Wanting to create a perfect resume for a job in Hong Kong?
Creating a resume that turns heads and makes you stand out from the crowd for a hiring manager isn’t easy. It’s even more difficult if you’ve worked for the same company for a long time and haven’t brushed up your CV in a while. What makes writing a CV even more challenging is that standards and expectations have changed in recent years.
Using the right format for your Hong Kong CV or resume
Choose the right order
There isn’t a set standard to how to order your resume or CV, but you do need to make sure it’s logical. Experts suggest you include the following information, in this order:
- Personal details including contact information
- Your professional summary or career objective – more on this in a moment
- Work experience
- Skills, qualifications, certifications
- Education history
What to not include
The hiring manager in Hong Kong reading your CV or resume doesn’t care about your fifth-grade swimming certificate. They’re probably not too worried about your high school summer job, either.
Be picky about what makes it into your CV so only the best of your work shines through.
Don’t trash your old CV
You might be looking to take a new career path with your CV in Hong Kong or are looking to change your focus within your industry. This doesn’t mean scrapping what’s on your CV now.
Have a list of your previous work, your skills, and experience ready to drag and drop into a new resume. This will make what you send to recruiters relevant to what they want and you’re not starting from scratch each time.
Using a photo on a CV for a Hong Kong job
It’s not the norm to use a photo on your Hong Kong CV.
If your current CV has a headshot, it’s better to remove it and either use a logo or take up the space with more important information about you. You don’t want to create unconscious bias when a recruiter sees your photo, for better or worse.
There are a few exceptions, such as if you’re applying for a modeling or acting job.
Do a one-pager
If your boss has ever asked you for the talking points or a one-pager about the meeting they send you to, you’ll be great at this one!
Do your best to keep your CV or resume to one page. This shows that you’re able to communicate clearly and concisely, and the hiring manager won’t get bored part-way through.
The information you need on a resume in Hong Kong
Get your name right
This sounds like a no-brainer, right?
Be sure to include the name that you use professionally on your LinkedIn profile and other work-focused social media. This should also be the name that previous employers knew you by so getting a reference is a painless process.
Use the right contact information
Add all the relevant contact information for you and leave off your residential address.
Have a professional-sounding email address, not the one from your college days. If you’ve only got your work email and a silly one at the moment, it only takes a second to create a new email on Gmail.
Social media contacts on your resume in Hong Kong
Only give your social media if it has a professional focus.
Hiring managers like puppy photos, too, but save it for when you’re hired. On that note, make any accounts private that you don’t want found.
Get your LinkedIn up to date – more on this later – and include a link. If you’re submitting your CV electronically, include a hyperlink to your profile so it’s super easy for the reader to get to.
A career objective or professional summary
You should use a career objective if you’re relatively new to the job market or role you’re applying for. It outlines why you want the role you’re applying for and the career path you’re aiming for.
A professional summary works for a CV that has a lot of experience and achievements to highlight. Note your work history and two or three things that you’re most proud of.
Adding your work history and education to your Hong Kong CV
The right order for your work experience
You have three main options when it comes to the order to add your work history:
- Reverse chronological starts from now and works back. This works well when you have years of employment history that you want to highlight.
- Functional CVs are better for interrupted work experience, like if you stopped working to have kids or move to an overseas posting with your partner.
- Combination CVs use a mix of both of these and are much less common and so less familiar to recruiters and hiring managers.
Writing your work experience for your resume in Hong Kong
The most important thing to remember when writing about your employment history on your CV is this:
Focus on your achievements, not your responsibilities.
Rather than telling the reader, “Oversaw and trained a team of three junior accountants” show them why you were good at that: “Coached three junior accountants to achieve their advanced certifications, with one moving on to a senior position in another company”.
See the difference?
Provide numbers and facts to show the value you can add to the company.
The right language to use for a Hong Kong CV
We’re not going to tell you to write your CV in Mandarin, don’t worry!
What you do need to focus on when honing your CV writing skills is your use of verbs. Use active verbs that show exactly what you do. Some CV example words to consider include:
These show your activity and all have positive connotations.
