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Tips for CVs when applying for EAP jobs

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Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 12:30 pm    Post subject: Tips for CVs when applying for EAP jobs Reply with quote

Hi all

Recently I have been involved in recruiting teachers for EAP positions at a London-based university. I've looked at a lot of CVs over the past few months, and so (for what it's worth) I thought I'd share with you an 'insider perspective' of what EAP employers are looking for and thinking about when reading CVs. This might all sound very obvious (and I hope this doesn't come across as patronising), but it might be of some use/interest to someone out there...

1. Be clear about your Bachelors, Masters, CELTA & DELTA. For British Council Accreditation purposes, EAP teachers have to be 'TEFLQ', which means they must have..

Cert + Dip
Cert + Masters*
Cert + Dip + Masters*
Cert + PGCE

(*needs to be Applied Linguistics/ELT-related)

It is a real pain to hire someone who does not have the above (we can do it, but we need to provide a special rationale for it). If you have these quals, then it's helpful to state it prominently on your CV. These are pre-requisites, so they are the first thing we look for.

We don't need to know the title of your MA thesis, or the individual scores that you got for the different parts of your DELTA.

2. A 'personal statement' where you talk about how hard-working and professional you are isn't necessary. If you have special skills or areas of expertise that you want to talk about then fine, but describing yourself as 'motivated' and 'reliable' doesn't help anyone. For a straight-up teaching position, I (personally) don't feel that a Personal Statement is necessary at all, although I know others disagree.

3. Please put your nationality; and, if you are non-EU, explicitly state that you have a right to work in the UK. This might sound daft, but we don't want to go through the hassle of interviewing you and offering you a position, just to then find that you can't legally work for us.

3.5. If you have foreign-language qualifications then please give us the English translation of the titles, along with where they were originally from. It's better to say 'BA Philosophy (Slovakia)' than 'bakalársky titul v odbore filozofia'

4. Less is more - it's good to keep it simple. The people who read CVs do not have hours and hours to devote to it (at least, certainly not in my office). We do it while juggling a million other things, and 16-page long behemoths don't work in the candidate's favour. If you taught ESL to kids for three years at a language school in Korea then cool, just say that - these things don't need to be needlessly embellished. Most teacher CVs could happily be 2 pages long, 3 max.

5. As a partial continuation of #4, if you have non-relevant experience or qualifications, then it's enough just to mention it (without going into any more detail). So, if you have a certificate in teaching yoga then great - but I don't need to know anything more than that.

6. When you're listing work experience, here's what we really need to know.

* Where was it? (city, country)
* When did you start/finish? (month, year)
* What was your position?
* What kind of classes did you teach? (Exams? GE? Kids? Adults?)
* What other responsibilities did you have?

This might all sound very obvious, but I've read a lot of CVs where people have left things out from the above list.

We don't need to know...

* How many students you had on average in your classes
* How many hours per week you taught
* How many teachers your previous employer had
* What the place was like where you worked
* The books you used

7. If you are doing a qualification that is not finished yet, then please do mention it, but please also be really clear that it is still in progress. Sneakily putting a "completion due in [future date]" isn't enough.

8. Formatting is important. I know, it should really go without saying, but things like line spacing, font size, margins - and miscellaneous typographical stuff like bolding headings - all of this has to be consistent and logical. We've thrown out CVs before because they started off in Arial and then changed half-way through to Times New Roman - this sort of thing implies that someone is not really employable.

9. Don't have any gaps in your employment history. If you spent 6 months travelling then great, but if you don't mention it, we'll worry that that was time spent in prison.

10. If the institution does ESAP courses, and you have specific relevant qualifications (like an LLB or MBA), then that's something you'll want to hype up. Qualified EAP practitioners who are also qualified professionals in other fields are something of a rarity.

11. Other things that we care about - not essential, but valued:

* Experience with VLEs (Moodle, Blackboard).
* Knowledge of how Turnitin works.
* Publications/presentations for BALEAP, BC, IATEFL, etc..
* Being a FHEA

12. For our department, we are not expected to conduct research and publish academically (although some other EAP departments in other universities do). Therefore, having (or doing) a doctorate is not much more than a pleasantry. A PhD in linguistics, then, is nice - but it doesn't push your CV to the top of the pile for us. In other centres, though, it would.

I think that's it Smile
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Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great advice! Thanks Smile
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Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 136
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had to google fhea. good thing i'm not applying for eap.

my tip: if you have a north american degree, you may need to be very explicit about them being 4, not 3, year degrees. i was once asked very aggressively in interview about what i had done between high school graduation and uni, and then (aggressively) why it had taken me an extra year to do my degree. i don't think he believed me.
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