5 Ways for Expats to Find a New Job in China

5 Ways for Expats to Find a New Job in China
May 09, 2022 By Paul Bacon , eChinacities.com

Most new China expats have a job contract in-hand the first time they enter the country. But, for one reason or another, very few of us keep that same job for the entirety of our time here. If you’re already in-country and looking to job-hop, here are five ways for expats to find a new job in China.

new job in China
Source: Jernej Furman

Specialized Recruitment Websites

Yep, you’ve come to the right place! Every day, eChinaCities features thousands of job listings across all industries and dozens of Chinese cities. We may be the best, but we’re not the only option. Some of the more Western-focused companies also advertise their openings on Linkedin, while other Chinese jobs sites can be found with an unimaginative Google search of terms such as “China” and “Job” or “Career”. Naturally, most tend to be dominated by jobs in larger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but the best will attract listings from all over the country.

As you might expect, most of these sites are inundated with teaching vacancies, as that’s still where the majority of expat jobs lie. Even with more niche roles, however, due to the size of China and its job market, searching for the right role can be a long process. It’s therefore a good idea to check in regularly and upload your resume to these sites, as sometimes the right job will find you! (See next.)


The recruitment specialist, or headhunter, has in recent years become the weapon of choice for many companies looking to find talented foreign employees. If you have your resume uploaded to eChinaCities, for example, you can expect to hear from headhunters from time to time.

The big bonus here is that you don’t have to spend ages wading through listings and submitting applications. Typically, the headhunter’s services are also free for the jobseeker, as they will charge the company rather than the employee. If you seek out a headhunter to work for you directly, however, you will most likely be charged a fee.

While headhunters can be an effective and inexpensive way to find a job in China, however, they are not for everyone. They usually focus on the higher end of the market, as companies and jobseekers who pay – often extortionately – for headhunters usually set their sights fairly high. If you don’t have much experience, therefore, it might be a bit of a non-starter.

Local Publications

For those anchored in one specific city, it can be quite efficient to set your sights close to home. Most Chinese cities with expat communities have seen websites and magazines spring up to serve the ever-growing population of foreigners over recent years. These are great tools for more casual and local recruitment if you’re not too fussy or ambitious.

It’s worth noting that, especially in many smaller cities, the quantity, quality and variety of roles may be limited on local publications. However, the advantage of looking where you live is that you’re much more likely to land a job quickly.

Recruitment Fairs

Recruitment fares are a common tactic for Chinese employers looking for fresh talent. HR departments primarily use them to find entry-level employees and young graduates, as they allow hundreds of companies to make contact with thousands of potential employees. They tend to be rather popular among Chinese jobseekers, with attendances reaching into the tens of thousands on occasion. In fact, there have even been incidents of stampedes in the past.

The expat model is slightly different, you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear. Even though the expat population has increased dramatically over the past few decades, it’s still nowhere near large enough to sustain the type of demand seen at recruitment fares for Chinese employees. Because of this, expat jobs fairs tend to be a little more sparsely populated, both in terms of the attendees and the companies exhibiting. This, however, gives you a far better chance of snaring something interesting.

Networking/Word of Mouth

This option blends 21st century technology and traditional networking techniques. The rise of WeChat (and seamlessly adding contacts with the scan of a QR code) has made expanding your circle in China easier than ever. Give yourself an extra leg up by labeling any new contacts with their company or industry, checking in with them regularly (especially on national holidays) and posting suitable content to your moments. If you don’t yet know what guanxi is, find out and cultivate it!

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

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Nov 05, 2022 13:43 Report Abuse


How can I get job in china easy way? I was General Manager of group of companies. I have experience in products sales and marketing. I work on life, generator and construction part. Which part I can get job in china very easy way?

Oct 22, 2022 20:16 Report Abuse


I will like to work for your company as a translator

Jun 03, 2022 08:07 Report Abuse



Jun 03, 2022 08:05 Report Abuse


My China Story. https://dominicjermano.substack.com/p/my-non-refoulement-case-sent-to-john?s=w

May 13, 2022 19:47 Report Abuse