A good CV (résumé) and a cover letter are the first steps on the road to successful recruitment. When an employer is looking to recruit an ESL teacher, it will be the ESL teacher’s CV that will decide whether the recruitment process comes to a halt or progresses to the job interview.
Here are ten tips on how to write a better CV.
1. Don’t forget – you are an ESL teacher. Make sure that your written English is of a high standard.
2. Make sure your CV includes all the information that is relevant to the ESL post that you are applying for. The novice ESL teacher should be aware that ESL employers will often ignore CVs which do not contain the information that was specifically asked for in the ESL job advertisement; indeed, quite a few of them may not even bother replying to your application.
3. You can design your own CV or use one of the CV templates that are provided by some word processors, e.g., ‘Microsoft Word’ or ‘Open Office’. Some online sites also provide free CV templates, visit: http://www.comoto.com/manage/cv-template-gallery/free-cv-template-wind-short-download. Employers are not particular about the template design, but the CV will have to be clear and easy to follow. It must not be excessively ornate, and you should never submit a handwritten CV.
4. Your CV should have a recent photograph of you somewhere near the top of the first page: some employers are not in favour of this practice, so check with the personnel manager first. The following personal information must then appear somewhere near your photograph: name, date of birth, nationality, gender, home address, telephone number, e-mail, on line CV.
5. As a suggestion, your CV could be structured in the following order: photograph and personal details; education and TEFL qualifications; skills summary; language skills; work experience; hobbies and interests; foreign travel.
6. The cover letter will give you the opportunity to ‘showcase’ what is in your CV and provide you with the opportunity to make a cogent argument in support of your application. Some ESL employers place considerable emphasis on the cover letter.
7. Avoid the use of hackneyed words and expressions such as ‘team player’, ‘excellent communications skills’, etc.
8. Use key words in your CV: this will assist your employer to quickly find relevant information.
9. If you are applying to more than one ESL employer, don’t send your CV and cover letter to all the employers in the same email: in Gmail this would mean not using the Cc (Carbon Copy) facility; however, you could use the Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy).
10. On completion, check that your CV and cover letter are clear, concise, simple, and grammatically correct.