What should be attached to your CV? Do you need to scan all your certificates and attach a reference letter? What about an application letter? Is it really useful and relevant? Let’s look into these questions.

Doc: IMG0084

A big and important language school after publishing their job offer in the high season gets around 100 application emails per day. Candidates will be at different stage: some of them have already done the job interview and hopefully negotiating about a contract, others are confirming first appointments, while others again might be struggling with the format or the missing documents.

After you have finalized your CV, scan the following documents:

  • your passport
  • your degree
  • your teaching training certificate (CELTA certificate)
  • your Certificate of Clearance and Certificate of no Criminal Conviction (essential if you want to work with Young Learners).

Save these jpg-files and name them. It is really annoying to receive 4-5 attachments with names like the one in the title. The receiver will need to rename them when saving, which is at the above-mentioned amount of applications extremely time-consuming.

In the file-name mention your name (at least surname) and the type of the document, e.g. william_smith_passport.jpg.

Attachment: application letter

We have already mentioned that even if you attach your application letter, write a quick note in your email inviting the receiver to open your files.

You can also write your application letter in the email, but in case it gets printed, the attachment is more userfriendly.

What should you write in your application letter. Not much, since long ones never get read. Traditionally, there should be four paragraphs:

  1. Introduction (what are you applying for, where you found this vacancy, etc.)
  2. Reasons why you think you are up to the requirements
  3. Your motivation to teach there and/or interesting bits and pieces about you
  4. Invite the reader to contact you.

In your application letter, you don’t need to give a summary of your CV, however, you can refer to it once or twice. The additional parts are more interesting:

  • How did you stay out at your last work place?
  • Why would you like to teach at the contacted school?
  • What would your students praise about you?
  • Why are you a real good candidate or a contributing colleague at the school?
  • etc.

Note that application letters are read twice. Once before the invitation to the interview, and the second time, before sending and offer to you, in order to compare how you introduced yourself and what impression you gave in the interview.

Make somebody read your letter of motivation before you send it, to see what impact it may have on a reader and remember: we are not perfect; the real art is expressing imperfection in a subtle way.


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