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Where do I begin when writing my resume for China? If you are currently planning to apply for a job in China, this may be a question on your mind.

Thankfully, the requirements for preparing a resume for employment in China share lots of similarities with other resume requirements. Just a few differences, and in this article, we'll share some tips for writing or editing a winning resume for China and also how to scale your China job interview.

Writing Your Resume For China: Where Do You Begin?

First, keep in mind that the HR personnel who may review your CV may not be a native English speaker. So, it would help if you simplify your sentences.  Avoid ambiguous words or language detailing your experience. Set to learn how to edit and prepare your resume for a job in China?  Then read on!

Writing The Resume For A China Job

Again, while resume requirements differ slightly from place to place, the rules for writing a China job resume are almost like any other. Generally, aim 1 – 2 pages max or a single page if possible if you're applying for a role in a Western company. That said, you should consider the nationality of the employing company so you can opt for their preferred resume style. As one of the best resume writers I know told me: “Optionally, you can always have some of the experts help you craft a resume for the job position while you prepare for the interview.”

Customizing Your Resume

One common mistake made by graduates, even those applying for overseas jobs is sending in a generic resume containing their entire achievements. True, anyone would want to show off those "wonderful achievements" especially with entry-level roles where you may have only little in the way of accomplishments, but try not to.

Doing so on any resume will not earn you any significant points. Plus, you'll only be making it difficult for your employer to identify your relevant skills and experience. And this lessens your chance of getting shortlisted for the interview. List only skills and achievements relevant to the position advertised.

Crafting A China Job Resume

When building your resume (if you have no previous relevant experience), you can either begin with a career objective applicable to the position advertised or start with your previous work or internship experience.

Even if you do not have the actual job experience required for a particular job, you can list experiences with similar skill sets. Also, while not required, it would be great if these relevant experiences were from previous employment in China.

Academic qualifications

Mention your academic qualifications and the dates obtained. The highest should be at least a bachelor's degree. While a lesser degree can get you a job in China, it can be challenging to land a well-paying job without a university degree. Besides, a bachelor's degree will also earn you points when trying to get a China work visa.

Your personal information

Many employees in China expect to see personal information. Your China resume should contain your full name, home address with its postcode, a telephone number, and an email address.

Include your date of birth, gender (you have to specify this as the HR personnel, if Chinese may not be able to tell your gender by your name). If married, include your marital status and the number of children and their ages, if any. And if single, indicate it.

Finally, attach a headshot. While it may not be considered necessary by a Western HR, it is an essential requirement when creating a resume for a China job. Ensure you are smart-looking and conservatively-dressed in the headshot (passport-sized, if possible).

Outline extra-curricular activities, skills, and hobbies

Your extra-curricular activities and skills should come after outlining your professional and educational experience. All of your relevant achievements should also go into this section. Again, you should, if available, pick experiences, skills, or certifications relating to China. E.g., your colorful result in a Cantonese or Mandarin language proficiency test.

Unless you have enough space to include an exhaustive outline of your relevant skills, you should reserve them for a brief mention in your cover letter and during the interview process.

Under this section in your resume, you can create a sub-section to cover things like the expected salary (do your research beforehand on the salary range of the company or the role being applied to).

Languages

Most expat jobs in China will require some level of English language proficiency. If you're a native speaker, indicate it. If you're not but speak, read, and write the English language fluently, you should provide all information for recognized and accepted tests taken to prove proficiency.  

If you know Chinese, state it in this section as well. While not a critical requirement, it can earn you points. As with the English language proficiency, also indicate your level of Chinese knowledge, i.e., speaking, writing, and reading. And if you would like to improve your Chinese speaking and writing skills while you prepare for the interview, you can begin by signing up on Chinese forums or Jukuu, a search engine for Chinese-English sentences and translations.  

 

The Interview: Acing Your Chinese Job Interview

A crucial part of your Chinese job application process, preparing for the interview is something you have to devote a lot of time to long beforehand. Why? It is because, even with your enviable qualifications and skills, you'll meet more qualified applicants, at least on paper.

Start by researching the company

You want to be familiar with details like its international headquarters, its services and products, and even its stock price trend (if it applies to the job role). You also want to be able to show to your interviewer that you did your homework and this, of course, earns you valuable points.

Promise long term commitment

Companies in China value long-term commitments. Unfortunately, this does not come easily due to factors like air pollution and want for better or more paying opportunities.  You can use this to your advantage by offering at least a two-year commitment to the company. However, only offer long term commitment if you genuinely intend to stay for the stated period.

Fast learning/keenness to develop new and relevant skills

Companies in China do not always expect "the perfect candidate", at least not among expats. This is because expat labor in China sometimes lacks depth in relevant experience and skills. So, keep an open mind with jobs. Try applying for jobs outside your field of study and when you do this, state it clearly in your resume and during the interview that you're an active learner and always eager to gain new skills relevant to the job, even on the job.

And of course, you would need to prove this during your probation period on the job.

Professionalism and confidence

In China, confidence and professionalism are enormous requirements for landing good jobs. Your outfit, carriage and words should be indicative of a high level of confidence and professionalism.

Final Words

Job and resume writing requirements for China isn't very different from its Western counterpart. However, understanding and responding accordingly to these differences (high level of professionalism, language skills, quick skill development, and long-term commitment), no matter how subtle, will make a world of difference to your cause and help you stand out.

Finally, it can sometimes help to submit two copies of your resume to the company. One written in English and another translated to Chinese. However, this is optional. Strictly follow the potential employer's application requirement if outlined in the job posting.

Comments

Rated
8
John
ELITE
318 comments
12 September 2020
Thank you for this contribution, Such a well written article and educational. It is very concise and informational which is what expat choice is all about. Thank you xxx
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Replies

Thanks for your feedback, John. I really hope that my article will be helpful for Expat Choice readers!

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