It’s that time of year again – the long August holidays are over, people are signing up to English classes and academies are starting to put their timetables together. In other words, it’s the perfect time to start looking for work as an English teacher! Just make sure you’re as prepared as you can be to ensure you get the best start possible in your job hunt!
Sloppy spelling and bad grammar on a CV – especially an English teaching CV – will cost you an interview. Don’t rely on spell checkers that can’t differentiate between your and you’re – instead get a friend to read it over for you. Make sure your tenses are consistent throughout. Use the past tense for old jobs and the present tense for your current job, and don’t misuse apostrophes. This blog offers more detailed advice on structure and content.
It might seem weird to put a photo on your CV but it’s the done thing in Spain and it puts a face to the name on your CV. Go for a standard, head-and-shoulders shot against a white background – nothing too weird or wacky. If you ask a friend to take it you’ll get a better result than taking a selfie. Above all, avoid photos with people cropped out of them or shot of you at a party/on the beach/out for dinner – they look unprofessional and as though you’ve been too lazy to make the effort to take a photo specifically for your CV.
The teaching community in Barcelona is a small one. Many academies don’t advertise publicly for teachers but fill their positions through word of mouth, so ask every teacher you meet about the schools they work in and let them know you’re looking for hours. It’s a good idea to keep an idea on websites such as lingobongo.com where jobs are often advertised. Join the Barcelona TEFL Teacher’s Association on Facebook, where you’ll find job adverts and lots of experienced TEFL teachers that you can ask for advice! If you’re looking for private students, pay to get your advert top-listed on tusclasesparticulares.com – it’s only a few euros but you’ll get a lot more replies to your advert!
When you’re applying to academies, remember that your initial email creates a first impression. A Director of Studies friend recently received a blank email with a CV attached and the address of every DoS in Barcelona next to her own in the address bar. She didn’t even open the attached CV, so the email was a waste of time on the part of the teacher who sent it! It’s worth putting a bit of effort into a cover email. It should offer a brief introduction to you as a teacher, a couple of lines about why you’d like to work for that academy and your attached CV. Remember, this email is your chance to make a good impression and hopefully be invited for an interview!
Clean up your social media profile – it’s a given that employers will check out your online presence. Make sure your Facebook profile is private, check your Twitter feed isn’t too controversial and make your Instagram private – potential employers want to know that you’ll be able to present a professional image for their English-learning clients. Update your LinkedIn profile with your teaching experience and training in order to show that you’re a serious candidate for a teaching job.
Above all – be proactive and open to different opportunities, and you’ll be standing in front of your first class in no time at all!
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