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How good is your CV?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11252
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject: How good is your CV? Reply with quote

Got any tips for those looking to rework their CV?

Here's my 2-cents' worth:

- Have a credible TEFL cert but it's not a CELTA, SIT TESOL, or Trinity CertTESOL? If your generic, CELTA-equivalent TEFL training included a supervised/assessed teaching practice component with real students, that's a key piece many employers want to see. You need to be specific about this on your CV so that employers aren't wondering if you've received proper teacher training. Ditto for university degree programs. For example, my MAT included a 135-hour ESOL practicum, which is exactly what I state on my CV. Otherwise, employers are likely to assume I lack the requisite TEFL qualification.

- Unless your goal is teaching children and teenagers or it's required as part of the job application, leave hobbies and personal interests off your CV. It's a waste of space. Plus, some activities may not translate well and come across as culturally inappropriate in other countries.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably more appropriate is to rework your resume/CV for the job market you are applying into.

An application package for the ME would certainly be different from one intended for a north American employer. Asia is a completely different can of worms. Information that would be out-of-bounds in the west is fair game in most of Asia.

Those finely worded, articulate and finessed CVs may be essentially lost time and may simply get you rejected if the initial review is done by a non-native speaker.

Tailor the particulars to the position you are applying for.

If you want a uni job then graduate degrees, publications and presentations are relevant but your 30-day TEFL cert probably only deserves a one-liner along with "other credentials"..

If you are looking for entry level work in a language academy somewhere then your degree and TEFL are relevant and should be included as would any RELEVANT experience in dealing with people (paid or otherwise). Make a "list" of workshops pr other relvant professional development rather than attaching 25mb of scans of your certificates.

If you are looking for something at the mid-level then ensure that your application clearly shows that you have what they are looking for (experience, qualifications, certifications/licensure).

.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11482
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you are looking for entry level work in a language academy somewhere then your degree and TEFL are relevant and should be included as would any RELEVANT experience in dealing with people (paid or otherwise).


Even if you are looking for something above entry level, include your TEFL cert information.

If it didn't include supervised teaching practice with real students, it won't be considered on par with a CELTA and many regions won't count it at all.

Coaching sports, training people to run a cash register, teaching Sunday School, etc. are not relevant to TEFL. Unless you're applying for a summer camp or Christian school, of course.

Keep in mind that the norms in many countries are NOT the same as in North America or other Anglophone areas. For many countries, a photo, date of birth, marital status are NORMAL on a CV. If they are, include them.

Insisting that you won't include personal information that's commonly on a CV in 'my' country because it's not allowed/required in 'your' country is a big red flag that you may well not like living and working in 'my' country.

Your nationality/nationalities are ALWAYS needed on a CV for jobs 'abroad.' Amazing how often people forget this!


Last edited by spiral78 on Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15303

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some recruiters like a photo so they can do a quick racial classification check !
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11482
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear scot:

Very true, and I believe unfair.
However, if race (and even looks) are going to be an issue for an employer, better to get it out of the way before you pack your bags and fly over;-)

Best,
spiral
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toteach



Joined: 29 Dec 2008
Posts: 273

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should gender also be stated? (Recently I received an Email addressed to Mr. / Ms. because the person in HR wasn't able to tell from my name which gender I was).
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 882

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

toteach wrote:
Should gender also be stated? (Recently I received an Email addressed to Mr. / Ms. because the person in HR wasn't able to tell from my name which gender I was).


Depends on where you are applying to (country).

In Asia as an example, your personal information should include:
name, age, gender, citizenship, current country of residence and in some cases, marital status. Photos on your CV/resume are also considered to be a requirement.

Where in our home countries some of that information isn't allowed to be asked on a job application, when looking abroad for work they are relevant:

- age and citizenship (sometimes, place of birth) are visa issues.

- marital status in regards to (family) visas, sponsorship and housing. It may also bear on educational opportunities for your offspring.

- Race CAN BE an issue. Remember that you are "American" (Canadian, British, etc) and not "Afro-American , Asian-American, etc. (There is no country of "Afro-America").

.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11252
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

- Eliminate the generic "Objective" or "Career aims" statement (e.g., "Teacher looking for a challenging position..." or "Seeking a teaching position in a well-established language school..." or "To utilize my teaching skills and experience to advance my career...). It doesn't add any value to the presentation of your overall qualifications. Instead, jazz it up and rework it into your cover letter to show how you can also benefit the employer and students. Keep "Target job" or "Position" unless you want to be considered for more than one type of position.

- Include a section as "Summary," or "Career highlights" or "Areas of expertise" or "Profile" to present your overall skills set and experience at a glance. I prefer short bullet points (no more than 6), which are easier for employers to catch as opposed to a statement of 3-4 lines of text.

