Twenty-six-year-old college student Kim Tae-wan starts the day studying with other job seekers to prepare for recruitment tests.
Having majored in business, his goal is to secure a job at a financial institution, such as a bank.
"To land a job in finance, I had to obtain the relevant certificates during my college years. Other than that, I have joined school clubs, including the financial investment club. Also, I did internships and took part in various activities outside school."
He is like many young people, doing their best to get jobs they want. As many companies and public sector workplaces open recruitment in September, jobseekers are busy preparing for applications and recruitment tests.
According to job portals Incruit and Job Korea, the top 10 South Korean companies including Samsung, LG and POSCO all begin recruiting new employees this month.
Companies, however, plan to hire fewer employees in the second half of this year than they did last year, adding to concerns over the youth unemployment rate which has hovered around 7 percent as of August.
Overall, there is expected to be some 42-thousand openings, down 4 percent from a year ago.
"There are jobs available in small- and medium-sized companies or in less desirable sectors. But students don't want to go there. From the government's point of view, they have to recognize this is not just the labor market problem, but it's a structural problem, dealing not only with the labor sector but also the educational sector."
This year, companies plan to be more flexible when it comes to hiring. Some companies, including Hyundai Motor Group, said they will recruit employees based on demand, rather than on a regular basis.
"To bring down the high rates of youth unemployment, many say that there need to be changes to the economic structure, such as nurturing more future technologies and narrowing the wage gap between large and small companies.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News."