"I heard from others that employers do not like graduates. They ask at interviews what you did after graduation," Lee said.
Two-thirds of South Koreans aged 25-34 have a college degree, the highest proportion in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a developed nations' club among whom the average is just below 40 percent.
Government efforts in recent years to encourage young people to pursue necessarily require a university degree have had limited success in a country obsessed with education. The high rate of graduates means many ambitious young people feel overqualified for the jobs that are available to them, and figure it's better to have no job than one below their expectations.
Labor market divide
South Korea's labor market is divided between permanent jobs with a high degree of security and temporary positions that end after two years, a split that makes it harder for young people to get on a career track.
In 2012, 24 percent of workers in South Korea were temporary, double the OECD average.
In November, Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan suggested measures to make the labor market more flexible by easing rules on lay-offs and pay. While employers supported the proposals, labor groups and many students did not.
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A hand-written letter to Choi by a group calling itself "the Misfits" took issue with his ideas and went viral on social networks after it was posted on walls at Korea University and Yonsei University, two of the country's top colleges.
"We are not angry because the regular workers are overly protected. We are angry because temporary workers are not ensured the benefits regular workers receive," it said.
Kim Jong-jin, a research fellow at the Korea Labor and Society Institute, said many young people in highly educated South Korea were unwilling to take temporary jobs.
"People in their mid-20s are supposed to be active in the labor market, but the market cannot exploit them as they keep on studying and preparing themselves for more stable jobs."