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By Ciara Hamagishi

So you want to teach abroad?  You have researched your dream countries, read blogs, and you feel ready to jump on a plane and begin your adventure.  That’s great news, and it will likely be one of the most memorable experiences of your teaching career.  But how do you get from your hometown classroom to your new classroom in Abu Dhabi, Japan or Brazil?

The first step is finding your way in and proving to someone that you are ready, willing and capable.  It’s time to fix up that resume.  Here are five tips on creating a great resume that shows how ready you are to teach abroad:

  1. Focus on quality, not quantity.  Two pages maximum, please.  Focus on key points that are relevant to teaching abroad and the position that you are applying for.  You don’t need to explain everything in your resume. Highlight important information in detail, and simply list (or leave out) other experiences.
  2. Make it easy to scan.  Recruiters cannot spend a half hour reading over your resume and your whole life story.  Your resume will be scanned briefly to look for key points.  Highlight what is listed in the job requirements, and make important information easy for a recruiter to spot at the top.
  3. Clearly outline your education, years of certified teaching experience, and your teaching certifications.  These are the first three things that international schools look for in a candidate, and you want to make it clear that you meet the requirements.
  4. Highlight international experiences.  If you speak another language or have lived abroad, let us know.  If your current or previous classroom was mainly ELL students or you are trained to teach ELL students, you should share this.
  5. Keep it simple.  There is no need for creative fonts, colors or excessive pictures.  It should be easy to read and professional.  A simple, clean resume will not lose you any points, but a resume that becomes difficult to read can frustrate a recruiter.

Read over your resume and see if there is anything that can be improved based on the tips above.  Ask a friend or family member to read it over as well.  When everything looks good, it’s time to press Submit on your application.  Good luck!

Ciara Hamagishi is a Teach Away Placement Coordinator.

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