Resumes & Cover Letters

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Time:2016-08-10 09:38:55  Hits:[]
[page]         One of the first steps in landing the job you want is to have a solid list of information about your education and work experience. In the US and much of the West, this is generally referred to as your resume. CVs are another way to reference your experiences in the West. CVs are mainly used when an applicant has extensive education, research, or publications they need to show for positions in the field of academia.  However, this is not the case for China. When Chinese employers request your resume, they are 9 times out of 10 calling it a CV. So if the Western resume and the Chinese CV are generally the same, then they can’t have too many differenced, right?
         In fact, they can, and they often do. A Western resume is designed to weed out under qualified candidates by listing
ones best qualities and skills. A Chinese CV, instead, serves to build a comprehensive image of a candidate from high school until the present. These two styles of work histories need to be used in the appropriate setting in order to put job candidates in the best position possible for an interview and job placement. You wouldn’t bring a Chinese CV to a job interview in the US because your employer would not want to know what you look like or what hobbies you have. Bringing a Western resume to a Chinese interview, on the other hand, is going to have content and design that is unfamiliar to the Chinese, and you will be lacking what they may consider to be standard information as well. From content to formatting, the Western resume and Chinese CV can be similar in many aspects, but diverge far apart in others. Below is a summary of the differences between the content of the Western resume and the Chinese CV:

  •  Name, location, contact number, and email address                                                                                              
  • Name (include Chinese if you have a Chinese name), location, contact number, and email address
  • More personal info (gender, nationality, age, marital status, children, etc.) is also highly recommended for your Chinese employers
Headshot                    No profile pic                 
  • Often contains a professional headshot at the right top corner  
  • The headshot can be edited into your CV or it can be attached as a passport sized photo with a paper clip to the top right corner
  • Leadership Positions and Community Services
    • Under each position or service, shortly summarize in a sentence the purpose of your position/service
  • Valuable skills and knowledge that would be useful for the job you are applying for
    • Language Skills (if applicable)
    • Certifications (if applicable)

*These categories are technically optional but included if important enough or if space allows

A good resume/CV is not constructed from content alone. A resume/CV also have to have a crafted style that’s enticing and nice to look at. Easy on the eyes, but minimalistic and classy is the key to formatting your resume/CV. Below is a table explaining the formatting contrasts between the Western resume and the Chinese CV:


Style ·Clean and minimal in style
·Even bullet points, word spacing, and sentence/bullet alignment
· Try to maintain 1 inch top and bottom margins with .7 left and right margins. If you need more space, try not go below .5 inch on any side
·More open to designs and creativity, but generally has the same, minimalistic style requirements as a US resume
·Even bullet points, word spacing, and sentence/bullet alignment
·Try to maintain 1 inch top and bottom margins with .7 left and right margins. If you need more space, try not go below .5 inch on any side
Font ·Professional, simple to read font between sizes 10-12 (bullet point can have as small as size 8-9, but try not to go lower than that)
·Examples: Garamond, Verdana, Arial, Georgia, Cambria, Times New Roman (an okay font, but overused and boring)
·Simple to read font sizes 10-12 minimum
·Ex: Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial
Design and Color ·1 page preferred, but 2 is okay if you have a lot of relevant work experience
Content Order Header
  • Education (reverse chronological order)
  • Work Experience (reverse chronological order)
  • Leadership/Volunteer Services (reverse chronological order)
  • Achievements (reverse chronological order)
  • Skills
  1. Header
  2. Headshot (often part of the header)
  3. Education (reverse chronological order)
  4. Work Experience (reverse chronological order)
  5. Activities (reverse chronological order)
  6. Additional Information

These are the basic components that go into the Western resume and Chinese CV. Some areas are quite distinct when put side by side, but the overall appearance remains similar.


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