stabilize employment, the benefits of which will emerge soon, Zhang said, adding that he predicts there will be more graduates finding jobs this month as the epidemic has been basically contained.

A notice released by the Hubei provincial government made public on Monday unveiled measures to promote employment for university graduates in a bid to minimize the impact of the epidemic on the job market.

While expanding job creation, increasing online platforms to facilitate employers and graduates to conduct job interviews and interactions, the notice also encourages university graduates to start businesses by taking advantage of government incentive policies.

Wang Yanrong, who graduated from a university in South Korea after completing her master's degree last year, is trying to find a job.

Wang, who is staying at home in Yichang, Hubei, said that she has sent her resume to a lot of companies through online platforms but hasn't got any feedback yet.

"I hope the epidemic will end soon so that I may have more job opportunities," she said.

Ye Jia, a manager of Wuhan Hongshan Graduate Employment Center, said his agency has organized 10-plus online job fairs dedicated to serving university graduates in Wuhan since early March.

"Through Hielite Cloud Video Interview Career Talk & Fair, an online platform we created, we have cooperated with 10-odd local universities to hold job fairs for their students," Ye said. "More than 30,000 graduates have uploaded their resumes, and hundreds of employers have posted information about themselves and the posts they are offering."

Ye's agency held an online job fair dedicated to the graduates of China University of Geosciences on Monday. During the event, 115 employers offered 1,274 jobs, and more than 3,500 graduates participated.

Ye said that recruitment work related to resume screening, candidate selection, evaluation and interviews, and even the signing of the employment contracts can also be conducted online.

"Though we tried to promote online recruitment in past years, most employers and graduates chose the traditional way of face-to-face talks," he said. "The epidemic accelerated the development of online interviews, and we want the online method to promote high-quality employment for university graduates."

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