Handing in your CV is the first step in the often stressful job application process. In the world of TEFL, experience and qualifications are usually very sought-after qualities. Not only that, but hobbies, skills, and your personality can affect your chances of employment. A good CV is the best way to highlight all your positive traits and are often how schools will build their first impressions of you. That’s why it is so crucial to get them right!
Here are a few tips to help you start in the right direction…
1. Keep it brief
Concise and to the point – that’s what you should aim for. Don’t ramble and delve into every detail of your life story. You only need to include key achievements and events in your career’s history. The easier it is for your employer to skim through the information and pick out key points the better.
Something as simple as spell-checking shouldn’t even need mentioning. Yet, it’s so easy to forget this very vital aspect of CV-writing. Spelling mistakes may make you seem unprofessional and lazy. It’s not just spelling; punctuation and grammar are just as important. Try to avoid overly long sentences. Remember to use bullet points, commas, apostrophes, colons etc.. Not sure if you’ve used the right punctuation? Download Grammarly as an excellent grammar checker. Alternatively, ask a friend to read it over.
A good balance between text and whitespace is needed. Too much text and the employer will feel overwhelmed and is unlikely to bother reading. Too little and you’ll seem uninteresting, unqualified, and unemployable. Make sure to separate blocks of text to make your points clearer as well as to increase the ease of reading.
4. Sell yourself
Include all your relevant experience, finest achievements, and qualifications. Don’t hide your best bits in a wall of words and unnecessary text – make them stand boldly in separate points and paragraphs. Possess a TEFL certificate and/or a degree? Milk them as having either (or both) will put you ahead of the competition.
Don’t forget about your hobbies and interests as they will show whoever’s reading that you’re a normal human being and that there’s more to your life than just work. It can be tempting to exaggerate the number of certificates, interests, and hours of teaching experience you possess, but you must be honest. Lying to your potential future bosses before you’ve even started working is not a good way to start and will only come back to haunt you.
5. Adapt it
Do not be generic. Your CV should stand out and be obvious in the role it was made for. If you’re applying for more than one job, don’t just use the same application for all of them. Good quality schools will know if you’ve just copied and pasted a template. Tailor and adapt to suit the specific role you want – in this case, an EFL teacher.
Hopefully, these five tips will prove useful in your own application!