Excerpted from the Hong Kong Career Guide
A well-written cover letter is essential, regardless of whether the job advertisement specifically asks for one. The cover letter introduces the candidate and provides a brief overview of his or her academic background, job experiences and strengths. It is an opportunity for the applicant to describe why he or she is suitable for the position. As companies often receive more than 200 applications for each opening, it is important to keep the cover letter short and precise. The font size should be readable, and the length should be kept to one page.
Cover Letter Guidelines and Samples
In keeping with the overall concise and polished format of the job application, the cover letter should be tailored to the specific position. The following items, however, apply to all cover letters:
- Write the cover letter in English. Although both Chinese and English are official languages in Hong Kong, English is mainly used for cover letters.
- Address the letter to a specific person. If the name of the person is unknown, use the position’s correct title, such as ‘Human Resources Manager.’
- State the applicant’s purpose for writing, the position being applied for and the employer’s job reference number at the beginning of the letter. (...more)
Resume/CV Guidelines and Samples
Hong Kong is a geographically small but strategically placed giant for international business and commerce in the Asia-Pacific region. Both Chinese (traditional Chinese for written language and Cantonese and Mandarin as spoken language) and English are official languages, with English mostly used in business communications. Depending on the position for which the candidate is applying, English, in most cases, is used for the résumé/CV (curriculum vitae). Chinese usually is used for blue-collar positions; however, a résumé/CV might not even be required for such job applications.
Information must be organized carefully and presented clearly in a visually attractive format. The résumé/CV should be limited to two pages — more if the jobseeker has many years of experience, less if he or she is a recent graduate.
The résumé/CV begins with the ‘Personal Information’ section: name, address, telephone numbers (including cellular phone) and email address. Details of personal information, such as age, ID number, place of birth, marital status and number of children ordinarily are not included. If the applicant’s name is not gender-specific, he or she may wish to include mention of gender.
You'll find more advice and cover letter and resume samples in the complete Hong Kong Guide.