Jobseekers Spend 3 Times More on Looks Than Skills

  • By Kim Ji-seop

    July 02, 2016 08:21

    Jobseekers spend more money on improving their looks than on acquiring qualifications or mastering languages, a straw poll suggests.

    Job portal Saramin polled 334 job seekers last month and found that they spend an average of W5.28 million a year preparing for job interviews.

    Some W2.78 million of the money went into grooming, followed by W860,000 on learning languages and W840,000 in acquiring certificates (US$1=W1,145). Grooming included clothes, fitness training, hair and makeup, skincare, dental treatments and consultation fees.

    Jobseekers spent an average of W240,000 on lectures and consulting sessions to prepare resumes and W560,000 on classes to prepare for job interviews.

    Assuming it takes a year to find a job, respondents spent 6.8 months acquiring a qualification, 8.3 months preparing for a language proficiency test, five months preparing a cover letter and 6.1 months preparing for job interviews but a whopping 11.5 months working out and improving their appearance.

    The most common qualifications were related to jobseekers' university majors (preferred by 58.3 percent) followed by clerical skills (40.1 percent) and IT skills (36.5 percent).

    The most popular language-related courses were English proficiency tests like the TOEIC (87.6 percent), followed by English conversation tests like OPIc (46 percent) and writing certificates (15.9 percent).

    Seven out of 10 jobseekers said the cost of preparing for job interviews weighs heavily. One in four had to turn to their parents for the entire cost of preparing for job interviews, while the remaining three earned the money themselves through part-time work.

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