Quite a few resumes come across our desks each day, and each year we place many qualified teachers at schools across China.
You probably already know that when applying for jobs, you should tailor your resume to each position you apply for (or at the very least each industry). This advice still rings true when applying for ESL jobs.
Moreover, there are some elements that schools in China look for when deciding who to hire. If you make sure to include the following on your resume, you will be in a much better position to be hired by a school in China.
TEFL, CELTA, TESOL (or similar certification)
The above certifications can be earned by completing a class either in person or online. These classes are a great introduction to teaching English as a second language, and certificates are in some provinces necessary to obtain a work visa in China.
Two years of work experience (post graduation)
This is a stipulation for foreigners working on China on a legal work (Z) visa. Some provinces, including Beijing, have even higher requirements for work experience. If you have less than two years of work experience, there are still options to get to China. For more information visit goayc.org.
Highlight your teaching experience
Just like with any resume, you want to make sure the experience you list is pertinent to the vacancy. Teaching experience doesn’t have to be just classroom based – have you tutored? Have you been a conversation buddy? Have you coached a kids sports team, babysat or had other similar experiences working with kids? Do you have experience interacting with people with a different background than your own? Put it on there.
Skype ID (as well as your email)
If you don’t have a Skype ID, I highly recommend getting one. Not only do we at GoGlobal Jobs use Skype to get to know you as a teacher, schools that think about hiring you will also want to speak with you before sending you a contract.
Once you’re in China, Skype is a useful tool for keeping in touch with friends and family back home.
While it is not customary to include a picture of yourself on a resume in the the West, it is the norm in the ESL industry in China. The picture should be appropriate and relaxed – the idea is to portray yourself as a friendly and enthusiastic person.
We have found that schools are much more interested in meeting you if they see your smiling face in addition to your resume.
It’s important to mention which country you are from. Chinese visa laws are always in flux, but right now it is difficult to get a legal work (Z) visa for English teachers from countries where English is not the native language.
This is because English teachers have the status of “foreign experts” for work visas, and the Chinese government does not consider ESL teachers for whom English is a second language to be foreign experts.