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  • Please help me with my CV for China! Mistakes to Avoid

    Post by : expatree

Working abroad sounds like an adventure, and it certainly is, but it needs some preparation in order to be successful.

Adapting your CV for China is not a difficult task; nevertheless it is an important one.  Although there is no specific model of resume required for your application within a Chinese company, there are general rules to follow.  Failing to acknowledge some of these subtleties could work against you, as it may reveal your lack of understanding of the cultural differences between China and Europe.

Unless you have a rocky career path or “holes” in your CV, an anti-chronological description of your work experience is the classical way to present your resume.  Otherwise, if you have held many different positions in various fields of work or were unemployed for a fairly long period of time, a CV based on your acquired skills and competences is recommended.

A convincing CV, along with good networking abilities (Guanxi), is one of the most important tools that will help you get invited for a job interview. 
The key focus of your resume should be to persuade the employer. Therefore, your resume is a marketing tool, which should be adapted to the market in which you intend to use it. Be modest in recommending yourself, the Chinese will appreciate this. Nonetheless, do not forget you are selling yourself as the best candidate for the position.

Your CV for China should be fairly short: ideally, try to make it fit on one or two pages without leaving out too much of the pertinent material.  Have two copies to present to the recruiters: one in English and the other translated in Chinese.

Some mistakes are to avoid! First be sure with this Do-Not list that everything is as flawless as can be. Then make sure to let your family, teachers and friends read it so that they are able to give you a different perspective. Every external opinion is advised!

1. Do-Not write a CV that is longer than 2 pages. One page only is strongly recommended, unless you have more than 10 years’ experience. Otherwise, make it simple, clear and straight to the point. HR won't spend more than 5mins on a single CV. Also, some CVs only have one or two lines in the second page, please squeeze a little to one page...

2. Do-Not send your resume in a Word Document. Because word has doc,docx, etc. At times, there are some issues to open word document while pdf is always a safe choice and it won't change any format in the CV.

3. Do-Not use a template for cover letter and send to all companies.

4. Do-Not put your selfie as the profile photo!! Come on, at least wear an ironed shirt. If you don't find a suitable one, then don't put it.

5. Do-Not use font size less than 10. You are challenging the HR officer´s eyesight!

6. Do-Not mention your Chinese level is "poor", “elementary” or “willing to learn” is a better presentation of your lack of knowledge.

7. Do-Not use "my_cv", "cv final version" as the name of your CV. Please put a concrete name, e.g. Full Name + Resume + company name if possible, or other key information.

8. Do-Not miss the location you are currently living especially if you want to find a job in China. If you are in Hangzhou and you want to find a job in Shanghai. Please write on your CV, something along the lines of: willing to relocate. 

9. Do-Not write too colourful in your CVs. A classical black size 10 Time New Romans will be enough. 2 or 3 colours will be maximum have to say, generally speaking, the MBA students are writing very nice CVs!!

10. Do-Not forget to put your former designs or other project materials to show your experience. Only one will be enough.

If you have more tips to share and you'd like to send us your CVs. Please write to!

Good luck in seeking a job for every expat in China!
Date:2014-04-24 20:17:45
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