Customize your CV for Job applications in China

If you’re looking to stand out in the job market in China, you need to customize your CV for job applications in China. Depending on the job you are applying for, you will need edit your resume according to what they are looking for in an applicant. The Chinese Resume (Jiǎnli-简历), has some differences compared to the traditional resumes. It is important to produce a professional resume as a foreigner.

The Chinese Curriculum Vitae (CV) content and formats are similar to those of the western (international) standards. But there are only few differences and focuses. To attract Chinese recruiters with a winning Resume, focus on the things that Chinese find valuable and use the correct format.

Customize your CV for Job applications in China
Chinese CV writing Source: Pexels

Most companies like to hire candidates that show some level of Chinese culture knowledge and education. If you can show these in your CV it would help catapult you into their good books.

How to Create your Chinese Resume/CV

If you opt to write your resume in Chinese language (Mandarin), it’s an amazing way to show competency in the language. However, if you do not know how to speak or write Chinese, find someone who can. In addition, they are able to help you construct your CV. Also, they can help with translating your CV in an understandable way. It also saves you from making grammatical errors which wouldn’t look good if discovered by the company.

It is important for your resume to reflect your knowledge about the Chinese culture and the professional standards. This shows that you respect their culture through your CV. Typically Chinese do not need cover letters, your CV is enough to persuade them into hiring you. That’s why it’s important to magnify the things they need, and include what needs to be included. Chinese are more interested in knowing what skills and qualifications you bring to the table and how competent you are. Lastly it is preferred that you submit a PDF, not a word format. This is to avoid unauthorized changes to the CV layout.

Layout/Format of your Chinese CV

  • A typical Chinese Resume is around 2 pages (A4) and is divided into 6 sections.  The reason for this accounts for the fact that a cover letter is not necessary.
  • Each section should be clearly marked and clear to see. Also your sections should have the correct headings. Evidently, this makes it easier for the Chinese to see where to go to get certain information without wasting time.
  • A creative resume with many colors is not acceptable, use at most 2 colors on your resume.
  • The fonts in your resume should be professional and should not include italics or cursive.
  • Remember that when including dates in your resume use the Chinese style. The year goes first, then the month and last the day. For example, 2021-05-01 or in Chinese 2021年04月01日.
  • You can use the template link provided or search online for ones that are more your style.

When you are done building, it’s always good to have a peer, or teacher to help you proof read it.

How to Create your Chinese Resume/CV
How to write your Chinese CV Source: Pexels

Some information to include

Here are is some sections to help you customize your CV for job applications in China:

Basic Information-基本信息(Jīběn xìnxī)

This section typically includes your personal contacts and information (a professional photo is also valid). Here are some things to include;

  • Name- 姓名(Xìngmíng)
  • Email-邮箱(Yóuxiāng)
  • Phone Number (contact)-联系电话(Liánxì diànhuà)
  • Gender-性别(Xìngbié)
  • Nationality-国籍(Guójí)
  • Address- 联系地址(Liánxì dìzhǐ)

If you are a Chinese citizens, supplement with the following. Subsequently, it is not really necessary for expats:

  • Health Condition-健康情况(Jiànkāng qíngkuàng)
  • Marital Status-婚姻状况(Hūnyīn zhuàngkuàng)with three options married-已婚(Yǐ hūn), unmarried-未婚(Wèihūn)  or Divorced-离异(Líyì)
  • Job Objective- 求职意向(Qiúzhí yìxiàng)
  • ID Number-身份证号(Shēnfèn zhèng hào)
  • Highest Degree Obtained-学历(Xuélì)

Educational background-教育背景(Jiàoyù bèijǐng)

This field is presented right after the personal information because Chinese hold this very dearly. The most common areas are:

  • Dates
  • Name of Degree
  • University
  • Major course
  • Research Achievements

Every entry should be as detailed as possible. That is to say that it should be able to explain and give an understanding to the person looking to hire. This includes stating where you got the degree/award and what grade or GPA you acquired. Each assignment related to your course should be noted, this may include your final project too.

Note that this is written in reverse chronological order so the employer can see how you came up during your academic or professional career. It is important to make all the listings as understandable as possible. For instance, no unexplained acronyms and deep technical terms. You don’t need to go back as far as Kindergarten, rather go back as far as relevant current academics.

Work Experience-工作经验(Gōngzuò jīngyàn)

This is the most extensive part of the whole resume. It is supposed to be as detailed as possible because candidates are encouraged to go into as much detail as they can. It should be comprehensive yet brief. The layout may include the following fields:

  • Employment dates
  • Company name
  • Job Title
  • Location
  • Responsibilities
  • Accomplishments

The educational background should also be in reverse chronological order, as mentioned before this gives the reader a sense of how you were developing throughout the years.

NB: Each project is separated by semicolons in the Chinese culture. However, you are free to use bullet points.

Skills-技能(Jìnéng)

In order to better demonstrate your skills, you should include soft and hard skills. This is a mix of technical and professional skills. It may be beneficial to include personality traits that align with the line of work you are in or applying for.

When building this section, it would be beneficial to know the work ethic of the place you are interested in applying to. Customize your CV for job applications in China by showing that the skills you have fit right in with their work values.

This can be enhanced by including any knowledge you have attained concerning the Chinese culture. For instance any academic, professional or extra-curricular activities done. You may even include certifications that you achieved concerning Chinese culture. For example, Language Proficiency (HSK).

Language- 语言能力(Yǔyán nénglì)

This section sometimes depends on the job you are applying for. If they need to see your language proficiency, it is good to include it. If not it’s not entirely necessary to include it. On the other hand, including it could prove attractive to Chinese Employers especially if you speak more than 1 language fluently or at an intermediary level. You can also add any certifications and qualifications you have achieved here.

Awards-奖惩情况(Jiǎngchéng qíngkuàng):

It is not a very common or necessary field to include when you customize your CV for job applications in China. It definitely wont earn you extra points with the employer. However, if you do want to include it, you should explain in detail (with dates) the nature of your award, scholarship or grant. Also include a reason for it being awarded to you.

Self-Evaluation-自我评价(Zìwǒ píngjià)

This is the last section of the CV and is probably known to you as “Hobbies and Interests-兴趣爱好(Xìngqù àihào)”. It is where you tell the employer what makes you ideal for the job vacancy. Sound familiar? That’s because it is what kind of replaces the cover letter and the referees section of the traditional resume. You may include special interests, talents, achievements and reasons for applying.

Chinese are interested in knowing where your interests lie and how your personal life makes you a good fit for the job vacancy.

Final Tips

  • If you are unsure of how to customize your CV for job applications in China, you may submit a traditional one with it. It’s better to be safe that sorry.
  • It may also help to have a colleague, classmate, friend or family member look over the final document before submitting it.
  • Always submit PDF to avoid character change and format changes.

Remember, put a lot of emphasis on your educational background and work experience. Lastly, Good luck! Here is a link to get a FREE TEMPLATE.  You may also check out Oriental Career Blog articles to help you understand anything concerning Resumes.

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