Writing a resume for a job in China or a Chinese company can seem a daunting task as first but do not worry! It can be done. The Mandarin version of a resume may at first glance seem very different but don’t be fooled by appearances. Much of the information included will be similar to what you write on an American resume.
The name for a resume in Mandarin Chinese is jiǎnlì (简历). In order to establish yourself as a jobseeker in China, you will need to create a winning jiǎnlì or Chinese resume with the relevant information in the correct order to attract Chinese recruiters.
The Chinese market is slowly but surely dominating the world in nearly all industrial aspects, from 1990 when the country had a 3% share in world production to the current 25% share in manufacturing of recent years. An incredible surge in development has lead to the job market growing exponentially and the country becoming one of the world’s leaders in various sectors. This said, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people from around the world are now learning Chinese and trying their luck at a job in the Chinese market.
To show your cultural and professional awareness of Chinese companies’ recruitment processes, it is optimal to have a customized Chinese resume structured in the appropriate manner with the pertinent information. That is why we have created the following guide to show you how to write a Chinese resume that will have recruiters banging down your door.
Writing a Resume in Chinese
Where to begin? If you already have a good level of Chinese, this should be a breeze, once you’ve got the right indications and if you are still a beginner, the following tips on creating a resume in Chinese should help you to feel confident and happy with your optimized Chinese resume.
Despite a beginners level of Chinese language skills, having a resume in Chinese will surely favor your candidacy. In order to improve your chances of getting it right the first time, try a Chinese resume builder online to help guide you through each section to create a unique Chinese resume for your individual needs.
- Bear in mind your target audience. It is one thing to know how to write a resume in Chinese or another language for a foreign job application, but it is another thing entirely to create a resume that is considerate of the culture and professional standards of that country. There are many differences between doing business in the U.S. and negotiating in the Orient which is why it is crucial to take care with your Chinese resume and to take into account the position of the potential employer.
- Generally, Chinese resumes are somewhat more informal that American resumes. This is reflected in the amount and the style of the details included. Do not worry if it does not seem entirely professional to you to add certain data or you feel you are elaborating too much. As cover letters are barely used in China, the Chinese jiǎnlì is your only tool to convince the hiring manager to give you a call.
- Because of the nature of Chinese resumes, candidates can be more flexible and include or exclude the information they choose. Recruiters are not bothered by an exact copy of other resumes but want to see the qualifications and experience that you personally can bring to the table. This means it is easier to tailor Chinese resumes to different roles, sectors or companies.
- It is essential that you save or download your resume in PDF format because other less secure files can corrupt and change the information included, which could lead to an unstructured resume being delivered with possible character failures; something that will surely ruin your chances of getting an interview.
No matter your level of Chinese language skills, it is always recommended to have a friend, peer, teacher, supervisor, etc. take a look at your finished Chinese resume to help you spot any errors or offer suggestions. If possible, try to ask a native Chinese person to review and proofread your resume in Chinese.
Chinese Resume: Layout and Sections
In order to create a Chinese resume, candidates will have to go above and beyond a translation of their current resume to include a Chinese resume format, specific to Chinese recruiting needs. There are many Chinese resume examples that can help get an idea of what a Chinese resume looks like and how it is structured.
- The length of a Chinese resume can be extended to 2 full A4 pages and is often broken up into approximately 6 different sections. This extra space allows for the lack of a cover letter in Chinese recruiting processes because candidates can add extra information directly on the resume.
- The different sections should be distinctly separated and marked with text boxes, bold lines, headings or titles and subtitles, etc. This way it is easier for Chinese employers to clearly see the information that most interests them without needing to read through the whole resume first.
- The structure of a Chinese jiǎnlì should be neat and organized, with clear-cut columns to show exactly what the data corresponds to.
- There should be no more than 2 colors used on a Chinese resume. It is not acceptable to deliver a creative resume style in China.
- Fonts must be normal sans serif types, using no cursive or italic symbols. The presentation of a Chinese resume is very professional and taken seriously by employers. Recruiters who receive resumes with more artistic writing or resume formatting will simply send them straight to the trash.
- When it comes to writing the date in Chinese, remember that the year always goes first, followed by the month and if necessary the day goes last. The standard style is 2018年09月.
For help creating a Chinese jiǎnlì, candidates can find Chinese resume templates with the layout pre-formatted so they can simply fill in the details as they require. A more effective method is to use a Chinese resume builder online that lets you modify and change sections and parts as you need to.
What to Include in a Chinese Resume
As the Chinese resume is divided into several sections, it is important to consider how to adapt each part to your professional profile and how you can best combine the relevant information for your job application.
Here are some general guidelines for what to write in a Chinese resume so that you can be sure you’re including the correct vacancy-specific information.
Normally this section includes various details for contacting the applicant and data about their person as well as a professional photo, within the same textbox or frame.
The most standard details included in the basic information section of a Chinese resume include:
Name – 姓名
Email – 邮箱
Phone number – 联系电话
Gender – 性别
Date of birth – 出生日期
Nationality – 国籍
Address – 联系地址
There are other possible fields to be listed in this section that are not necessary and sometimes only expected if the resume comes from a Chinese citizen. These include:
Health condition – 健康情况
Marital status – 婚姻状况
Job objective – 求职意向
ID number – 身份证号
Highest degree obtained – 学历
These elements especially the health condition field are not usually required or expected on resumes from foreign citizens who wish to apply for a job with a Chinese company. However, if you do choose to respond with a marriage status the three main options are: married – 已婚, unmarried – 未婚, or divorced – 离异.
