Everywhere I go around the world, I hear senior hiring managers lament they can’t find great talent in China.  Well, the talent is indeed here. But they aren’t packaging themselves yet in a way to make it easy for English speaking hiring managers and recruiters to find them. If you’re a deserving young talent in China, you need to stand out from a pile of other candidates’ resumes.

The need for this was really hit home for me during a speaking engagement for UBS. I gave my “Building Your Personal Brand” talk* to 50 top female graduates from Beijing’s best universities as part of the UBS “Unlock, Your Potential” recruiting program.  The graduates heard speakers talk about everything from corporate culture to dressing for success.  While answering questions from the dozen or so young women that surrounded me after the main event, it became apparent that they were doing a lot of the right things to get on recruiters and HR radars, but missing out on some fundamental basics.

THE WICKED BASICS

  1. Seek out internships: If you don’t have paid work experience, get an internship that allows you to learn some transferable skills. The past two years I’ve served as a judge for ENACTUS’ national and international World Cup rankings. ENACTUS is in 36 countries at 1,600 top universities resulting in 66,500 students with work experience in their passion areas. For those who haven’t yet graduated from college, look for genuine ways to get the experience like with ENACTUS. And for those who have graduated, believe in yourself and say yes to an internship if you can’t get a paying gig in the industry you want to be in.  Then stick with it for three months to be really sure if you like it or not!
  2. Put yourself in context: As I said to a young man living in Jining, China, to impress a hiring manager, you need to show how you’ve made your current role better. Show them real data so they have context about the size and scope of your role is important, because titles don’t always mean the same thing or convey enough about your capabilities.
  3. Have a LinkedIn profile: If you want to be hired by an American company, then you need to make it easy for them to find you and have a well written, complete LinkedIn profile using with strategic SEO words throughout your page.
  4. Spell check: You’d be surprised how often I see simple spelling errors in emails, resumes, etc…It’s an aspect of the SMS/tweet culture and one that young people are notoriously prone to commit. At the very least, turn on auto spell-check on your email program. No one is impressed by typos.

P.S. Congratulations to the North China Electric Power University for winning the 2014 Enactus World Cup!

*For anyone interested, check out my “Building Your Personal Brand” talk on SlideShare.