When completing your Teach Away profile, remember that first impressions count. The first thing that any school will see from you is your Teach Away profile picture. While it's true they will also see your resume and application details, your application will ultimately be linked to that picture.
At Teach Away, we see thousands of profile pictures, and while many are great, some are definitely not what you want your future employer to see. Below are some suggestions that will help you pick an appropriate photo, and give your prospective school the best first impression possible.
1. Use a photo. This seems simple, but some applicants forget to upload a photo in the first place. This is a mistake, as it is the easiest way to make your profile recognizable and unique.
2. Look professional. Again, back to first impressions – you do not need to wear a suit, but you want to present the image of a professional teacher. Dress appropriately and avoid using a picture that shows you drinking alcohol, for example.
3. Be culturally sensitive. When applying for teaching jobs through Teach Away, you need to take into account the fact that many of our schools are in more conservative parts of the world. Be aware of the taboos in some of the countries you are applying to.
4. One profile, one person. Candidates often submit pictures with their friends, family or a group of their students. It is great to see that you are well liked. However, in these pictures it is often very hard to see who the candidate is which essentially defeats the purpose.
5. A picture of you – not the things you like. The purpose of your profile picture is identification.
6. Lighting. Make sure you are clearly visible!
7. Location. A staggering number of candidates submit photos where they are sitting in a car with their seatbelt on. Truly, a remarkable amount of teachers choose this location. I assure you, it is not a particularly flattering environment – not to mention the risk to public safety.
8. Do not edit the background or use Photoshop. Simplicity is a virtue.
9. Smile. Professionalism is key, but you also want to show some warmth.
A profile picture is mainly used for identification, however, it is also an opportunity to manage your first impression. Give it some thought, follow these simple tips and make a positive, professional and lasting impression. Good luck with your application!