Applying for a Teaching Job Abroad? Create a Customized Resume
If you have ever applied for a new teaching job abroad, you will understand the importance of submitting a quality resume or curriculum vitae (CV). Whether you are an experienced teacher or just beginning a teaching career, your resume or CV is the first impression that a school representative gets of you.
Usually, the school hiring representative will decide whether to interview a teaching candidate or not, based solely on a resume and cover letter. Communicating you are qualified and the best teacher for the teaching job they have available.
Resumes can be particularly important for educators applying to teach internationally. If you are applying for an education job outside of your home country, your resume may even be the only thing that your employer sees before you meet to sign a job contract. If you are wondering if it's time to make a career change, there are many warning signs to consider changing jobs.
Application Process for a Teaching Job Abroad Differs from Applying in the U.S. or Canada
Educators are often rejected when applying for teaching jobs abroad because they are unaware of the differences in international resumes / CVs and the essential elements needed in a resume to apply for an international teaching job.
To request a teaching job abroad, you typically need a completed application form, submit a searchable professional resume or CV with the right keywords, and an introduction letter to show your passion and request an interview. An introduction letter can also be called an application letter, cover letter, or letter of intent, or sometimes a motivational letter. Cover letter writing mistakes can be avoided my researching the school and following the tips for writing cover letters for teachers available on this site.
While most teachers take the time to ensure they have written a professional introduction letter and have completed their applications accurately, they often make the mistake of including a standard, American-style resume. Even if your U.S. or Canadian -style resume is perfect, it may be inappropriate to use in an international job search. Take the time to review the difference between curriculum vitae (CV) and resume formats.
Educators need to understand that international recruiters are extremely busy and spend, at the most, one-minute scanning a resume. If your resume is not in the proper format for that country or recruiting agency, or if it does not address the specific needs of overseas schools, it may end up in the rejection file. Preparing a resume that is appropriate for a teaching job abroad is vital to you securing more interviews and ultimately gaining employment overseas. Another place you may be submitting your resume is at a teacher's overseas recruiting fair.
Critical Tips When Writing a Resume or CV for the International Teaching Market
International recruiters operate under different standards than U.S. or Canadian recruiters. For instance, your immigration, visa, and citizenship status need to be mentioned at the beginning of the resume. This allows a recruiter to determine whether you can work legally in a country. Other information usually included in an international resume is your birth date, nationality, marital status, interests, and health. The exact information to be included varies between countries so you need to find this out before submitting your resume.
Consider Targeting EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Teaching Posts
Many teaching jobs abroad are specifically for EFL teachers. Consider highlighting your TEFL credentials and certifications at the beginning of your resume to help you to secure an interview for a job that entails teaching English abroad.
Format Your Resume or CV for International Standards
Many international countries will expect a more formal, CV style resume. This means listing out all of your experiences and credentials in chronological order, with little formatting flare, and in a more detailed manner than you might for the American job market.
Include a Professional Headshot Photo of Yourself
When applying for a teaching position in the U.S. or Canada you would never attach a photo to your resume. However, many overseas countries require a current photograph of job applicants. Ensure the photo you include is professional. For best results, get a few professional head shots taken without anything in the background. Choose the one that suits your personality.
Are you applying to be an international teacher? Include the following items on your international teaching CV or resume
Explain Your Job Title Choice in the Resume Objective
When you apply to teach internationally, employers often wonder why you would want to take a job so far from home. Be sure to compose a clear and concise objective that explains your reason for wishing to teach abroad. Ensure your CV/resume objective or profile summary communicates your desire to help students succeed. Schools do not want to see an opening statement on a resume or CV state that you wish to travel the world or that you desire to get out of the boring town in which you were born. While both of these things might drive you to seek a teaching job overseas, they will surely not drive the school to hire you.
List Foreign Language Skills
In the skills section, list any languages that you speak, even if it is just conversationally. If the language that you speak is not the native tongue of the country in which you are applying, the fact that you can learn a language could help a school decide you would be a good choice. If you have never learned any other language, a school may be less inclined to hire you.
Mention Any Previous Travels
You do not need to include every vacation you have ever taken, but any trips abroad are relevant to reference. It is of particular importance to mention if you studied abroad during your schooling. Schools may favor interviewing a candidate who is a more seasoned traveler. They often see previous travels as an indication that the prospective employee will not easily become homesick, and can commit to the job. They need to know you can adjust to teaching in another environment.
If Possible, Translate Your Documents
If you are applying to work in a country in which English is not the primary language, you should consider having your resume translated. Employers in Germany would be very impressed by a resume they received from an American written in German. Having your resume translated shows that you are committed to the position for which you are applying. It communicates you are willing to go that extra mile. A poorly translated resume is worse than a resume that isn't; if you choose to submit a translated version ensure it the altered version is professional.
It is evident that you need to write a different resume when you are applying for teaching jobs abroad. Moreover, many job seekers create a complete portfolio, which is a collection of items that showcase your skills, experience, and knowledge in a visually appealing and organized manner.
Seeking professional help from a resume writing service, like ours, is also advised, as the staff knows exactly what needs to be included in a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) for a teaching job abroad. If you'd like some assistance with preparing your resume for an international teacher job search, we'd be happy to help!