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How to Write a Chinese Resume 101

ASHLEY LABRIE

If you’re thinking about working in China or for a Chinese company, you’ll likely need a Chinese resume - 中文简历 (zhōng wén jiǎn lì). But preparing your Chinese resume requires a whole lot more than just translating it into Mandarin.

The formatting, tone, and information in Chinese resumes tend to differ quite a bit from those of Western countries, which can make it a bit daunting to prepare!

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! 


In this post, we’ll guide you step by step in writing a Chinese resume, from the overall format to use all the way down to concrete information to include and a TON of resume-related vocab.


At the bottom of the post, you can download our FREE Chinese resume template!


Formatting Your Resume

In the West, we prefer clean, sleek, and simple formatting for our resumes. Often times our formatting, font style, and even the paper we use is what might separate our resume from the rest at first glance. 

But in China, you’ll find that the format is often quite similar across different resumes. The most standard resumes are made up of many boxes and look a lot like an official application form:



Now, although this ‘application form’ style is very common, there are other styles of resumes out there as well that are a bit more creative and aesthetically pleasing - so it’s really up to you as far as what template or format to use. 


Here are a few more examples of Chinese resume formatting:





Another major difference from Western resumes is that most Chinese resumes contain a photo of the individual as well. A Western company asking for a photo on your resume is pretty unusual, but in China it's the norm! 

While this is common, it isn’t necessarily ‘required’. If you’re not comfortable with putting your photo on there, you don’t have to - it’s just often a ‘plus’ in the eyes of an employer.

What To Include in Your Resume

Most Chinese resumes contain similar information to Western resumes, but there are a few differences. 

Usually, you’ll have six main sections: 

1. Personal information
2. Educational background
3. Work experience
4. Awards
5. Other skills and certifications

6. Self evaluation


Section 1: Personal Information - 个人信息 (gè rén xìn xī)


Some of the information in the “Personal Information” section is pretty typical of any resume, like:

  • first and last name - 姓名 (xìng míng) - you can add both your 中文姓名 (zhōng wén xìng míng) - full Chinese name and 英文姓名 (yīng wén xìng míng) - full English name
  • email address - 邮箱 (yóu xiāng)
  • phone - 电话 (diàn huà)
  • address - 地址 (dì zhǐ)
  • job search objective - 求职意向 (qiú zhí yì xiàng)

You may also see fields that are relevant to the position and its requirements, like:

  • academic degree - 学位 (xué wèi)
  • language ability - 语言能力 (yǔ yán néng lì)
  • salary expectations - 期望薪水 (qī wàng xīn shuǐ)

You’ll notice, however, that there is some personal information that you would never find on Western resumes. Some of these include: 

  • gender - 性别 (xìng bié)
  • date of birth - 出生日期 (chū shēng rì qī)
  • place of birth - 籍贯 (jí guàn), or for foreigners, nationality - 国籍 (guó jí)
  • identity number - 身份证号 (shēn fèn zhèng hào), or for foreigners, passport number - 护照号码 (hù zhào hào mǎ)

If you think that’s personal, you’ll even see fields like health condition 健康状况 (jiàn kāng zhuàng kuàng) and marriage status 婚姻状况 (hūn yīn zhuàng kuàng) on most standard resumes, and some people even include their height 身高 (shēn gāo) and weight 体重 (tǐ zhòng)! That may be pretty inappropriate for Western resumes, but it isn’t unheard of in China!           


Don’t worry, if you’re uncomfortable with answering some of these fields, just avoid including them on your resume. But don’t be too surprised if the interviewer happens to ask about some of these topics during the interview!

Here’s a sample of a resume with the above information included. Feel free to personalize yours to only include the fields that are relevant to you or that you feel comfortable with including:



Most of these fields are self explanatory, but here are a few tips for filling some of the trickier ones out:

• Gender - 性别 (xìng bié)


Choose either male - 男 (nán) or female - 女 (nǚ).


*TIP: Not sure how to type the Chinese character 女 (nǚ)? Check out this blog post and learn how it's done!

• Date of birth - 出生日期 (chū shēng rì qī)


Note the order of the date, month, and year. In Chinese, we work from biggest to smallest, so it’s ‘year, month, date’. 


