The number of college graduates in China is set to hit a record high in 2018, with 8.2 million expected to graduate this year, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Education.
The number of college graduates in China has been rising since 2001, which leads to a more competitive employment market.
However, besides fierce competition, many graduates admit that they face another big problem -- employment discrimination.
A research in 2017 shows that around 75.7 percent of new graduates said they were, to some extent, discriminated or suffered from injustice when finding jobs.
Female college graduates still face great wall of discrimination in the employment market. "Males only", "Married with children preferred": These are some of the conditions commonly found in recruitment advertisements.
According to a research by Renmin University of China in 2015, male college graduates do have more interview opportunities than their female counterparts despite the similar academic background and work experience.
Regional discrimination also becomes a barrier for job seekers. Some companies dismiss job seekers from specific regions due to the regional stereotypes, like "Central China's Henan Province is the cradle of liars" and "people from Northeast region are usually rash and discourteous."
Recruitment advertisements sometimes also show favor for local applicants. Non-locals had been denied jobs because their registered residence origin was not the same as the city where they were hunting for a job.
Apart from "invisible thresholds" like gender and region, college graduates in recent years were disappointed to find that personal details like superstitions about blood type, zodiac, and facial structure were all part of the decision-making process by some potential employers.
An applicant's surname can also help or hamper job prospects. A family name that suggests prosperity, like Jin, which means "gold"; while a last name like Pei, which can mean "to lose money", would likely be negative. Besides, job seekers also found that some employers paid much attention to their appearance rather than the working performance.
To fight against employment discrimination, both the government and society have made great efforts. In 2007, Employment Promotion Law was passed with the purpose of opposing employment discrimination and promoting justice in job recruitment.
The Ministry of Education in 2017 issued regulations to ban work discrimination in on-campus job fairs. This year, several cities' bureau of human resources required job fair organizers to set special reception desk so as to deal with job seekers' complaints about discrimination.
Non-profit organizations were established to oppose work discrimination, while legal aids were also provided to job seekers through social media platforms like Weibo and WeChat.