News: Resume Tips for Teaching Abroad - Oct 6, 2015
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015General News

Resume Tips for Teaching Abroad

If you were to Google "resumés," you'd find countless links providing models and detailing the "how-to's" of creating your own. Included below are some tips on optimizing your resumé to meet criteria for an opportunity to obtain an overseas teaching position.

Past President of Search Associates and Consultant Jim Ambrose, who spent twenty-four years as a Headmaster in international schools, shed some light on the subject:

"Way too much attention is paid to the technical aspect of resumés, the form they take, how much detail to go into, etc. As a simple Headmaster, with little time to waste, I scanned for specific elements."

Similar to most employers outside the world of international education, Heads of School prefer an easy-to-read, concise resumé that is preferably no longer than two pages. The resumé should not "inflate" work experience and skills and contain accurate contact information—address, phone numbers, Skype name, and email addresses. College degrees and employment history should be listed chronologically.

Some information is critical to the Headmaster and the school's Human Resources Department, such as how many family members will be moving with you. Therefore, it is important to include additional information in your resumé as an international teacher, such as nationality, marital status, and number of accompanying children. Finally, Jim highly advised attaching a photo to your resumé because it assists in "remembering much more than just a name."

Jim also gave words of caution. Carefully review your resumé for grammatical errors as this will easily disqualify you from an opportunity. Attention to detail and accuracy are qualities that are highly regarded in international educators. Additionally, he advised discretion on social media portals when applying for a teaching job overseas:

"Candidates should scrub their Facebook and other social media listings and remove embarrassing photos, postings and so forth that were funny among friends when they were 18 but not so laughable when an employer sees them."

It is especially important to review your resumé thoroughly and ask a colleague or other professional to offer constructive criticism. Being memorable, with a skill set, professional photo, and clean social media presence, is crucial to stand out amongst other overseas teaching candidates.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Robert Barlas is the author of the Teaching Overseas Handbook.