For example, February 21, 1985 would be 1985年 (yī jiǔ bā wǔ nián) 2月 (èr yuè) 21日 (èr shí yī rì).

• Phone - 电话 (diàn huà), and Address - 地址 (dì zhǐ)


Be sure to include the country code in your phone number and your country of residence in your address.


• Academic degree - 学位 (xué wèi)


The standard choices are usually: 


  • Bachelor’s Degree - 学士 (xué shì)
  • Master’s Degree - 硕士 (shuò shì)
  • Doctorate Degree - 博士 (bó shì)


If you don’t have an academic degree, it’s usually best to not include this field.  


• Language ability - 语言能力 (yǔ yán néng lì)


You can fill this out depending on your situation. If you can speak multiple languages, list them out along with your proficiency level courses you’ve completed or standardized test(s) you’ve passed. If this doesn’t apply to you or the position, you don’t have to include it.


To express your proficiency level, you can estimate your level with:


  • Beginner - 初级 (chū jí)
  • Intermediate - 中级 (zhōng jí)
  • Advanced - 高级 (gāo jí)


The standardized test for Chinese is the HSK - 汉语水平考试 (hàn yǔ shuǐ píng kǎo shì), and you can add the level you passed along with it, like Level 4 - 四级 (sì jí) or Level 6 - 六级 (liù jí).

* Tip: Haven’t taken the HSK yet? Check out this blog post on How to Prepare for the HSK!
You can also list the courses you’ve completed, like "Yoyo Chinese Beginner Conversational Course", "Yoyo Chinese Character Course I", etc. 


We’ll also be offering a certificate for completing each of our online Chinese courses soon! Stay tuned for more news on the update!


• Health condition - 健康情况 (jiàn kāng qíng kuàng)


The typical answers you’ll see are: 


  • good - 良好 (liáng hǎo)
  • ordinary - 一般 (yì bān)
  • poor - 较差 (jiào chà)


Some people also list some of their disabilities or diseases in detail, but we suggest that you either go with “good” or “healthy” or if your condition isn’t that great, just don’t include this field. 


This field was included on resumes mostly for those positions that being healthy and having certain physical capabilities (like lifting, walking or standing for long periods of time, etc.). But noways it’s pretty common to include this on your resume regardless of the physical demands of the job. 

• Marriage status - 婚姻状况 (hūn yīn zhuàng kuàng)


The answers for this are standard: 


  • married - 已婚 (yǐ hūn)
  • unmarried - 未婚 (wèi hūn)
  • divorced - 离异 (lí yì)


In the past, whether you were married or not would affect the benefits that you could apply for as an employee, and it would also give employers an idea about the stability of your life. 


Nowadays, it isn’t absolutely necessary to include this field, but employers might ask still about it during the interview.


• Expected salary - 期望薪水 (qī wàng xīn shuǐ)


Many companies in China focus on the salary per month instead of yearly salary, so it’s usually best to think in terms of monthly salary expectations, and when in doubt, specify that it’s per month. 


In addition, be sure to talk in terms of RMB - 人民币 (rén mín bì), or yuan - 元 (yuán), rather than your country’s currency. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings. 

While adding this field can help to ensure the applicant and job offered are a relatively good match as far as salary is concerned, you may want to leave it out, especially if you want more room to negotiate during the interview.

• Job search objective - 求职意向 (qiú zhí yì xiàng)


This should be customized based on what job you’re looking for. 


For example, you may write whatever position you’re looking for - in our sample, we have Project Manager - 项目经理 (xiàng mù jīng lǐ).


Section 2: Educational Background - 教育背景 (jiào yù bèi jǐng)

This section is important - especially since Chinese companies tend to care a lot about the degree(s) you hold, where you graduated from, and the educational qualifications you have. 

Many Chinese resumes include schooling before the university level as well, but as a foreigner that’s usually not necessary. Like any standard resume, you should list your educational experiences from newest to oldest.