Include your industries
Be sure to list the industries you’re familiar with. For example, a CV for a civil engineer could cover many things, from bridges to roads and commercial spaces – be specific to show the person reading your resume that you’re a perfect fit for the role.
Writing your skills and education section for your Hong Kong CV
Leave off your high school
Unless you’re just starting out on the career ladder, you don’t need to include your high school.
If high school is the highest level of education you achieved, you can note it. An example of a CV education section when you didn’t finish university could look like this:
High school diploma 2002
3 A-levels in English, French, and business studies 2002
Or similar, depending on the country you come from and what your education system looks like.
Maybe don’t add your GPA to your CV for Hong Kong
Your GPA, or grade point average for those who didn’t go to university in the states, only belongs on your resume if it’s impressive. As a rule, if it was 3.5 or below then don’t include it.
For other degree grading systems, the top tier or top two tiers are worth mentioning, but if you got the average grade for your degree, you don’t need to add it on.
Specify your course and your classes
We don’t mean add all your classes; you don’t want to bore the hiring manager with irrelevant info.
Be sure to specify the subject you graduated in. This is especially important if your degree relates to the career you’re in or hoping to move into.
Think about your coursework and classes, are any of them directly relevant to your prospective new job? It’s worth highlighting them if so, and if they’re not too long ago.
Show off your skills
Around the same area of your CV, include the skills that are relevant to the job.
Go through the job advert and highlight the skills they’re looking for then match these skills to what you have. You may not have all ten competencies but if you can hit four to six of them, you’re doing good.
Avoid putting a measure of your skills, such as adding a star rating or a progress bar. You can’t quantify the skills so stick with the facts.
Are you qualified?
As well as your schooling, you’ve probably done your fair share of continuing professional development.
List the courses, classes, and certifications that you’ve completed relevant to the work. The Udemy course on Google Analytics is probably important, the Skillshare class to knit a teapot, less so.
Remember you’re a member
List any professional bodies and trade organizations that you’re a member of, if they’re relevant.
You might be super happy you got into one of the great clubs in Hong Kong, but it’s not exactly relevant to the project management role you’re applying for!
What is an applicant tracking system?
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a piece of software that recruiters use to screen CVs and resumes when they come in to help create a shortlist of candidates.
ATSs are becoming more and more popular, with 99% of Fortune 500 companies using one. The place you’re applying to probably uses an ATS, too, so what do you need to know.
Keep it simple
An ATS scans the words on your document. If you’re using too much color or non-standard fonts it won’t pick up your words.
Lose the pretty pinks and swirly lettering and have a simple, easy-to-read resume that won’t confuse a computer.
Loosely does it
You want to pack as much information about how awesome you are on your CV. Hong Kong isn’t ready for everything you’ve got to offer!
You might be tempted to:
- Use a small font
- Decrease your line spacing
- Widen your margins
- Not use bullets
So you can pack more onto your single page that defines your career.
All of these things will make it much tougher for an ATS to find what it’s looking for in your CV.
What exactly is an ATS looking for when it scans your resume?
It’s searching for keywords and phrases that the recruiter or hiring manager has requested. The types of words they can ask for include:
- Job titles
- Key skills
- Required certifications
Be sure to match what the job description is looking for with the words you use.
Cast your spell
Spelling lists were no one’s favorite homework, but having decent spelling is going to get you past the ATS.
Be sure that everything is spelled correctly on your CV and use a free tool like Grammarly. Rope in a friend who has a keen eye to check over everything for you, and as a last check use a text-to-speech tool like Wideo to listen for any mistakes your eyes might miss.
Use the right job titles for your Hong Kong resume
As we’ve just noted, an ATS is looking for job titles. Even if you’ve had fun and funky job titles in previous roles, think about the standard roles that would best describe what you did.
While being a Number Ninja or in-house Influencer might sound fun when your friends ask what you do, an ATS is looking for Head Accountant or Social Media Manager.
