Get a Job in China as a Foreigner in 2022: Here is the Ultimate Guide for you

When figuring out how to get a job in China as a foreigner, one of the main obstacles you may encounter is the language barrier. Many companies require applicants to have at least a basic knowledge of Chinese, and many job boards and classifieds are only available in the local language.

As the market often focuses on recruiting local talent, the demands on expatriates wishing to work in China are high. Applicants must demonstrate their competency with a variety of accomplishments, degrees, and experience.

Get a Job in China

Business Networking Tips for China

Foreign or not,  professional networking can be key to get a job in China. That’s why knowing someone at the company you’re applying to can give you a huge advantage.

It’s a way to enter the market as your contacts can let you know when a position opens up at your company or even recommend you to your colleagues.   

To network successfully, you should start by joining discussion groups on job boards and connecting with people who are already get a job in China. If you have the opportunity to spend some time in the city you plan to move to, try to network personally as well.

If you do, have some business cards ready with your details in Simplified Chinese on one side and English on the other.

How to Get a Job in China Online

If you can’t get a job in China through professional networking, you might want to try online job boards. More and more companies are posting job vacancies online.

However, most of these websites are in Chinese and are not necessarily aimed at ex-pats, making it difficult to find vacancies for foreigners. So if you have at least basic knowledge of the Chinese language, you have an advantage.

Some sites for reference: Boss Zhipin, Chinajob

Get a Job in China as a Foreigner.

Resume/CV Tips

When writing your resume, you must include unusual personal information such as place and date of birth,  marital status, and in some cases number of children and ethnicity. Chinese-style CVs must include a photograph. The Education and Experience sections are listed in reverse chronological order (most recent achievements first), with the Education section listed first.   

If you find a job ad that sounds right to you, try activating your business network in China and see if you can get in touch with a company representative. Your chances of getting a job increase enormously. Please note that sending unsolicited applications to different companies is not a good way to carry out your job search in China.   

Of course, you can also register in various career networks and job exchanges and simply wait until the perfect job finds you. some ex-pats have been able to find work abroad this way. However, you should have a solid backup plan in place if that doesn’t work.

Cover Letter Tips

A tip about cover letters: they are not popular in China. Instead, the applicants elaborate on their achievements when quoting their work experience on their resumes.

At the end of the resume candidates often include a self-evaluation. It replaces the interest and hobbies section on the CV and is more commonly used than references, which are typically not required.

Interview Tips

When you receive your application and are called for an interview, be polite, formal, and humble, respect your manager, but be enthusiastic and talk about your skills. Don’t be late, keep your business cards handy, and don’t lose face.

Another option is to start by enrolling at a Chinese university. First of all, some employers may be more willing to consider you if you have attended a prestigious institution of higher education. 

Secondly, it is easier (and cheaper for your future employer) to change your visa from a student to an employment visa, than applying for an employment visa “from scratch.” 

Moreover, it will allow you to spend time in China, attend interviews, build your professional network, and Contact potential employers.

The downside is that a Chinese student visa does not allow students to work, so you need to make sure you have a financial cushion. Some language schools are not as strict on work permits, providing another source of income for international students and language teachers.

However, many ex-pats have had bad experiences with language schools and as this solution is in a legal gray area, we do not recommend it. For real college students and young adults, an internship can be a great way to get your foot in the door. Many large Chinese companies are happy to hire interns and, if they do a good job, keep them full-time.

Many ex-pats in China start as language teachers, especially in English. Many of them hear about the job offers through their students or make contact with a potential employer. 

This job also offers a lot of flexibility and free time to make new business contacts and networks. Teaching English is also popular with global minds looking for a “trial period” to see if China is a suitable destination for them.

Unfortunately, language teachers don’t earn much. In many cases, the salary is barely enough to cover the cost of living. In addition, you still need a Z visa to work at a reputable language school.

Minimum Wage and Average Salary

The average salary in China has steadily increased every year. However, your salary expectations should differ depending on the career field you are interested in and the region in which you would like to work. Again, the minimum wage depends on the region you live in, as the government adapts it to local living conditions. 

Thus, while a worker in Hunan is paid about 1,000 CNY per month, a worker in Shanghai is entitled to a salary of over 2,000 CNY. In patrol, the larger the city, the higher the minimum wage. Nevertheless, the general trend shows that living wages are also growing steadily. 

If you’re wondering what a “good” salary is in China, you should double-check where exactly you’re moving before assessing the situation. In Shanghai, where average salaries are among the highest in the country, 12,000 CNY a mon should see, a single ex-pat settles into a comfortable life. Note, however, that the cost of living in the city is also high compared to the rest of the country.

The Most In-Demand Jobs and How Much They Pay

The most in-demand job industries are finance, IT, and sales and advertising. Here is how much they pay:

Occupation Average Annual Salary (CNY) Accountant 150,000 – 250,000 Finance Analyst 150,000 – 350,000  HTML Designer 180,00 – 350,000 Java Developer 240,000 – 550,000 Marketing Manager 300,000 – 800,000

Related: Job Opportunities

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