The general information is very similar to most resumes:

  • The college/university - 大学 (dà xué) attended
  • The degree - 学位 (xué wèi) completed (check out the choices for this in Section 1)
  • The time - 时间 (shí jiān) of attendance, from some month, some year to some month, some year - 几年几月 至 几年几月 (jǐ nián jǐ yuè zhì jǐ nián jǐ yuè)
  • The major - 专业 (zhuān yè) you studied
  • Your GPA (in Chinese most people just use the term GPA directly)
  • Relevant courses - 主修课程 (zhǔ xiū kè chéng) that you can link to the position 
  • Any special programs - 项目 (xiàng mù) you completed during your university career

If you have experience studying abroad - 留学经历 (liú xué jīng lì), you should definitely include this as well under your educational background, particularly if you spent time in China or anywhere else that speaks Mandarin.

*TIP: Interested in studying abroad in China? Check out this blog post for some tips for choosing a program! 



Section 3: Work Experience - 工作经验 (gōng zuò jīng yàn)

Work experience is also important, especially if you’re looking for something higher than an entry level job. 

Here you can list any internships and jobs you’ve had, especially those relevant to the position. Try to avoid gaps in time unless it’s due to your studies or studying abroad.

Like most resumes, you should name the following:


  • Name of the company - 公司 (gōng sī)
  • Duration of employment - 就职时间 (jiù zhí shí jiān) - if you’re still at the company, you can use 今 (jīn) instead of putting a year after 至 (zhì).
  • Location - 地点 (dì diǎn) of the company (if specifying the country, state/province, and city, be sure to work from biggest to smallest)
  • Department - 部门 (bù mén) you worked in
  • Name of the position - 职位 (zhí wèi)
  • Job responsibilities - 职责 (zhí zé) you had in the position
  • Noteworthy accomplishments - 业绩 (yè jì) you made in that position
                
Describing what your responsibilities were at your previous jobs in a second language can be quite difficult! When in doubt, try to stick to the most simple way of explaining the responsibilities, and perhaps ask a Chinese friend take a look at it for you as well. 

In general, there are some key words in Chinese you might use: 

Verbs: 

  • 负责 (fù zé) - to be responsible for
  • 准备 (zhǔn bèi) - to prepare
  • 修改 (xiū gǎi) - to correct
  • 翻译 (fān yì) - to translate
  • 管理 (guǎn lǐ) - to manage
  • 使用 (shǐ yòng) - to use (formal)
  • 交流 (jiāo liú) - to communicate
  • 进行 (jìn xíng) - to conduct
  • 审查 (shěn chá) - to review
  • 合作 (hé zuò) - to collaborate
  • 设计 (shè jì) - to design
  • 营运 (yíng yùn) - to operate
  • 参与 (cān yù) - to participate in
  • 完成 (wán chéng) - to complete
                           
Nouns: 

  • 公司 (gōng sī) - company
  • 团队 (tuán duì) - team
  • 报告 (bào gào) - report
  • 内容 (nèi róng) - content
  • 客户 (kè hù) - client
  • 文件 (wén jiàn) - document
  • 网站 (wǎng zhàn) - website
  • 项目 (xiàng mù) - project
  • 工作 (gōng zuò) - work
  • 市场 (shì chǎng) - market
  • 营销 (yíng xiāo) - marketing
  • 活动 (huó dòng) - activity/event
  • 产品 (chǎn pǐn) - product

Connecting words: 


  • 例如 (lì rú) / 比如 (bǐ rú) - for example
  • 等等 (děng děng) - et cetera
  • 同时 (tóng shí) - at the same time
  • 而且 (ér qiě) - and (for connecting sentences)
  • 并 (bìng) - and (for connecting two verbs)
  • 与 (yǔ) - and (for connecting nouns)
  • 为 (wèi) - for
  • 对 (duì) - to/toward (something)
  • 相关 (xiāng guān) - relevant/related
  • 包括 (bāo kuò) - including

When listing nouns, be sure to use the symbol “ 、” rather than the typical comma.



Section 4: Awards 获奖情况 (huò jiǎng qíng kuàng)

Here is where you can detail any awards 奖 (jiǎng) or scholarships 奖学金 (jiǎng xué jīn) you have received. 

If you’ve been in a competition, 比赛 (bǐ sài) you can list it here, and also mention what level of award you received if applicable, like 3rd place 三等奖 (sān děng jiǎng).

