Shanghai skyline: Pearl Tower
Kuala Lumpur towers
Abu Dhabi mosque
International high school
International high school
A group of teachers discussing their lessons
A job interview at an international school
Shanghai skyline: Shanghai Tower
Shanghai skyline: Shanghai Tower
Leader interview

Dec 10, 2020

How to prepare your CV for the Explore CRS job fairs

The experienced recruitment consultants here at Explore CRS share their tips on what you can do to prepare your CV ahead of our job fairs.

The annual Explore CRS international education job fairs offer teachers a unique opportunity to explore career opportunities and interview with a range of different schools, all in one convenient location.

But just as during the normal job application process, it’s your CV that will determine whether a school wants to see you for an interview or take discussions further.

Our team of recruitment consultants looks through hundreds of CVs a year, seeking out candidates to connect with schools. Explore CRS consultants know exactly what school hiring managers are looking for and how teachers can make sure their CV puts them in the best position for securing an interview at our job fairs. Here is their advice:

Keep things clear

With recruiters and hiring managers spending as little as 3 to 5 seconds reading a CV, you need to make sure the layout is clear and easy to understand. A busy recruiter needs to be able to quickly grasp your employment history and understand what you offer as a potential new employee.

Present your CV in defined sections: personal information, education, teaching experience, referees and other interests. List your work experience chronologically, with the most recent at the top of the page. Make sure to include employment dates (month and year) and locations, as well as when and where you graduated from college or university.

Don’t include too much

It’s important not to include too much information on your CV – you need it to be as brief as possible. Keeping it to a maximum of 3 to 4 pages (or fewer) is ideal. You need to wow recruiters with only the very best parts of your career and experience.

We appreciate that it’s hard to condense your career down into a few paragraphs but remember that adding more information also dilutes what is there, so keeping it brief will only help your achievements stand out more. 

Mention your curricula experience

Many of our client schools need teachers that have experience in specific curricula so make sure you mention all the curricula and national education systems you’ve worked with.

While preference will often be given to applicants with experience that corresponds with a school’s requirements, many hiring managers do recognise the similarities between curricula and are often interested in speaking to teachers who don’t 100% match their criteria. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to clearly state the curricula you’ve been involved with.

Explain the time out

If you’ve taken time out of your career, you should make sure to explain why and what you were doing. While there are many legitimate reasons for career breaks, unexplained gaps in employment history can be offputting for recruiters and hiring managers. Make everyone’s life much easier by simply clarifying what was happening – very often these periods are spent doing things that actually enhance your CV

Don’t rely on acronyms

There are so many different institutions, academic bodies and curricula in the international education sector that acronyms can be a real headache for recruiters trying to understand your employment history. This is especially the case if it’s not a well-known or globally used acronym.

When putting together your CV make sure you write out the full name of things first and then use the acronym afterwards (if you must). This will help recruiters to quickly comprehend the information you are presenting. 

Keep professional development relevant

As we said, recruiters and hiring managers don’t have long to spend reading each CV. Don’t waste their time by listing every single PD workshop you’ve ever attended. While it’s great to show you’re dedicated to your ongoing professional development, make sure only to list the most relevant and recent workshops you’ve taken part in, along with impressive examples of your professional development. These can be the qualifications you have gained or information on the professional organisations you’re involved with, for example. 

Check the spelling

It’s amazing how many CVs come through to the Explore CRS consultants with grammatical or spelling mistakes. These errors completely undermine your attempts to come across as professional and diligent. Make sure you check your CV through at least twice and if you’re still unsure whether it’s error-free, have someone else check it too.

Use your CV at the event

Ahead of our job fairs, Explore CRS consultants will work with you to line up interviews to take place on the day of the fair. Your consultant will therefore need to see your polished and professional CV ahead of the event.

On the day of the event itself, it’s also a good idea to bring 10 to 15 hard copies of your CV to hand out to schools. Make sure these copies are in colour and printed on good-quality paper. Part of the benefit of an in-person job fair is the chance to make face-to-face connections with schools and your CV is an important tool in this networking process.

Another good way of making sure hiring managers remember you on the day of the fair is to include a professional headshot with your CV. While this not a requirement, it can be useful in making a lasting impression with school staff who will likely meet a huge number of candidates on the same day.

next steps!

The Explore CRS Shanghai job fair is taking place 8 – 10 January 2021. Attendees will have the opportunity to interview and network with a variety of international and bilingual schools, based both in China and beyond.

To sign up for the fair, create or update an existing Explore CRS candidate profile

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