Something like:
    • Native English speaker, American nationality
    • 10 years’ teaching experience including IEP and ESP
    • Skilled in curriculum and test design


    Or

    American, native-English speaker with 10 years' IEP and ESP teaching experience in addition to curriculum and test design....
Choose whichever format best suits you and your situation.
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Podkayne



Joined: 15 Dec 2014
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen lots of CVs. Adding to the notes already made:

    1. Remember that the SOLE purpose of a CV/resume is to get to the next step, e.g. an interview. Therefore, leave all the minutia out of your CV; save it for the interview.
    2. Remember that your application is one of hundreds, thus reviewers have only the time to scan most. Think lots of white space. Concise, salient information. Bullet points.
    3. Unless you are the leader of a nation, keep your document to one or two pages. If you're of a certain age - you don't need to include experience going earlier than 10 or 15 years.
    4. Don't fancy your CV up with html, fancy backgrounds, and word art - it's only annoying.
    5. For God's sake - submit a current CV.
    6. Proofread! Have someone else eyeball it - they'll catch the errors you missed immediately. Or print it and look at it in hard copy.
    7. I'm with Nomad Soul on avoiding objective statements - they just consume valuable CV real estate.
    8. Know that EVERYONE is "passionate" about teaching a language. I'm less interested in passion and more interested in effectiveness, reliability, and good judgment.
    9. Be mindful of the email or Skype IDs you use for professional purposes. Potential employers do not want to contact you at iluv2getwasted at domain dot com. Or see the Skype photo that highlights your nostrils, your cat, your bikini, or your messy bedroom.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Podkayne wrote:
6. Proofread! Have someone else eyeball it - they'll catch the errors you missed immediately. Or print it and look at it in hard copy.


Both. I tell this to my comp students all the time. Funny thing. It works for teachers too.
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 171
Location: has served on a hiring committee

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: How good is your CV? Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Got any tips for those looking to rework their CV?

Here's my 2-cents' worth:

- Have a credible TEFL cert but it's not a CELTA, SIT TESOL, or Trinity CertTESOL? If your generic, CELTA-equivalent TEFL training included a supervised/assessed teaching practice component with real students, that's a key piece many employers want to see. You need to be specific about this on your CV so that employers aren't wondering if you've received proper teacher training. Ditto for university degree programs. For example, my MAT included a 135-hour ESOL practicum, which is exactly what I state on my CV. Otherwise, employers are likely to assume I lack the requisite TEFL qualification.

- Unless your goal is teaching children and teenagers or it's required as part of the job application, leave hobbies and personal interests off your CV. It's a waste of space. Plus, some activities may not translate well and come across as culturally inappropriate in other countries.


It doesn't matter how much you tart up your CV. You'll still be found out at interview by any quality institution.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11252
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Podkayne wrote:
5. For God's sake - submit a current CV.

I suggest reviewing and updating your CV every 3-6 months to keep it current and ready to send out at a moment's notice with minimal tweaking. There's nothing worse than scrambling to reformat, reorganize, update, and error check an old CV (and cover letter) at the last minute in order to quickly get it submitted in time for some hard-to-pass-up job. Additionally, a cover letter that's used as a template especially needs to be proofed carefully for content to ensure none of the previous personalized and customized info remains.
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wavelength



Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Posts: 151
Location: The Feel Good River of a Celestial Rainbow

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was crap until the Saudi forum helped me.
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AGoodStory



Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 738

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
- Include a section as "Summary," or "Career highlights" or "Areas of expertise" or "Profile" to present your overall skills set and experience at a glance. I prefer short bullet points (no more than 6), which are easier for employers to catch as opposed to a statement of 3-4 lines of text.

Something like:
• Native English speaker, American nationality
• 10 years’ teaching experience including IEP and ESP
• Skilled in curriculum and test design


And

Quote:

1. Remember that the SOLE purpose of a CV/resume is to get to the next step, e.g. an interview. Therefore, leave all the minutia out of your CV; save it for the interview.
2. Remember that your application is one of hundreds, thus reviewers have only the time to scan most. Think lots of white space. Concise, salient information. Bullet points.
3. Unless you are the leader of a nation, keep your document to one or two pages.


Yes, make it easy for the reviewer to find the main points he/she is looking for. White space. Concise phrasing. Think: more bullet points, less prose. When an employer receives hundreds of responses, each CV may get mere SECONDS of consideration on the first run through. The essentials have to be immediately apparent at first glance--don't bury them in a paragraph of descriptive language. Save the details for dessert!

FORMATTING is critical in allowing the reviewer to quickly determine whether the applicant meets the job requirements.

.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11252
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the more technically inclined:

Whether you're seeking a new position, a career transition, or advancement, seriously consider creating an online portfolio, especially if you have a collection of teaching materials, videos, lessons, etc., you've created during your teaching career. You could include the weblink to your ePortfolio on your cover letter and/or CV to direct potential employers to samples of your work. It will help you stand out above other job applicants.

For ideas and samples, Google efl esl teacher portfolio for a bunch of links to portfolios. (Some are quite well done.)
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