This section is optional, so if this section isn’t very relevant to you, you don’t have to include it.



Section 5: Other Skills and Certifications 其它技能并认证 (qí tā jì néng bìng rèn zhèng)

In this section you can list any of your skills 技能 (jì néng) or certifications 认证 (rèn zhèng).
 
This is also a great place to showcase your language proficiency in English, Chinese, and/or other languages.

Some vocab you might use here is:

  • 母语 (mǔ yǔ) - native language 
  • 外语 (wài yǔ) - foreign language
  • 熟练 (shú liàn) - proficient in
  • 使用 (shǐ yòng) - to use (formal)
  • 等 (děng) - et cetera
  • 软件 (ruǎn jiàn) - software
  • 应用 (yìng yòng) - application/app
  • 网站 (wǎng zhàn) - website



Section 6: Self Evaluation 自我评价 (zì wǒ píng jià)

This might be one of the biggest sections of Chinese resumes that differ from those of the West. 

While we like to mention our career objectives and why we are a good fit for the company or position in question at the top of the resume, this section usually comes at the end of Chinese resumes, under the title “Self Evaluation”. 

Typically, here you’ll list things like:

  • your hobbies - 爱好 (ài hào)
  • your interests - 兴趣 (xìng qù)
  • your personal characteristics - 个人特点 (gè rén tè diǎn)
  • your personal experiences - 个人经验 (gè rén jīng yàn)

This information is given all in an effort to show that you, on a personal level, will be a good fit for the company, or to show through your interests and experiences that you possess certain skills helpful to the position. 

In this way, Chinese resumes tend to feel more personal and informal as compared to the more formal nature of Western resumes.

Here are some examples of hobbies and interests - 爱好兴趣 (ài hào xìng qù), and how they can translate to certain skill sets in the eyes of an employer:

  • a team sport like basketball - 篮球 (lán qiú) or soccer - 足球 (zú qiú) - you’re good at working on a team
  • playing chess - 国际象棋 (guó jì xiàng qí) - you’re good at strategizing
  • travelling - 旅游 (lǚ yóu) - you’re a quick learner

Your personal characteristics 个人特点 (gè rén tè diǎn) really depend on your personal strengths and what the position calls for, but here are a few that are common and can be used across most jobs: 

  • pays close attention to detail - 十分关注细节 (shí fēn guān zhù xì jié)
  • excellent organization abilities - 优秀的组织才能 (yōu xiù de zǔ zhī cái néng)
  • strong ability to solve problems - 解决问题能力较强 (jiě jué wèn tí néng lì jiào qiáng)
  • strong communication skills - 沟通能力很强 (gōu tōng néng lì hěn qiáng)
  • possesses a strong ability to learn and adapt - 具备较强的学习能力与适应能力 (jù bèi jiào qiáng de xué xí néng lì yǔ shì yìng néng lì)

For your personal experience - 个人经验 (gè rén jīng yàn), again this will depend on you and the position you’re catering your resumes to, but below are a few lines that can be helpful in phrasing your experience:

  • I am a __(name position)__   - 本人是 (běn rén shì) ___(position)___
  • have abundant knowledge about ___ - 有丰富的 (yǒu fēng fù de) ___知识 (zhī shi)
  • possess over __ years of experience in ___ - 具有超过 (jù yǒu chāo guò) ___年的 (nián de) ___经验 (jīng yàn)
  • have a great understanding of ___  - 对于 (duì yú) ___很了解 (hěn liǎo jiě)



Download Chinese Resume Template


Click here to visit our Download Center and select "Downloadable Templates" to access our FREE Chinese resume template!

*Note that you'll need to have signed in to your Yoyo Chinese account to access it.


That’s all the information that should be included in your Chinese resume - you’re now equipped to go ahead and draft one on your own! 


It’s also a good idea to also let a Chinese friend review it as well, to ensure you maintain the highest level of professionalism for the resume. 


If you have any questions,  ask in the comments below!

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Ashley Labrie helps with all things academic at Yoyo Chinese. She has been learning Chinese for many years and has lived in China, where she first fell in love with the language and culture.

Wed, 31 Jul 2019 07:00:00 GMT

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