Mon, Jul 13, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Job banks advise new job seekers to settle for less

SHRINKING MARKET New university graduates can expect a tough job hunt as the number of entry-level jobs available has dropped 42.8 percent year-on-year

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Job banks say new college graduates should lower their expectations for salary and other benefits in their search for employment as firms cut costs and personnel to cope with the economic downturn.

More than 126,000 college graduates are expected to join the ranks of job seekers this summer, and many will find the hunt difficult.

Companies are offering 64,000 entry-level positions — mostly jobs in administrative, sales and customer service that require minimal expertise — 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行), the nation’s largest online human resources company, found in a recent survey.

The figure represents a drop of 42.8 percent from a year earlier.

The start salary for entry-level jobs has also dropped 5 percent to an average of between NT$23,000 (US$696) and NT$27,000 depending on the category of the job.

Monica Chiu (邱文仁), 104 Job Bank’s marketing director, said the gap between employers and job applicants over start salaries was the biggest hurdle in job interviews.

“Overly high salary expectations are the No. 1 no-no in job interviews” from the employer’s perspective, Chiu said.

Applications that are full of slang or typos are also likely to be unsuccessful, she said.

Chiu advised first-time job seekers to be flexible to avoid hurting their chances in a highly competitive job market.

Unemployment hit 5.82 percent in May, with university graduates constituting 5.63 percent of the jobless population, the Directorate-General for Budgeting, Accounting and Statistics said.

The agency is scheduled to update the figure on July 22.

The jobless rate among college graduates has picked up an average of 0.34 percentage points each summer in recent years and is expected to grow again this year, despite job creation programs.

Jennifer Hong (洪雪珍), manager of Yes 123 Job Bank (Yes 123人力銀行), said it would take seven months on average for new college graduates to find jobs.

Hong said the job market would remain tough for quite a while even after the economy starts to recover.

Hong dismissed talk of an improving job market, saying the government wanted to boost public confidence.

Hong said job seekers should accept any offer they receive, regardless of whether they meet their expectations.

“It is better to join the [workforce] and cast off the ‘rookie’ label as soon as possible,” she said.

Lin Hsien-ya (林賢雅), vice manager of 1111 Job Bank’s (1111人力銀行) communications department, said it was not uncommon for applicants to send out as many as 200 resumes without success.

Lin said the slump had prompted firms to chop their budgets for personnel training, which makes hiring inexperienced applicants undesirable.

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