You can go on to wow your recruiter in your interview – you need to get past the ATS before you get in front of anyone, though.
Saving your future
An ATS generally works best when reading a Word document or a PDF.
Make sure you save your CV for a job in Hong Kong in a format that won’t pose any problems, such as .doc, .docx, or .pdf. What’s great about these file types is that they’re also small and should fit easily into limited upload boxes.
Handy hint: If you’ve not got Microsoft Word, you can still download a .docx or a .pdf file from Google Drive, which is completely free to use.
Should I hire a CV or resume writer in Hong Kong?
There’s a whole lot you need to think about in there – is your mind swimming yet?
Honestly, we know how it is. Not everyone has writing skills and there are lots of people who aren’t into blowing their own trumpet.
It’s a challenge to write a CV, for Hong Kong or anywhere else in the world. Bringing in professional help can pay dividends for years.
4 reasons to hire a professional CV writer in Hong Kong
- They know the local job market and the expectations for your CV or resume because they work in the industry every day
- Your Hong Kong CV writer knows how to take what you do and craft it into a list of coherent, measurable achievements
- Writing is their job – a CV writer will be able to craft a phrase and pick just the right verb for the goal you smashed
- The best resume writers in Hong Kong know all about ATSs and what they look for, meaning you can get a CV that’s optimized and well-written
The best resume writer in Hong Kong
We recommend Elissa Campbell as the best CV writer in Hong Kong.
She’s got years of experience writing resumes and has helped plenty of people land their dream job in Hong Kong.
Her background is in PR and recruiting so she sees your CV from two angles. Elissa knows how to sell you as a “product” and what the person reading your CV is looking for when inviting people for an interview.
To discuss your needs, your goals, and your career history, you can contact her via WhatsApp on +852 9855 9845.
FAQs about Hong Kong resumes
What is an ATS-friendly CV?
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software tool used by recruiters and hiring managers to scan through your resume, along with other job application documents.
The algorithm is looking for words to do with your jobs, education, and experience and matching them against a list of words the company is looking for. To make your CV work with these systems, you need to:
– Format your CV correctly
– Use the right layout for your CV
– Save the right type of file
– Use words that match the job description
This will give you the best chance of getting past the computer and getting your CV in front of a person who’ll be dazzled by what you can do.
Is a professional resume writer worth it?
Yes, they’re definitely worth it. Consider it as an investment in your future when you hire a professional resume writer. It’s not just about saving you time and effort now; their work will pay dividends throughout your whole career. They know exactly what hiring managers and ATS tools are looking for – it’s their job!
What is a resume?
A resume is a professional document that contains all the information a recruiter needs to know about you. It should cover your work history, skills, and education and show you in the best possible light.
A resume is also called a CV in many parts of the world. Whatever you know it as, the purpose is the same; to give to a person looking to hire you for a job so they can understand why you’re the best candidate.
How do I list skills on a resume?
List your skills on your resume or CV as a bulleted list that’s relevant to the job advertisement that you’re applying for.
There will be a mix of hard and soft skills that you’ll likely need, but list them in the order that they appear in the job listing – only include skills you have, though.
It can be a lot of work targeting your skills to the jobs you’re applying for, but it’s worth it to get to the top of the candidate pile.
How can I find a job in Hong Kong?
To find a job in Hong Kong, you’ll first need a great CV. Next, you need to build a professional network and track who you know who will be aware of jobs in the fields you’re interested in.
It’s ok to start approaching them, face-to-face or online, and ask them if they know of any prospects. Connect with recruiters, again in person or digitally, and let them know what you can do and that you’re looking for a new role.
For more details on navigating the job market in Hong Kong, check out our full post on the subject.
Writing a great CV for Hong Kong jobs isn’t easy, but it’s definitely rewarding.
Generally, the expectations for a resume in Hong Kong are the same as international standards, so be sure to avoid using a photo, keep things concise and focused on achievements, and only include specific and relevant information.
Once you’ve got your job interview, don’t forget to get your wardrobe into shape and ready for your first meeting with your new company, hopefully!