HOW TO WRITE A STAND OUT CV

IT’S YOUR TIME TO SHINE

START WITH A PERSONAL STATEMENT


This is the very first piece of prime space on your CV and it is the time to highlight your unique selling points (USPs) and what you can offer the school.

Take this opportunity to write about some of your visions and beliefs about primary/secondary education and any principles which will enhance your practice. This tells employers not what you are but the kind of teacher you intend to become.

Most employers realise that it is unlikely that you will have formulated your philosophy of education in any final sense, but will expect you to have thought through your beliefs about learning and visions for the future.

Include an example of how you plan, deliver, monitor, and evaluate a learning outcome. This could be a brief description about one of your best lessons in teaching practice, how you approached a theme/subject area or how you organised the classroom. It could even be any measurable achievements that you made in your placements.

It is important to be clear with why you want to work abroad. Do you have an interest or background in travel, and working with different cultures? Schools are looking for confident teachers who are ready to work abroad, and they will want someone who will settle quickly into their new environment.

BE CLEAR AND CONCISE


It is really important to keep your CV clear and concise. Two sides of A4 is perfect as it will allow you to share all your knowledge and experience in an easy-to-read format. It can be tempting to try and include everything, but short, sharp sentences are more impactful.

Less really is more as it allows employers to quickly scan CVs for the key information that they are interested in and come to a quick decision as to whether they would like to invite you to be interviewed.

TREAT YOUR PLACEMENTS LIKE AN ACTUAL JOB


Although you may not have had your first teaching job yet, you still have experience working in schools during your placements. When writing about these on your CV be sure to treat them in the same way you would any other job, and include details of the school, duration of placement, classroom responsibilities and the setting itself, including number of pupils/size of group you were responsible for, as well as any responsibility for SEN, English as a Second Language students or Gifted & Talented pupils. This will help to demonstrate the range of experience you have in the classroom.

As international schools are fee-paying, it is also a good idea to talk about the different experiences and interests you may have teaching children outside of the curriculum. This could include any lunchtime or after-school clubs you have run or passions you have that you will share in activities for the children. As part of teaching in an international school you will be expected to contribute to the out-of-hours enrichment activities.

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY


You may think that some of your previous jobs and experiences are not relevant, but this may not be true. You may have a range of transferable skills and experiences that are exactly what the school you are applying for requires! Be sure to list your previous employment in date order. If you have any gaps in employment then it is a good idea to provide a simple sentence to explain what you did during this time.

Keep the information provided brief so it is easy to see your key skills and responsibilities. The school you are applying to will be keen to hear about how some of your previous experiences, voluntary work and extra-curricular activities have led to you wanting to work with them.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT


We all know how easy it is to read what you think you have written rather than what you actually have! Make sure you get someone to proof your CV to pick up any errors. Use a computerised spelling and grammar checker too because you don’t want a small mistake to ruin your chances of getting an interview.

It is important to also think about the file format that you send your CV in. It may be that you are requested to send it in a particular format, but if not it is always a good idea to send your CV as a pdf. This means no matter what computer the employer is accessing it on they will be able to open the file and none of the formatting will be lost. Don’t get too bogged down with making your CV colourful or too ‘designed’. Remember it needs to be clear and easy to print, scan and read.

One of our top tips is to include a photo of yourself at the top of your CV to make it stand out... And don’t forget to smile, it isn’t for your passport!