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Tips for Presenting Yourself to a School in Thailand, the EFL CV

Robert Mcbain
Some no-nonsense advice on how best to construct an EFL teacher’s CV or resume for Thailand and the region. It covers important subjects needed for a CV.

When you want to move on, your CV is usually the first thing that gets an update. It doesn’t matter if you have been teaching for a few years or many years; a well-constructed CV should say everything a potential employer needs to know about what you can do, and the sooner they read that, the better. So this article contains some tips about what to write in a successful teacher’s CV.

Formatting

Try and avoid writing the words curriculum vitae at the top of the page, which is a classic mistake because it should be clear to the reader that they are reading a CV. The only information that should be at the top is your title(s), name, email and phone number, and any other social contact details you want to include. As for photographs, a formal picture of yourself is quite sufficient, as no credible recruiter is interested in looking at scores of pictures of EFL teachers receiving certificates of any kind, no matter how big the smile. Another thing to avoid is using fancy writing fonts because the simple fact is that they do not add any more value to your CV.

Your history & accomplishments

Write a list of the schools you have worked at, starting with the latest school and work backwards to your first school. Any potential employer needs to see where you have been and what you have been doing. It is also essential to highlight the values, standards and achievements that you created in your present and previous positions and how you achieved them. For example, you might mention that you carried out some classroom research that improved students’ test scores. If you did, then you need to state the data values to show your successes. You should also include any academic papers you have written and published because this is a significant accomplishment. Furthermore, refrain from writing about your job description because that does not say what you achieved. Finally, don’t exaggerate your achievements because the strengths of your talents are always found out either during the interview or during probation, so adopting a simplistic, down-to-earth approach is invariably the best way.

Certifications

You should also state your qualifications because any future employer needs to know what you are qualified in and capable of doing; these should include the dates when you qualified. Your formal qualifications also need to match the qualifications for the job. That means you will need to highlight different aspects of your experience that relate to the position available.

Overusing common clichés

There are some general statements that you should try and avoid in a professional CV. However, if you include them, they need to be backed up with substantiating evidence or well-founded examples that give your CV credibility. The most common clichés to avoid are:

  • I am an excellent communicator.
  • I am very good at problem-solving.
  • I am a very hard hard-working individual.
  • I have a very can-do attitude.
  • I am a great team player and goal-orientated person.
  • I am a motivated person to work in school.
  • I have a proven track record of…
  • At my last school, I was responsible for…
  • I have a great passion and synergy for teaching.

Hobbies, interests and dates

Hobbies and interests are controversial issues in a CV. The general rule is that you should only mention them if related to the job you are applying for. If not, then there is no justification in telling anyone about your love of boxing if you are applying for a position as a grade 4 teacher. Ensure that all the timelines are logical and if you have any gaps in your CV, make sure that you can explain them or it looks odd.

Job-hopping

There may be good reasons why a teacher has been job-hopping over several years. Despite this, you demonstrate a much stronger character when you stay long enough in a school to help solve any problems than running away because of a minor issue or complaint.

References

Not many schools in Thailand use or ask for references, so most recruiters focus on what they read in your CV. That’s why it needs to contain concise information about what you have done in your previous roles. Any sensible employer would assume you have suitable references or can get them. Your head of department should provide the references, not a personal friend.

The interview

Most school recruiters in Thailand use a semi-formal interview style that is, in my view, quite acceptable. However, the most essential issue with foreign teachers in Thailand is that they have to look smartly dressed. For men, a long-sleeved shirt and tie are ideal; for women, a formal dress that covers the knees is adequate.

Writing the CV

Your CV is a reflection of the strengths you have as an EFL teacher. So you need to pay particular attention to how it is written, including grammar, spelling, punctuation and spacing. Also, make sure the formatting is consistent by using a formal font and consistent bullet points throughout, especially if you are a non-native speaker. Employers are looking for well-presented and polished resumes, so if you’re unsure how to write a good CV, there are some excellent examples of professional templates on the Internet.

Written by Robert Mcbain for EnglishClub
Dr Robert Mcbain is a secondary headteacher. He also teaches EFL social studies and also designs instructional materials for Content Language Integrated Learning. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).

6 comments

  • Maybin Bwalya says:

    I’m not a teacher, but this is very helpful to me.

  • Albert BISSONGO says:

    Successful teaching. We really need it. Thanks.

    Albert Bissongo, ENGLISH Teacher
    Kisangani/D.R.C.

  • Alhadar Ahmed toure says:

    I’m not a teacher. But I find these recommendations very informative. Thank you.

  • Gisselle says:

    Great information to know as I consider this location. Thank you very much!

  • The King Of Love From IRAN says:

    Thank you so much,

  • Max says:

    I’m not a teacher. But I find these recommendations very informative. Thank you.

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