‘Couldn’t find a real job’: Professor’s self-deprecating resume a social media hit, China News

The resumes of two Chinese professors are trending on mainland social media for their down-to-earth, humorous and self-deprecating tone.

A story about the CV of Hu Jinniu, a professor at the School of Physics at Nankai University in Tianjin, northeast China, was among the most-watched news items on the internet over the weekend.


He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Nankai University in 2006 and began his PhD the following year. Hu added a sentence about his experiences during that time: “Don’t ask me what I experienced during that time,” he wrote in his resume on the university’s website.

He received his PhD from Osaka University in Japan in 2011 and spent the next few years doing postdoctoral research and visiting research at various institutions around the world simply because “he couldn’t find research work or a proper job like he was teaching at the time,” Hu wrote.

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He said he has published more than 40 position papers in international peer-reviewed journals, including two publications he described as “poorly qualified”.

Hu, a nuclear physics scholar, has published a number of papers on astrophysics in recent years because, he joked, “he’s recently found that it’s easier to muddle through astrophysics than nuclear physics.”

He wrote that he was a reviewer for some scientific journals because friends asked him to fill that role. Thanks to “the support of bosses in this field” he is also a member of the council of a national nuclear physics society.

For his study of strange nuclei he wrote: “It requires few experiments and [we] can cheat casually”.

Commenting on his study of machines in the core structure, Hu commented, “It’s extremely popular, but actually everyone in this sector is struggling to survive,” and he ended the sentence with a smiley face emoji.

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He also wrote that a specialty class he taught was suspended because too few students chose to attend.

In the column “Honors and Awards” he wrote with a wink that he was named “Person of the Year 2006” by the American Time Magazine, since the publication gave this title to all Internet users.

He said he was also the winner of the 2008 Touching China Award, selected by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. He joked that state media said all Chinese were the winners of this year’s award.

After those honorifics, he added, “If you don’t believe it, please google it.”

Hu has been showered with compliments for his unique resume from Chinese social media users.

“He is such an honest and humble scholar!” wrote one person on Weibo.

“What a funny and lovely professor! I urge all students to enroll in his class so he doesn’t stop teaching,” wrote another.

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Netizens discovered that Hu’s colleague Chen Jing also wrote unorthodox and humorous comments on his resume.

“He’s enjoying the work rhythm at Nankai University but still can’t get used to the air here,” Chen wrote of himself.

“He shouldn’t be able to win the Nobel Prize, so he only studies what interests him. But I can’t guarantee that every thought he has is right,” Chen said of his research areas.

For the honors and awards section, he included an image from a TV series with the caption, “These are all bubble calls, just like clouds.”

A teacher at the university, who declined to give her name, said the professors’ resumes are written by each individual and the school does not edit their content, thecover.cn news site reported.

This article was first published in the South China Morning Post.

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