A Canadian friend of mine shared a funny Facebook post from a British friend of hers, James Smart. James wrote about every job he’d had since the age of 16. Although it was not presented in a resume format, it was a comedic glance of his life before becoming a teacher. James’ entries are many, but here are a few examples of what he wrote:
• My first job at 16 after school was cleaning offices for 2.56 pounds an hour. My boss cheerfully told me that I had only been given the job because nobody else in town would work for such a paltry wage. I mostly stared out of the window, when the boss came upstairs I would quickly pretend I was in the middle of cleaning them.
• I had a job for the summer painting walls and doors, which was lovely. They also had me break up concrete with a breaking machine, which by the way is miserable and dusty, and can give you arthritis over the long-term. At the end of the week they would dish out the wages in a local pub, which was a terrible idea.
• Then I became a door to door salesman selling aerial photographs of peoples’ houses from the sky. This was a very depressing job which saw me though my teacher training course. No wonder I wanted to leave the country, this was a horrible job which paid the bills at least. To be honest I was a bit traumatized by this job even months after I’d left. People in England are bombarded with salespeople and they get a bit sick of you.
Although humorous, this is not an example of how to write your international teacher resume! Overseas schools are only interested in jobs that pertain to teaching. Through experience, I’ve learned there is a specific formatting that schools prefer.
Always keep a copy of your resume saved in both USA Letter Size and the common non-American size of A4. Both are necessary for your files. Always send the A4 size when applying to overseas jobs. Also, be sure your resume is organized well. Each section should be titled, providing ease of reading. If you create your resume in Word, be sure to save each size both as a docx and a pdf document. Only send your pdf document so nothing can be edited.
Your resume should include a smiling headshot of yourself, plainly dressed, on a white background. This photo should be placed at the top of the paper. Also list these items:
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your phone number (with international code)
- Your Skype name. You MUST have a Skype account. If you don’t, stop reading and go set one up NOW.
- Your date of birth
- Your nationality
- Your marital status
Next, list whichever is more impressive – your education or your teaching experience, in that order.
List any outside classroom experiences that add insight and dimension to your teaching career.
List areas of community involvement or professional organizations you have held memberships in.
And finally, list publications that your work is noted in.
Your resume should fit on one sheet of paper, front and back if necessary.
Just to review, please make sure that you have a main desktop folder called 2017 International Jobs. Inside that folder are more folders, titled as follows:
- Recommendations and Scans (*Note: this can be two different folders if you prefer)
- My Answers
- Cover Letter/Letter of Application
My recruitment agency, Search Associates, requires you to send a letter of interest from your Profile section on the Search Associates site. In addition to this, also send a Letter of Application directly to the school administrator through email. Attach your resume to the email and send to the Head, Director or Principal explaining that you saw the job opening via your recruiting agency’s website. Some schools require you to fill out THEIR application from THEIR website. This feels monotonous, but it is sometimes required. This is why it is important to keep copies of what you’ve already written so you won’t have to rewrite every time. These written answers will be found in the “My Answers” file folder on your desktop. Although you will usually have to tweak you previous wording, this is a time saver. Schools have paid a lot of money to recruitment agencies and these agencies want to be sure to get their fair share if you are placed into a job through their site. It is of upmost importance that you cc your representative when you apply to jobs that you’ve seen on their placement site.
Write your email cover letter after reviewing the school’s website. Your cover letter should mention specific information you read. You want the school administrator to know that you have enough interest in their school to have researched their website. While reading their website, take notes about information you may want to inquire about.
When emailing your resume to the administrator of the school, be sure to fill out the “Subject” line carefully. I list the school name first, the position second. For example: MEFIS, PYP Art Teacher. ALWAYS bcc yourself! When you receive a copy of this sent email, carefully file it away in an organized email folder that you will set up for each country you apply to. This is the only way I’ve found to keep track of all the emails sent all over the globe. As you can imagine, if you don’t keep everything organized, you can quickly have a big mess of lost emails and communication.
What are you learning about yourself as you go through this process?
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