For the last few years, I’ve been working hard to help my readers find jobs in China. Whether it’s teaching abroad, working as a college counselor, or teaching drama, the one thing that’s really shocked me is the quality of resumes I receive from many applicants.
When it comes to teaching abroad, you can’t just send any old resume. You need to make a resume that’s professional and tailor-made for the job you’re applying for.
Resumes are the first point of reference any company or school has when it comes to working with you, and you’ll want it to be perfect.
Today Mary Walton, writing and resume expert from the blog Simple Grad is here to talk to all of you about how to create the perfect teach abroad resume. She’s written for big sites like Huffington Post and Forbes on the subject, and has some expert advice for anyone who is planning on teaching abroad!
How to Write the Perfect Teach Abroad Resume
The following is a guest post written by Mary Walton of Simple Grad
Teaching abroad can be an amazing experience, so it’s no wonder that you’re looking to make your mark teaching English in a new country. However, you’ve got to write that resume first. It’s the first impression you’ll make on your possible recruiters, so you’ve got to make it count. Here’s how you can write the best EFL resume that shows you off in the best light.
Look Up Requirements For Your Chosen Country
You know what’s required of you when you write a resume in your home country. You’ll have to remember when writing this one that different countries have different requirements. For example, you may be required to include a picture of yourself, your marital status, or your age. Take the time to research resume conventions in your chosen country. That way, your resume is much more likely to be considered.
Write For Non-Native English Speakers
This sounds obvious, but you need to remember that the person reading your resume isn’t likely to be a native English speaker. That means that you need to write your resume with them in mind. The best way to do this is to lay out information clearly, and ditch jargon wherever possible. It’s also a good idea to avoid abbreviations, such as Mgr for Manager, as this can be confusing. The easier your resume is to read, the better.
Include A Career Objective
Once you’ve included your contact details, you’ll be required to include a career objective. This is usually one to three sentences long and should sum you up as a candidate for the position. For example, you could write “To obtain a teaching position teaching English to Elementary students in China” or “To use my five years of ESL teaching experience to benefit students in Dubai”.
Highlight Your Education
“In many international markets, your education is incredibly important,” says resume editor Peter Lawson at Academized. “You’ve got to highlight all your achievements in your education, so show off the qualifications you have.” If you have any specialised teaching degrees, such as a TEFL degree. The best way to list them is to list your highest degree first and work backwards from there.
Lay Out Your Resume Well
A good resume is one that a recruiter can read through quickly, and find exactly what they’re looking for. You’ll need to lay yours out so it’s easy to read, especially considering that English may not be the reader’s first language. For example, you’ll need to use headings to separate out each section of your resume and help readers pick the information they want out. Also, using bullet points is a good way of distilling information down to just what the recruiter needs.
Use Tools To Help You
There are plenty of tools online that are designed to help you write a good resume. Put them to use! Here’s a few you can use as you’re writing:
- Resume Service: This resume writing service can edit an existing resume, or create a new one from scratch.
- Via Writing: Check out this blog to help you improve your grammar skills.
- State Of Writing: There are lots of writing guides that can help you with resume writing here.
- Grammarix: Easy online grammar checker.
- Cite It In: Use this tool to cite any sources you use in text correctly.
- Easy Word Count: Check the length of your resume with this tool.
List Both Hard And Soft Skills
To be an effective EFL teacher, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate both hard and soft skills in your resume. These will show that you have a wide range of skills that will benefit your students. Examples of hard skills include:
- Teaching experience
- Proficiency in languages other than English
- Computer skills
- Writing/editing skills
Examples of soft skills are:
- Being adaptable
- Crisis management
Proofread And Edit
Finally, you’ll need to proofread your resume before you send it out. It’s easy to make simple mistakes in your writing, but if you don’t check for them first it can make you look unprofessional, so your resume may be passed over. Build time into your writing schedule for editing and proofreading, and recruit a friend to help if you can.
These tips will help you write the EFL resume that’s bound to get you noticed. Again, remember that this is the first impression you’ll make as a teacher. You want to come across as capable, professional, and ready to do the job.
About the Author
Mary Walton is a professional editor, online tutor, and the owner of Simple Grad. Based in Santa Monica, she lived in Australia for 10 years and gained her degree in creative writing at the University of Melbourne. Her current freelance role allows her to travel around the world, and by sharing what she’s learned, she hopes others will start to love learning just as much as she does.
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