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College Students Invest Heavily in Job Hunting
A prospective college graduate in Beijing spends at least 3,000 yuan (361 US dollars) preparing to get a job, the Beijing Morning News has reported.

The newspaper found at a graduate job fair that all students who entered their information on the registration list posted their mobile phone numbers.

About 20 of them said they bought mobile phones so they could be easily contacted when seeking jobs. They admitted they could not afford expensive and chic phones, though the devices still cost from 1,000 to 2,000 yuan (120 to 241 US dollars).

A university careers advisor said students were trying to take every possible measure to increase their chances of landing a job in the face of fierce competition.

Most students had made two versions of their resumes. One was asimple version with less information for their second-choice employers. They would have about 20 copies of this version, which cost a total of 20 to 30 yuan (2.4 to 3.6 US dollars).

The other version, better designed, would have more pages and cost more than 10 yuan (1.2 US dollars) each. Students prepared the "luxury version" for their first-choice employers.

A student from a local law school surnamed Wang said he spent more than 200 yuan (24 US dollars) to make his resume look like a magazine.

Students also invested heavily on their appearance. A student surnamed Ma had spent 5,000 yuan (602 US dollars) to cure his short-sightedness. He said, "It's worthwhile if the surgery helps land a good job."

It was more common among women students, who underwent surgicalmakeovers such as facelifts for the sake of their career prospects.

Suitable attire was also a major item on the students' limited budgets. The newspaper found some bought suits for as much as 700 yuan (84 US dollars) for interviews.

They also had to pay for job fair tickets, posting their information on line and transportation.

But their efforts were knocked down by one Beijing employer whosaid he wanted qualified students and would not be deceived by dazzling resumes or expensive suits.

(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2003)

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