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10 Things an English Teacher’s Resume Must Have

Published on Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016

Landing a job as an English teacher in Hong Kong is the goal of many educators looking for international exposure and experience. With its high standard of living and an exciting blend of Eastern and Western cultures, Hong Kong is an exciting and lucrative destination for many young teachers. The competition is often fierce, but there are ways to move ahead of the other applicants, and the first step is via your resume. Here are the 10 resume must haves for all English teachers job hunting in Hong Kong. 

1.    Qualifications. Whilst it was common for native English speakers to score an English teaching position in Hong Kong, it is no longer the case. Elevate your employability status by having the bare minimum of teaching qualifications. In Hong Kong, this means holding either thea Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification.

2.    Steady experience. Hong Kong schools understand that many of their English teachers may be one to two-year staffers, but in general, they would prefer to find a good teacher with long-term potential.If your resume is dotted with short teaching stints, they may think twice before calling you in for an interview.

3.    University education. Not everyone who makes it to Hong Kong to become an English teacher will have had a university education in English or Teaching, but schools are increasingly raising their standards to attract candidates who are professionally qualified for the role. Include your university education, as well as internships in your resume.

4.      Achievements. If you’ve held leadership roles at any of your prior teaching posts, or helped to implement new and innovative teaching methods, highlight it in your resume. More importantly, focus on showing results obtained by your students in the past, any quantifiable improvements will be of interest to the schools you apply to. 

5.    Extra curricular activities. Show your prospective school that your value to them won’t just end when the last school bell of the day rings. Highlight past instances of you taking charge of an after-school activity, whether it is around sports, arts, or more generic and fun activities. This will give the school a sense of your dedication to your students as well as demonstrate your quality of taking initiatives.

6.    Chinese language skills and cultural knowledge. A recent shift in the overall curriculum in Hong Kong schools has been to include a deeper focus on Chinese language and culture. Although you will most likely not be educating your students on this being an English teacher, but having the familiarity or some level of proficiency in the language can prove that you do want to learn the local culture and make you a safer bet over other candidates who seem like they may be in the city for a few months or a year. 

7.    Photo. Although physical appearances are not necessarily a factor in the overall hiring process, many schools do ask for a photo to accompany their job applications for teaching positions. Include a small, passport photo sized photo with your resume to eliminate that one extra step and it may help you get an interview request sooner rather than later.

8.    Hands-on learning expertise. Parents are looking to start their children on an early path towards success and schools want teachers who excel at interactive learning methods. Many schools are now in search of teachers who have experience and knowledge in immersive, sensory-stimulating approaches to early education that promotes problem-solving and social skills, confidence, exploration, and long-term development. After all, a student’s time at a school is meant to prepare him / her for the world, and not just to memorize texts from a book and pass exams.  

9.    Impeccable grammar and spelling. You’re applying to educate others on the English language. Your resume better be a specimen of English perfection. This means absolutely no grammatical or punctuation errors, misspellings, or confusing sentences. It’s undoubtedly crucial that you spend the extra time to ensure your resume doesn’t have a single mistake because this is a true litmus test for how capable you are as an English teacher. Use short sentences and communicate in a clear and concise manner.

10.    A local address. It’s no secret that many English teachers in Hong Kong sort of just happen along into the career. With reports of English language standards slipping in recent years, schools are now trying to be more and more selective with their hiring and are looking to employ more than just a token Caucasian staff member. By having a Hong Kong-based address on your resume, it’s a small but significant indicator that you are serious about your career in Hong Kong and have a vested interest in something more long-term.

Landing an English teaching job in Hong Kong is no easy task, but with our 10 teaching resume must-haves above, we guarantee you will be a step ahead in the game. 

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