The academic career of an applicant is a big deal in China and therefore has pride of place on the Chinese resume, just after the personal details.
Usually, the educational background of the candidate comes before other sections of the Chinese jiǎnlì because jobseekers are expected to go into lots of detail about their academic trajectory.
The most common areas explored are:
- Name of degree
- Major course
- Research achievements
Within each academic entry, jobseekers should explain in detail the nature of the course undertaken, where it was awarded, the grade or GPA, details of assignments or research projects and any specific accomplishments.
The education section on a Chinese resume should be written in reverse chronological order so that Chinese employers may witness the academic development.
Some Chinese citizens will expand on this area to encompass elementary school however for your Chinese resume, we recommend only going back so far as is relevant to your current academic or career profile.
Remember that you should find the best way to quantify your grades and degrees in a way that a Chinese employer can easily understand. If there are technical terms that might be culturally specific to an area or a field of study, explain in a clear and concise manner to what these terms refer. Also, remember to avoid the use of acronyms and stick to universally understood language as much as possible.
Due to the lack of a Chinese cover letter for job applications, the section dedicated to work experience is expected to be longer than that of an American resume. Candidates are encouraged to talk more extensively about their job history and each individual position in this section.
The general layout of each entry includes:
- Employment dates
- Company name
- Job title
These last two are where most of the information will go. Candidates should explain their tasks and any leadership roles they have carried out as well as achievements and projects completed. The detail should be brief but comprehensive and give the reader an idea of their skills and determination in this type of work in order to persuade the hiring manager that they are the appropriate candidate for the vacancy.
Similarly to the education section, each experience should be introduced in reverse chronological order to be able to see career progression clearly. Each different description of an accomplished project or success should be separated by a new bullet point, or more commonly used in Chinese resumes, semicolons.
Adding a list of soft and hard skills is a good way to demonstrate your technical and professional abilities to a Chinese employer. This section should include various capabilities that you have developed throughout your career and academic experience as well as skills from training courses and personality traits that are helpful in your line of work.
It is essential for candidates to consider both the company they’re applying to and the type of work ethic they have as well as the job description where they can find keywords to present in their skills list.
A chinese resume skills section should also cover any cultural knowledge and is the area where candidates can discuss volunteer experience and other extracurricular activities they are engaged in. Looking at a Chinese resume sample can help you to figure out what the best skills to include are, for your industry and position.
It is not necessary to include a separate section dedicated to language skills unless the job you’re applying to specifically requires it. However, a language part on a Chinese resume could be something that draws attention to your candidacy especially if you possess skills in various languages.
You should list the languages you are able to speak and give an easily-understandable scale to show your level of fluency.
Additionally, candidates can add here any examinations they have taken or certifications they have demonstrating their level of each language.
Although it is not necessary to include an awards section on the Chinese resume, nor is it very common, it is something that will impress hiring managers, which in turn could make the difference between the ‘interview’ and ‘trash’ piles.
In the Chinese resume awards section, you should detail the name of the award, scholarship or grant given, the corresponding dates and also the reason for winning the honor.
The last section of the Chinese resume should be dedicated to the self evaluation section. Similar to an American resume objective, this area allows the applicant to explain in more detail about themselves and their reasons for applying. The Chinese resume self evaluation is essentially used instead of references from previous employers. The idea is that the applicant explains the valuable experience they have had and the personal traits that make them the ideal person for the job.
This section is sometimes called the Hobbies and Interests section – 兴趣爱好. This is because it also includes personal interests and should demonstrate how the candidate is a good fit for the company culture.
Chinese employers are interested in finding out how the personal life of the jobseeker applies to their company and what the candidate can bring to them. Recruiters in Chinese companies want to know if the applicant has a vested interest in working in the industry and place they will be located.
Chinese Resume Example
Anyone looking to create their own Chinese jiǎnlì will need to see some Chinese resume examples beforehand to get a better idea of the structure and format of a Chinese job application. The reason for this is that, despite some similarities, based on appearance alone, there are multiple variations from the standard resume.
A sure-fire way to build a resume that will impress Chinese recruiters is by employing a Chinese resume template and completing the relevant sections with your personalized profile information.
If you’re searching for work in a Chinese company, you will be benefited by supplying a resume in Chinese but you could also provide your English language resume too as a safety net. Although, by using ResumeCoach’s multilingual online resume builder, candidates are able to develop their full Chinese resume using expert tips and professional examples.
A Chinese resume sample can serve as a springboard for candidates to construct their own customized resume in Chinese.
Difference between American and Chinese Resumes
There are a variety of aspects that make American resumes differ from Chinese resumes. The Chinese jiǎnlì has the general appearance of a form, a document that is filled in by an applicant, similar to application forms offered by many corporations. However, if you delve deeper, it is easy to see that each Chinese resume is as unique as its American counterpart.
The two types of resume do vary in several areas in order to cater for their different audiences. For example, the Chinese resume has a heavy emphasis on education whereas the American resume usually only mentions the most basic details of the most recent degrees or diplomas obtained by the applicant and focuses much more on their job history.
Another way in which these two resume formats are different is that the Chinese resume is longer. This is most likely due to the fact that Chinese recruiters do not require a cover letter or professional references. Instead they ask that candidates include a ‘self evaluation’ section on their resume which serves as a combination of both of these in a reduced capacity.
Additionally, the personal details section on a Chinese resume is much longer than on an American resume and includes certain data about the applicant that recruiters do not as for in the U.S.
Given the various differences between the American and Chinese resumes, it is handy for candidates to be able to use an online resume building tool to create a Chinese resume that is well-structured and offers professional templates and examples to use as inspiration.