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CV Writing

CV Writing

Let’s state the obvious; your CV is designed for one main reason, to land yourself a job interview.

The pace at which recruitment works is ferocious; and with the level of competition increasing on the international teaching job market, employers have less time and need to weed the good from the not so good. An employer will take about 30 seconds to scan you CV/resume so you have to ensure that your CV is fit for purpose.  Here are some of SeekTeachers top tips to ensure your CV is a cut above the rest.

It is often said that “less is more”. This is definitely true when it comes to writing your CV.  SeekTeachers suggests following the 3 C’s:
  1. Clear layout
  2. Clarity
  3. Concise Content

Clear Layout

Your CV should have a clear layout which immediately makes it easier on the eye to see. Breaking down each section and white space is very important to make it easier on the eye for an employer.  Trying to “stuff” too much with poor visibility will make any employer switch off from reading your CV.

Clarity

The best way to have clarity on the CV is to have:
  • Headings
  • Sub-headings
  • Consistent use of fonts
  • Consistent use of placement of keywords
The amount of CV’s we see which show neither a clear layout nor clarity is surprising and teachers wonder why their CV is not selected. Our jobs as Consultants are to find the right candidate for our clients and this begins from the first view of the CV. If you have not spent time reviewing the structure of your CV to make it clear for your Consultant to see, any employer will be just as put off.

Headings to have:
  • Your Name (biggest heading)
  • Profile/Personal Statement
  • Personal Details
  • Education (chronological order)
  • Employment History (chronological order)
  • Training/Professional Development Courses
  • Interests and Skills
  • References (email and telephone)

Concise Content

Your CV is your sales pitch.  While you could go on for 10 pages and explain your whole life story, the employer only wants to see if:
  • You meet the clients needs (age, family status, nationality)
  • You are qualified for the job
  • You have the relevant experience for the job
  • You take pride in your career (through CPD)
  • You have excellent references to provide
The content you write needs to be clearly written and be concise so the employer is able to see what you have done under each sub heading.  Here is a list of content that is vital to include:
  • Profile/Personal Statement - should be a brief synopsis of your of your teaching subject and levels as well as the curriculum’s you have taught along with any achievements and state your family status and nationality.
  • Personal details - should be located close to your name on the CV and away from the core part of your cv and include email, telephone number (including international code), date of birth, family status, nationality, current location.
  • Dates should be in the format of mm/yyyy, and show from and to. e.g. 08/2012 - 07/2013.
  • Education (qualified teachers) - list your degree onwards (university name, country and your classification). NQT's or less experienced teachers should list their teaching practices as well as non-teaching experience.  If you have worked as a teaching assistant or worked with children in a different capacity or worked abroad, it will be relavent to state this on your CV.
  • Education (non-qualified teachers) - list your diploma onwards (college/university name, country and your classification).
  • Employment History* - list your job duties as bullet points. Bullet points are easier on the eye instead of reading chunky paragraphs. Use keywords/buzz words to highlight your experience and curriculums you have taught.
  • Interests and Skills - Briefly list your hobbies that would be relevant to your international teaching job.
  • References - There should be 2 references on letterhead with emails and telephone numbers to contact.
IMPORTANT* - International schools will review your stickablity with your previous employers. The ability to remain committed to your employer, be promoted or renew your employment for a longer period of time is taken into consideration. Teachers that have moved around a lot or have done supply will be reviewed less favourably.

Keep it Simple

Too many teachers pollute the CV by over decorating it!

Do:
  • Have a professional photo which has a clear white background like a passport photo.  
  • List points, they are much easier to read
  • Use a maximum of 2 fonts (1 for headings, 1 for the body content)
  • Highlight some keyword by making them bold
Do NOT:
  • Use a selfie or a photo with your friends or from Facebook. This is not professional does not create a good impression
  • Write long winded paragraphs to show your experience.  Paragraphs are much harder to read and would put the employer off
  • Use more than 1 font colour
  • Use more than 2 font styles
  • Show you have gaps in employment
  • Do not use acronyms. With an international market, not everyone can know what you mean unless you define it

Stand Out

International school recieve hundred if not thousands of CV's a day looking for the same job that you are. Try to stand out from the reset highlighting how you can make a positive impact to the organisation showing off your skills and experience that will add value to their organisation. When you create or review your CV, ask yourself the following questions:
  • How can I add value to the employer?
  • What benefits does the employer get from employing me?
  • What makes me differen to other candidates?

Check and Re-check

Ensure you carry out a spell check and grammar check once you have created your resume. A great way to also see if your CV does the job and sends the right message give it to a friend who hase never seen it before to critique it.

In an information age we live in check your online footprint also as many employers will use social media to review your history and professionalism. If you have some photo's or information you would rather only share with friends, then double check and have them removed or hidden.

SeekTeachers is here to help you every step of the way so you can teach abroad.  By creating your SeekTeachers online profile you will be able to have an online CV that meets the exact needs of international employers.  

If you have any questions on how to improve your CV please get in touch with us on +44 203 455 0195