Job searchers all over the world search for jobs in two ways. There are those who go with the traditional way of searching for jobs and there are those who seek the more creative route. The traditional way of searching for a job is the one that involves looking out for any kind of published advertisement of jobs and trying to match your resume to the specifications that are made on the advert.

The creative approach on the other hand is where you get to know the right people in the areas where you would like to be employed. These are the people who give you information about any vacancies that you can apply for. The creative approach has for a long time benefited a lot of individuals when it comes to looking for jobs because vacancies come long before they get published as advertisements. The creative job seeker is therefore able to get information on a position before the traditional job seeker.

It is estimated that about 80% of jobs in the world do not get published. China being such a large country therefore has a very big number of jobs that do not get published but are available for expats and Chinese citizens. It can be harder for an expat to discover these jobs when they move to China, especially if they do not speak or read Chinese.

Many expats moving to China often want to know how long it will take before they can secure a job in China. The shortest time it can take you to secure a job in China is about three months after you have submitted your application. There is however no specific answer to this question since it all depends on the expats effort. There are certain things that determine how first one expat gets a job compared to another.

Things that improve your chances of getting a job

One of the things you can do to improve your chances of securing a job as an expat in China is to do thorough research in the industry you would like to work. For instance, is you are looking for a teaching job, it is important to know the number of schools in the area you live and even make a point of visiting the school and learning more about them and what they require.

You can also keep yourself updated about any changes that take place in the school that may open doors for vacancies. The importance of this is the fact that it keeps you very informed about what is going on in your industry of choice and keeps you updated on any vacancies that may suit your qualifications. This gives you an upper hand over other expats looking to secure a job in the same industry.

Contact Information

The other thing that can shorten the amount of time it will take for you to secure a job in China is making sure you have a number of contacts of some of the companies in the industry you would like to work. To get these contacts, you will need to do some research.

It is advisable to get the contact information from the companies’ websites since doing so enables you to get reliable contacts. You can use the contact information to inquire about any vacancies that might be available at the company or go through the website to see the vacancies that are available for you. What this does is give you some insider information on vacancies that are not published.


One mistake that a lot of expats make when they are looking for a job in China is to network with the intention of selling themselves by saying what great employees they would make in order for them to get jobs. It is important to sell yourself by doing this. However, it is important to know when you are supposed to do it. You need first to know what the person you would like to hire you requires from an employee and what they stand for. This will allow you to know exactly what expectations the different managers have.

When you have known enough people in the industry and have learned a lot from them, it is important to send thank you letters to them and request a recommendation for a job in case they get to hear about one. Knowing the right people will enable you to get call backs when a new position arises since today, it is really about whom you know and less about your qualifications. It is, therefore, important to do a lot of work when it comes to networking in order to ensure your name is known by those that matter in the industry.

Ripple Effect

It is important to utilize the ripple effect when you are in search of a job in China. For instance, when you notice that a certain company is hiring more employees than the average, you should be able to think critically about the many opportunities that this means for you when it comes to employment. The company might not have a specific job you are qualified for but the changes it is undergoing can greatly affect the supply chain.

A closer look at the supply chain enables you to understand the changes and where you can get employment within it. It could be working with people outside of the company such as suppliers of raw materials. Employment opportunities are not always very clear and black and white; they sometimes require you to be attentive to changes in order to be able to identify them. It is therefore very important to keep an open eye when you are looking for employment opportunities.

Utilize technology

Today, technology has made it very easy for people to find jobs through different social media networks. You can utilize a platform like LinkedIn to create your profile in which you include your skills, qualifications, educational background, and other things that make you stand out from your competitors.

LinkedIn allows you to portray yourself in the best way possible to potential employers. With this kind of advantage, you only need to follow the right people and connect with them. With an amazing profile, there is no need for you to go knocking on doors since your profile will be able to sell you. Potential employers will have a look at your profile and if it is appealing to them, they will come to you to offer you a job. Taking advantage of such opportunities is therefore something you need to do.

Best Time for a Job Search

Apart from using the best strategies to look for a job in China, it is also important to know when to look for these jobs. Timing is very important when you are looking for a job. There are times where the employment opportunities are higher in China and at these times, you have a higher chance of getting an excellent job. Knowing these times is the key to securing the best job within the shortest amount of time.

China has a number of teaching institutions that offer amazing teaching opportunities to expats. You can secure a job from primary schools, colleges, or universities in the private or public sector. The majority of these institutions usually run a system that has two terms each year. The fall term is usually the best when it comes to employment opportunities. This term starts from August to September.

Spring term is the shortest and usually goes from February to Match and there are very few employment opportunities in these months. This means that you have to search for a teaching job in China during the months before August to September to increase your chances of getting an amazing job. It is however still possible to secure a good job in the other months but it can only be in the private schools since these are the ones that have a varying systems.

When looking to get a job in the fall, you need to apply early. This is because most schools already know how many teachers they need to hire long before the term comes to an end. Normally, the teachers who want to leave are required to give an early notice in order to allow the institution to replace them in time.

For this reason, if you want to secure a job in the fall term, you will have to send in your application in the month of April of May. This may sound like a very long time to wait to get an interview. It is however a great period of time because it allows you to make a comparison on salary, benefits, working hours, and other important things which make it possible for you to have a chance to secure a job you actually want since you will not rush through the process. If it looks like a long process, it is advisable to start the application process when you are still in your home country.

The other great time to get a job in China is when school children are on holiday. When students are on holiday, parents take advantage of the free time by hiring tutors for their children. If you are looking for a teaching job, this might be the best time for you. You get to teach only for a few hours and in most cases, you are the one that says how much you will be paid. Tutoring is also advantageous because you are not limited in the number of students you can tutor. The more the students you tutor, the more money you make. It is therefore a great idea to take this opportunity.

When in China, it is also important to look out for new project completions. For example, if a hotel is under construction and it is in the final stages, you ought to look at this as your employment opportunity. When the hotel is complete, they will need some staff to do different things to keep the hotel running. Whether you are good in management, sales, marketing or any other department, you have an opportunity there. Basically, you will need to keep a close look at what is happening around you and communicate with the right people in order to be able to take advantage of such opportunities.

January is another great time to look for a job if it is not in the field of education. In January, after the 2nd week, a good number of decision makers are usually in the offices and most industries like to make changes in their staff at the beginning of the year. It is therefore a great time to secure employment in most sectors.

To get a job in January however, it is important to apply for the position very early. This is because there are many people who are looking for jobs at this time of the year. Early application therefore gives you a chance to be among the top considerations since your resume and letter are among the first to be received. You however need to make sure that the position you are applying for is vacant before you send any of your documents.


In conclusion, how fast a foreigner secures a job in China depends mainly on the strategies they use when looking for a job. There are those who get a job within a short period of time and there are those who take a very long time. It is not enough to read ads and match your details to the ad. You need to take an active role by doing a creative job search that increases your chance of securing a position in your industry of choice. It is also important to know the best time to look for a job in your field of choice because it gives you a chance to apply for numerous jobs, which in turn increases your chances of finding the job of your dreams.