Shearer Liu, banking consultant, Talent2 Beijing, talks to eFinancialCareers about common CV mistakes which candidates sometimes make when applying to foreign banks in China. Be warned: these errors can kill you chances from the very beginning.
1) Too much personal information
Some Chinese candidates put lots of personal background on their CVs, such as height, weight and even family information. But foreign banks promote equal opportunities in their recruitment. When assessing a candidate, work experience, education and soft skills are more important. Too much personal disclosure may work against you.
2) Basic format
Your CV’s fundamental structure should follow this order: basic personal details; education; career history; and additional training, qualifications and skills. Some candidates present these sections in the wrong order or even exclude some of them. But providing adequate information is necessary for HR to decide whether to offer you an interview. Also remember to include references.
3) Work history sequence
The biggest difference between western and Chinese CVs is the sequence of work history. Western banks expect to see your most recent job listed first, but Chinese CVs are traditionally listed in the opposite order.
4) Too many responsibilities; too few achievements
Candidates often write a long list of job responsibilities but this is the wrong way to impress HR professionals at foreign banks, who view thousands of CVs every day. Their eyes won’t stay long on your responsibilities. They prefer key words such as “achievement”, “target achieved” and “reward”, which reflect your performance potential.
5) Inconsistency and grammar mistakes
As your career gets longer, so does your CV. You should review it each time you update it, checking the spelling and grammar and making sure sure there are no inconsistencies, such as text size. Managers at international firms, especially investment banks, will spot any mistakes. Even a minor error will at best leave a bad impression and at worse wreck your application.