'Couldn't find a real job': Chinese professor's humorous resume goes viral

Alice Yan in Shanghai, South China Morning Post

Posted at Sep 20 2022 06:49 AM

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash
Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash
  • The academic jokes that he ‘recently found it’s easier to muddle through astrophysics than muddling through nuclear physics’ in his resume
  • He is not the only nonconformist, another professor in the same university says: ‘He should not be able to win the Nobel Prize, so he only studies what he is interested in’

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

A story about the resume of Hu Jinniu, a professor at the School of Physics at Nankai University in Tianjin, northeastern China, was among the most viewed news items online over the weekend.

He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Nankai University in 2006 and started his PhD study the next year. Hu added a sentence about his experience during this time, "Don't ask me what I experienced during this period", he wrote on his resume on the university's website.

He received his PhD degree from Osaka University in Japan in 2011 and spent the next couple of years carrying out postdoctoral study and was a visiting scholar at various institutions around the world, only because, "he could not find research work or a real job like teaching at that time", wrote Hu.

He said he has published more than 40 thesis papers in international academic journals, including two publications which he defined as "poorly qualified".

Hu, a scholar on nuclear physics, published some papers on astrophysics in the past few years because, he joked, he "recently found it's easier to muddle through astrophysics than muddling through nuclear physics".

He wrote that he is a reviewer for some academic journals because he was asked by friends to take on the role. He is also a member of the council of a national nuclear physics society thanks to "the support from bosses in this field".

For his study into strange nuclei, he wrote: "It requires few experiments and (we) can cheat casually".

For his study of machines in nuclei structure, Hu commented: "It is extremely popular, but in fact everybody in this sector struggles for survival", and he ended the sentence with a smiley emoji.

He also wrote that one subject class he taught was suspended after too few students chose to attend.

In the honours and awards column, his tongue-in-cheek entry was that he won the "Person of the Year 2006" by America's Time Magazine as the publication awarded all internet users this title.

He said he is also a winner of "Touching China Award" in 2008 selected by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. He joked that the state media said all Chinese were the winners of this award that year.

Following these honorary titles, he added: "If you don't believe it, please Google it".

Hu has been flooded with compliments from Chinese social media users on his unique resume.

"He is such an honest and modest scholar!" wrote one person on Weibo.

"What a funny and lovely professor! I call on all students to sign up for his class so that he won't stop teaching," another wrote.

Internet users discovered that Hu's colleague Chen Jing also wrote unorthodox and humorous comments on his CV.

"He enjoys the working rhythm at Nankai University, but still can't get used to the air here," Chen wrote about himself.

"He should not be able to win the Nobel Prize, so he only studies what he is interested in. But I can't guarantee each of his thoughts is correct," Chen said about his research fields.

For the honours and awards section, he included a picture from a television drama series with the caption: "Those are all bubble reputations, just like clouds."

A teacher from the university, who declined to give her name, said professors' resumes are written by each individual and said the school doesn't edit their contents, reported news site thecover.cn.

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