Is it difficult to get a job in China as a foreigner?

Most first-time China expats have an employment contract. Few of us retain the same employment during our stay here. Here are five ways expats in China might locate a new career.

Recruiting websites

You've arrived! HiredChina lists thousands of jobs daily in various sectors and dozens of Chinese locations. We're best, but not the only option. Some Western-focused companies advertise openings on Linkedin, while other Chinese jobs sites can be found by Googling "China" and "Job" or "Career." Most are dominated by employment in Beijing and Shanghai, but the greatest include ads from around the nation.

Most of these sites are full of teaching vacancies, as that's where most expat jobs are. Due to China's size and job market, even finding niche roles can be time-consuming. Check these sites often and upload your resume, as the right job may find you.


Many companies looking for foreign talent have turned to headhunters in recent years. If your resume is on eChinaCities, headhunters may contact you.

You don't have to wade through postings and submit applications. Headhunters usually charge the company, not the employee, for their services. Using a headhunter directly will certainly cost you money.

Headhunters can be an effective and inexpensive way to find a job in China. Companies and job seekers who pay extortionately for headhunters usually aim high. If you lack experience, it may be difficult.

Publications local

For those in one city, it can be efficient to look nearby. In recent years, websites and magazines have sprung up in most Chinese cities with expat communities to serve the growing foreign population. These are wonderful tools for more informal and local recruiting if you’re not too fastidious or ambitious.

Local publications may have limited roles, especially in smaller cities. Looking locally increases your chances of landing a job quickly.

Expos d'embauche

Chinese employers seeking new talent often use recruitment fares. HR departments use them to find entry-level workers and recent graduates because they connect hundreds of companies with thousands of potential employees. Sometimes tens of thousands of Chinese job seekers attend. Stampedes have occurred.

The expat model is different, which you'll like. Even while the expat community has expanded considerably over the last three decades, it’s still nowhere near big enough to maintain the level of demand observed at recruiting fairs for Chinese personnel. Expat job fairs have fewer attendees and exhibiting companies because of this. This increases your chances of finding something cool.


This approach integrates 21st century technology and classic networking strategies. The development of WeChat (and smoothly adding contacts with the scan of a QR code) has made growing your network in China simpler than ever. Give yourself an additional leg up by designating any new connections with their firm or industry, checking in with them often (particularly on national holidays) and publishing pertinent stuff to your moments. If you don’t yet know what guanxi is, find out and nurture it!

Despite all that, there’s still space for some good old-fashioned flesh-pressing. There are lots of options for expats to network “IRL” in all major Chinese cities. Be sure to print out some business cards, even if you don’t have a job yet, and brush up on your basic Chinese business manners.

Let the right job find you!

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