CVs, cover letters, selection tests, assessment centres and interviews

Below you find information on the different steps of job applications and the differences between the UK and China in these.


For most graduate roles, there is an application form to complete in addition to a CV. The application form will include all your basic ‘facts’, so the CV should show more of the individual – skills, character, abilities etc. A good Chinese CV is similar to an UK one. It needs to be tailored for the specific roles and tell the employer what you want to do and what you can do. Personal statements are not usual. Some tips for your CV include:

  1. Font: Use the same font throughout the document and ‘宋体’ is a safe option. The size should be size 5 (Chinese character size).
  2. One/two page CV depends on experience.
  3. Given the lack of knowledge about UK institutions, it is sensible to include the university and programme ranking on the CV.
  4. There is no strict rule on whether to include a photo or not. It depends on the role.
  5. CVs for local employment should be in Chinese; CVs for joint ventures (JV); wholly owned foreign companies (WOFE); multinational corporations (MNC) are recommended to be bi-lingual.

CV Templates can found on the following website.

CV Templates

For more help with writing your CV please visit our resources.

Write CVs and Applications


Covering letters

Good covering letters for Chinese roles are very similar to UK ones. It should be limited to one page and tailored to the specific role. The following link contains a number of example covering letters in Chinese for different roles:

Cover Letter help for different industries

For more help with writing your cover letter please visit our resources.

Cover Letter advice


Selection tests

The most common selection tests in the UK are logic tests (verbal and numerical), aptitude and personality questionnaires. Most of the tests are done online.

Chinese selection tests differ in the following ways:

  1. Greater variety of tests: Professional Knowledge Tests; Psychological and Logic Tests (similar to UK selection tests); General Ability Tests.
  2. A lot of the selection tests are essay based. Candidates need to come to a certain location and sit the exam like in university.
  3. In most cases, candidates need to bring stationery for the tests – make sure to bring back up pens just in case one doesn’t work.
  4. The Chinese education system places more emphasis on remembering facts. So candidates need to do thorough preparation into the area they are applying for (similar to preparing for university exams).
  5. UoE students need to bear in mind that they may need to go back to China for selection tests and interviews when doing job applications.

For further information on selection tests please visit our resources.

Selection tests


Face to face interviews

Interview advice for the Chinese job market (especially for foreign companies in China) is very similar to the UK job market. Our website has plenty of good advice that is applicable. There are, however, some differences when applying for Chinese companies (especially state owned companies):

  1. Hierarchy in Chinese companies is more rigid. Candidates are expected to show more respect to the leader and don’t question or argue with the interviewer.
  2. Chinese companies value employees’ loyalty very highly.
  3. Students should consider different ways to present themselves to different employers - some local companies don’t appreciate very assertive and confident candidates, but like reliable ones.
  4. Avoid being too unique – it may show that the applicant is not going to fit in.

For some tips for interviews: please visit


Assessment centres

Assessment centres are not widely used in China in comparison to the UK but they are getting more popular. The most used exercises are: group discussion and case studies. For example you may be part of a group which is given a case study and has to discuss it and present on it.


For further information on assessment centres please visit our resources.

Assessment centres