Home' Teacher : October 2010 Contents 8 TEACHER OCTOBER 2010
Resumés and cover letters
As you build your professional development
and volunteer or work experience profile,
it's vital that you update your resumé. It's
also vital that you customise your resumé
and cover letter to suit the vacancies for
which you're applying.
Your resumé should be concise and
should use language effectively. Don't be
unnecessarily verbose. Don't mention per-
sonal characteristics such as age, height, or
marital status. Don't list your hobbies unless
they're relevant to the position for which
you're applying, for example, in terms of
your co- curricular contribution to the life
of the school -- this is where your research
about the particular school comes in.
Make the most of you r experience. If
you're a new graduate, use your recent
education as your primary advantage and
talk about new ideas that would benefit the
school. Be honest -- it's understandable that
your practical work history will be limited.
Don't neglect the appearance of your
resumé: both what you say in your resumé
and how you present it are important.
Customise your resu mé to the needs of
each employer. You can't supply a generic
resumé and expect a potential employer to
sift through it to determine how you may
meet their needs.
Your cover letter shouldn't repeat the
details of your resumé. Its purpose is to
introduce you and identify what you can do
for a prospective employer, providing them
with the first impression of your experience,
communication and organisational skills.
On a practical level, it should indicate where
you can be contacted. It's a good idea to
mention in your cover letter that you'll fol-
low up your application with a phone call
to arrange an inter view. Essentially, it's an
opportunity to sell yourself, and determines
whether the potential employer wants to
know more about you.
Most advertised positions will offer an
information package with selection criteria.
The body of your cover letter is the appro-
priate place to briefly address the listed
Okay, your good research and plan ning
leads to an offer of inter view. Your task now
is to make a positive impression.
It's a very competitive world and you can
be up against any number of applicants.
There are many factors that determine your
success at inter view, most of which you can
control and all of which centre arou nd
preparation. Inter views can be stressful.
Preparation will help you be more relaxed
The interviewers will want to explore
you r values, attitudes, skills and abilities.
They'll want to know what it is that
drives you, what your work style is likely
to be and how you'll fit in with the work
culture and specific demands of the posi-
tion. Your capacity to articulate yourself
well comes from knowing something about
yourself. This will also enable you to ask
the right questions about the position and
An important preparation exercise is to
write an extensive list of your achievements,
problems you've overcome, issues you've
addressed, demands you've faced and times
where your action has led to problem reso -
lution. The process of thinking about and
writing dow n your achievements will enable
a speedier memory recall during question-
ing, so you can readily provide evidence of
you r problem-solving capacity.
If you're a recent graduate, your work
history may not be extensive; however, you
can include participation in sport, com-
munity activities or ser vice organisations,
where relevant to the position or when dem-
onstrating a tangible achievement in any of
the following four areas:
where you've taken the initiative in con-
fronting problems, opportunities or chal-
where you've developed or organised
where you've resolved a critical situation
or dealt with difficult people, and
where you've worked with children,
shown positive leadership skills, helped
others or demonstrated a love of teaching.
An important preparation
exercise is to write an
extensive list of your
you've overcome, issues
you've addressed, demands
you've faced and times
where your action has led
to problem resolution.
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