CVs for children: Chinese boy, 5, has ‘rich and varied experience and wide variety of hobbies’

  • Résumé posted on social media includes details of personality traits, world map showing places he has travelled to and claims he has read 10,000 books
  • Phenomenon is becoming increasingly common among ‘tiger parents’ as competition for elite kindergartens heats up
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2018, 3:43pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 November, 2018, 9:38am

A résumé for a five-year-old boy in Shanghai outlining his “rich and varied experience” and achievements has been met with sarcasm and disbelief after it was posted on Chinese social media.

Screenshots of the résumé were posted by entertainment blogger Kai Ba on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, on Tuesday, getting almost 20,000 comments and more than 37,000 shares.

The document claims the boy – who attends an elite kindergarten in the city – has “an independent personality, rich and varied experience, and a wide variety of hobbies”.

It includes his parents’ qualifications, and gives a detailed breakdown of his personality traits. Under the heading “Can withstand defeat”, it reads: “If I get told off, I can quickly adjust my mood and actively dedicate myself to my studies.”

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It also boasts that the boy does not cry when getting injections and that he is “strong willed” because he quickly gets up if he falls over, something he has done since he was six months old.

A world map shows the list of places he has travelled to, while the résumé also claims he has read 10,000 books in Chinese and English – demonstrating his “rich and varied experience”.

There is even a weekly timetable of his learning activities and hobbies, along with photos from his diary showing his English and Chinese writing skills.

But social media users were unimpressed.

“It seems that I can’t achieve more than this child in my lifetime,” read one top-rated comment on Weibo, while others wrote that the résumé had put them off ever having children.

“Children get the same happiness out of playing with mud as they do with building blocks, and the same goes for setting fires in a rubbish dump and travelling abroad. It’s up to the parents to guide their child to do meaningful things,” read another comment with nearly 10,000 likes. “Don’t use the child’s happiness as a pretext – you think that it’s the differences between children but it’s actually you.”

As the competition for elite kindergartens in first-tier Chinese cities heats up, the CV phenomenon is becoming increasingly common among so-called tiger parents, who feel increasing pressure to make sure their children achieve as much as possible at an early age.

There are even templates online for creating résumés for children – Chinese graphics-sharing site, for example, offers hundreds of them.

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In April, the résumé of a six-year-old who was chosen from a field of 8,000 applicants for one of 60 places at an elite private primary school also went viral. It claimed the child had learned to speak at three months old and began to learn computer programming at the age of five. It also included details of the parents’ careers in academia and engineering, claimed the child recognised more than 2,000 Chinese characters, had won numerous maths championships, and had learned how to play Chinese chess and swim at the age of three.

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Places at private schools in Shanghai are highly coveted by parents who can afford the fees, and usually children have to sit admissions tests and be interviewed during the selection process. But in February, Shanghai authorities banned primary schools from accepting children’s résumés and evaluating their parents as part of that process.