Let’s talk about what personal details a recruiter needs or might want to see, why the appearance of your CV might matter, whether your hobbies are important to mention, what skills you might want to point out and if you should present a reference letter with your CV.
Add 6: What personal details do I have to reveal?
The question is very delicate since there are huge differences between countries. In some countries, you can’t even asked for your date of birth, while other schools even require to reveal your religion (mainly religious institutes).
For sure, you need to give your full name (if not English, specifying which is your first and surname), your address, email address, phone number, Skype name or other ways of communication. If you have a website, put the URL-name at the end of this list.
Some schools ask for your age, which doesn’t mean that they only take younger teachers. In fact, they might look for teachers who are over 30, which means that they have been working for a while after university. However, you have the right to omit this detail and concentrate on your experience and skills, which will give the same information to the recruiter.
Add 7: What you see is what you get
Once you listed all relevant personal and professional details about yourself, take a look at the layout. Remember that it might look differently on another computer, so save it as a pdf-file. After saving it, open it again and look for any mistakes. Not only spelling or language mistakes, but also in its layout. Text should be with its title on the same page, page numbers should be put onto the bottom of the pages, your name should be highlighted or repeated in the heading on every page. Use tabulators and lists. Show to your future supervisor, how skilled you are on the PC. It speaks more that all your certificates you have gathered in computer courses.
Add 8: Hobbies
There is another point, which tells a lot about you: your hobbies. While your high school might not be of note, what you do in your leisure time sure is. Claiming that you don’t have free time or your work is your hobby are old jokes. An exhausted and overstressed teacher is no contribution to any language school.
We all read, so it might be more interesting to say what you read (novels, poems, etc.). We all love travelling, so tell us which was the most interesting trip or journey you’ve made.
Sport, music, etc. are all details that a recruiter see as an opportunity to widen their teachers’ profile. You might be able to play the guitar when teaching Young Learners or organise soccer matches between teachers and students on Saturday mornings.
So take up some hobbies and use it in and outside your job.
Add 9: Skills
First of all, your CELTA certificate is not a skill, it should be listed where you speak about your qualification (after your degree, probably).
Skills can be communicative, organisational, computer, language and others.
For a language teacher, good communicative skills are a must.
Furthermore, teachers need to tackle also registers and write student reports, so written skills and a good organization in your work are essential. Being able to organize your work and your materials will save a lot of time for you and for your supervisor and colleagues.
When discussing your computer skills, make a list of all the applications you can use.
A good teacher is usually a good student, also because how could you know how your students feel if you have never been a language student. Hopefully, you can list some languages you speak at a high level. But be careful: when you assess your skills, it also shows how well you know the European levels. If you say that you are at proficiency level in Italian and your interviewer change into Italian at the job interview, be up to the challenge. Bluffing is at poker, not at job search.
Add 10: Reference
We all have already received pre-written reference letters written by some unknown colleague. They were mostly very positive about the teacher and if all true, also very promising.
However, very few recruiters take these into account, since they are too general and little trustworthy. If a D.O.S. want to know more about a candidate, they will ask for an email address or phone number and contact your previous supervisor or university professor in person. These chats are more informative, since questions can be asked after having some information about the candidate at first hand. So find two people who are willing to be your references.
Mind, your uncle, best friend, etc. are not good, since they are biased. You can ask one colleague, your former employer (best, since you left that work place and they still want to help you to find another job opportunity) or if you have no experience, one of your CELTA tutors or university professors. Ask these people if they approve of you putting their email address and phone number onto your CV and don’t forget to add their position at the institutes where you met them.
Note: Never forget to ask them in advance. If somebody is contacted without previous approval, they might give a very unpleasant opinion on you and it also shows how little you know about professional conduct.
This is the moment, when we can leave your CV and move onto the attachments.