I've been working in Thailand for 2 years now, attempting to run a high-quality English Program at a government school. Regardless of the curriculums I write, teacher trainings I administer, textbooks I research for months before selecting, communication with the parents, or the amount of time I put into the process and procedures for running our program - our success (or lack thereof) relies on one thing - the teachers we recruit.
Forget my standards of wanting someone with a BA in teaching, a TEFL certificate, a native-speaker of English, and some experience teaching in Thailand - I'm to the point where I will recruit anyone - qualified or not - who will take the time to submit a decent cover letter and resume. If you cannot even type your name with the correct capitalization (i.e. John Smith not john smith) or reference the job correctly ("Third Grade Teacher" not "Third Grades") or properly address my job posting (i.e. your resume is full of references for teaching at a university when I'm recruiting for a primary school teacher) - then you have no business applying for the job to begin with. And I won't even mention the horrendous spelling mistakes (for crying out loud - we have auto spell checker - just click the icon). Too many foreign teachers in Thailand have been wasting my time.
The biggest mistake people make on their resumes is they forget to indicate the locations of their employment and education. Please do not assume that everyone in the world knows that Moloy Elementary is some school in the Philippines. Do not assume that if you write Jackson University that I will know that means you were in Poland.
I have received approximately 40 resumes in the past 2 days, and only 3 of them had the caliber of a professional. No lie....
For anyone seriously trying to land a decent teacher position, here are my Top 3 tips:
1) Read the job posting. Don't blindly send your resume to a hundred schools. If you're worth it and think highly enough about yourself and believe in your qualifications, you will be selecting only those jobs that truly meet your expectations and have high standards.
If I say I need a cover letter and your photo to accompany your resume, this means exactly that. If any of these items are missing, your resume is immediately deleted. End of story....
2) Write a brief cover letter specific to that job posting. This demonstrates you are taking the time to be a professional. (And believe me, with the poor pickings we have for teachers lately - this extra step goes along way in getting my attention).
3) Be sure you indicate the city and country locations for all your employment and education line items. Your resume shouldn't be a guessing game. I shouldn't have to comb through it to try and decipher where you've been. You state your a Canadian, yet you speak Spanish, and have been working at Yokomoto University and volunteered at the Tsunami Childcare Center. This tells me nothing without knowing where these places are.
Now, the sad thing about this situation is I shouldn't have to state the basics of "Resume Writing 101 for Dummies".
Please, someone tell me where are the great teachers in Thailand are?!?!