Tips for writing an international CV – the top ten checklist

Published on 16th January, 2017 by Amy Bardsley. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

Make sure you're ready when applying for international school jobs

A standard CV or resume does not fit all purposes, especially when applying for teaching jobs overseas. You need to make it relevant for international recruiters. Is your CV right? Here’s TIC’s top ten checklist to make sure you have a successful international CV:

1. First impression is vital - Your CV will be the first impression a recruiter will get of you, so it’s essential that it stands out from other applications. You can’t afford to make one single spelling mistake. Take time to get it absolutely right and ask trusted friends or colleagues to review it for you. A supportive recruitment agency will advise you too.

2. Make it easy to read - Recruiters on average spend 30 seconds reviewing CVs to make their initial selection, so it’s crucial that yours is easy to read and understand. Don’t use strange font, colours, or complex formats that are challenging for a reader. Follow a standard style; it’s the content that is most important. 

3. Give the personal information that matters - You will need to include your full name, a professional photograph in the top right hand corner, contact details including your Skype address, your age, and your marital status and family details. If you are planning to move with a family, information is required for immigration purposes, for instance, your partner’s occupation and employment status, details of dependent children who will be living with you including their ages. Your age is necessary as some countries have visa restrictions on age for employment.

4. Your education and qualifications - List your higher education qualifications along with your university name, location and dates attended, and date that your qualification was awarded. If additional, provide the details of your teaching qualification too including your subject, age level and type of qualification. Do not use acronyms; remember that your CV will be going to international schools that employ administrators and recruiters from many different countries. Don’t assume they know everything about the abbreviations that are commonly used in your home country.

5. Your curricula experience - Clearly list your entire work history starting with the most recent job, including dates. Of particular interest to international school recruiters will be your role, subjects taught, age levels, and the curricula and qualifications you have delivered.

6. Wider teaching skills - Include any experience that will be of particular interest to international schools, such as teaching children with special learning needs, or teaching children who have English as a second or other language (ESOL). List any languages that you fluently or competently speak. Identify any extra-curricular activities or clubs that you have led.

7. Personal skills that matter - List three personal skills that you have that you believe reflect your international mindedness and ability to cope with a job in an international school.

8. Reliable references - List at least two referees on your CV. International schools rely heavily upon them. They should be in senior positions and contactable by telephone or skype. They must be associated with an existing school, learning establishment or organisation. If you cannot provide credible references, many recruitment agencies and international schools will not consider you as a potential candidate.

9. A personal statement that counts – this should be concise and career-focused, highlighting qualities and experiences that will show that you will fit in to an international school environment and will cope with moving overseas.

10. Allow your personality to shine – International schools look for people who are community-oriented and willing to collaborate with others; teachers as well as parents and the wider school community. Emphasise these qualities in your skills, experience or personal statement when you can.

If you’re preparing your CV for jobs for the next academic year, get it done now! Most international school jobs will be advertised, and selection made between January and March. If you want the choice of the best international school jobs, you need to be ready right now! And get registered with TIC too. It’s absolutely free, easy to do, and we can help you find a job in the right international school for you.

You might also be interested in these informative articles:
Why do teachers want to teach overseas?
What teachers liked about TIC’s International Teaching Careers Day
TIC to present New British International School Award at Ceremony

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Amy Bardsley

Amy is one of our recruitment consultants she has great experience of recruitment selection methods and strategies and since joining TIC has attended international conferences and placed many teachers overseas.