Chinese Youth Ditching Resumes for Tinder Jobs

Young people in China are facing serious challenges in finding employment amidst rising unemployment and a slow economic recovery following the lockdowns due to Covid-19. Recent data shows that the youth unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 24 reached 14.9% in December, peaking at 21.3% in June of last year.

With many social networks, including Tinder, being censored and blocked in China, young individuals are using VPNs to access the app in order to broaden their job search opportunities. They find that Tinder simplifies the process of connecting with potential employers, making it easier to find unique job opportunities both domestically and internationally.

While LinkedIn remains an alternative for Chinese youth (though also blocked in China since 2021), students believe that traditional job-search methods, including the use of LinkedIn, are becoming less effective due to oversaturation in the market.

Jade Liang, a student from Shanghai, explained, “Using dating apps allows us to reach a larger audience. Establishing personal connections usually takes a long time, but with a few hours on Tinder, we can gather a lot of valuable information.”

However, Romi Liu, a former employee of a Chinese recruiting company, points out that using Tinder for job searching has sparked controversy among traditional employers, as there are concerns that state-owned companies may discriminate against those who utilize the app for professional purposes.

Despite the potential benefits, Tinder explicitly prohibits using its platform for job searches, stating that it goes against community guidelines. The company emphasized, “Tinder is not intended for business promotion or monetary gain.”

Interestingly, this trend is not unique to China. In the United States, some individuals also use dating apps like Grindr for networking and career development. According to Grindr, 25% of users see professional communication as a primary goal on the platform.

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