10 jul. 2009

I want to work at ILC! What do I need to put in my resume?

ILC gets about 20-30 applications for every vacancy we have, and last-minute vacancies usually get filled within 24 hours.  This means that speed of response, and having (all ready and easy to read) the most persuasive details of your skills posted clearly on your resume are the two most convincing components of applying to ILC.

These are the features that will most convince us you're serious about working at ILC:

Stating your teaching experience

  • - if you have formal teaching experience, we want to know, and we'll value you all the more for it.  Was it with adults, teens or children?  Was it teaching EAL, EFL or ESL?  (Find out the difference, guys!)  Was it in another subject?
  • - if you have informal teaching experience, that's almost as good.  Did you coach a local group?  Did you have to present or train groups of people in specific skills?  Have you done any support for students in an official or unofficial capacity? Have you done any one-to-one tutoring?  Have you ever had to explain to someone who isn't a native speaker of English how they could speak differently?

Stating your teaching qualifications ,

  • - if you have a TESOL, TEFL, Trinity, or CELTA certificate, then say how many hours you have done in the classroom, and if you studied online or not.  
  • -if you have a degree or postgrad qualification in Education, you will probably go to the top of the list, so make that clear to us.
  • - if you're a qualified teacher in your home country, say so.  We love qualified experienced teachers.
  • - If you don't have any certification, then say so, but be ready for us to ask you to get some before you start work with us.  We want to be sure you're serious about improving our students' life chances, and not just a backpacker looking for a cheap holiday.

Describing any experience living, travelling or working overseas

  • - this is really key to your application.  We've found that the teachers who succeed at ILC are those who have realistic expectations of living in the third world, and who make serious efforts to communicate with local people.  
  • - If you lived / travelled / worked in a remote region overseas, rather than in a major city, that's even more brownie points!
  • - If you've never left home before, be honest about it.  If your personality seems right for ILC, we'll be happy to give you a shot at it.

Stating your age,

  • - Some teachers have gotten upset about this - "Why is my age relevant?"  Fear not.  We have employed people in their teens, and we have employed people in their sixties.  
  • - We get a glut of applications from gap year students and from people aged 24.  (Why? nobody knows.) If you aren't 24, you have something a little extra to offer, just by being different from the others.
  • - If you're over 27, you will have a ton of life experiences that will really help you to adjust to the difficulties of living in a remote location where few people speak English.  We love people who've worked in EFL in other countries, or who've run their own business, or who know a little about marketing, for instance ... So tell us about it!

Stating your nationality,

  • - It does matter to our students, because they want to know about the world.  We don't want our teachers to be only Brits, or only Americans.  We want our students to learn about the rest of the world through knowing you.  
  • - If your native language isn't English, that isn't a barrier to applying.  A native speaker will assess your level of English via your application, and by phoning you.  If it's not up to much, it's still possible that you could teach our kindergarten classes, for example.
  • - Be honest if your English needs a little practice.  Saying "I AM THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF THE ENGLISH" isn't persuasive.  Tell us what qualifications you have, and what courses you have studied in English, and double check your emails for errors.
  • - Foreigners are a little scary and a little intriguing for people in Chachapoyas, in equal measure.  If you have latino heritage, you have a shortcut to your students' trust here.  So tell us!

Stating what other European languages you could teach,

  • - This is a biggie.  If you can teach French, you will probably jump to the front of our shortlist.  If you can teach German and want to stay for at least six months, likewise.  If you can teach Italian, Russian or Portuguese, we can also offer you classes.  And ... if you can teach Spanish, we might just have some classes teaching tourists we could pass on to you, too.
  • - If you studied one of these languages, but haven't spoken it for a while, or haven't taught it ever, be realistic about your level.  For example, Basic French might be more persuasive if you studied it within the last 2 years.

Being specific about when you're thinking of coming to Peru, and how long you'd like to stay at ILC.

  • - You'd be surprised at how many great teachers kibosh their own application by never tying their availability down to a specific time period.  Give us your ideal timeframe, and then give us a Plan B timeframe you'd accept if necessary.
  • - If we don't have any jobs within your preferred dates, it's possible we have a cancellation in the future.  Let us know if you want to be on the Waiting List, and - if we contact you with a vacancy - try to respond quickly.
  • - The majority of teachers stay 3 months or a year.  The minimum time you can stay is 1 month. 
  • - If you want to stay more than 3 months, you need to reconfirm your intention to stay on once you've completed two months at the school.  This means we know you're serious about what you're doing, and not just throwing wild promises about that will sting our students when you change your mind later.

... And stating your level of fluency in Spanish.

  • - We don't demand that you be able to speak Spanish.
  • - But ... if you can speak Spanish at intermediate level or above, you will shoot directly to the top of the pile of applications.  This, and teaching certification, are the silver bullets that defeat the competition.
  • - Again, the teachers who do well in Chachapoyas are those who are realistic about living in a third world environment, and those who manage to communicate with locals.  99% of the city do not speak one word of English.  Without basic level Spanish you are going to find it hard here.
  • - Even if you're happy to learn Spanish, be realistic about how you will cope - emotionally and socially - in an environment where you are totally immersed in the language.  Will you see it as an opportunity, and try to find helpful friends who can coach you along?  Or will you find it a little threatening, and find yourself only ever speaking to foreigners teaching English in the city? If it's the latter, you might end up learning very little about Peru.
  • - If you studied lots of Spanish 30 years back, you will not remember it.  If you speak 'ranch Spanish' you have some cultural attitudes to sort out before you get here.  If we read the doom-laden phrase "I'm sure I'll pick it up quickly once I get there," we're going to put you to the back of the pile and roll our eyes; it's a red flag that you don't think integration into the local community is worthwhile.
  • - We don't demand that you be able to speak Spanish.  We do demand that you try to learn.

If your resume includes all of these things, you WILL be considered for the next set of vacancies, and we WILL be contacting you as soon as we can.

Good luck!

1 comentario:

Anónimo dijo...

Just submitted my application - Allen from Vancouver.

Please hire me! I AM A GREAT TEACHER!!!!!!