Monday, December 17, 2012

Curriculum Vitae & Cover Letter in the E.U.

The Basic Steps for Writing a Cover Letter

As a rule of thumb, cover letters should be laid out in 3 basic paragraphs. The main idea of the first paragraph is to state what you want. As a cover letter is used to express interest in a job, the first paragraph should clearly state what specific job position you are looking for and highlight one or two relevant qualifications that you have for that said position. Don’t be vague on the job position you are seeking. If you are, in the hopes of keeping all possibilities open, you could lose out if it’s a big company with many different job openings as they may not know where to direct your CV and cover letter. The second paragraph should mention what you are currently doing now and/or why you would be a good fit for the company or the desired job position. If you just completed training mention that and how you have benefited. If you are about to leave a current job position mention that and say how it has enhanced your professional career as well as how you are seeking new challenges that the target company could potentially offer. Also mention what you could do for them. The third paragraph which is also the closing paragraph must be clear as to when you would be available for an interview, when you would be available to start working and how to contact you. If you are not currently in the country at the time of applying for positions, it is imperative to state the three items above. If you leave this vague, you most likely won’t get a response back because it may seem too involved for the interviewer to access you when it’s possibly easy enough just to select from those already living in the country. For those already living or located in the country of choice, make it clear that you are there now and are at the interviewer’s disposition.

The Curriculum Vitae(CV) or Resume

As the EU now has 27 member countries, in their attempts to streamline many procedures, they have created a standard EU CV. While it applies to those who wish to work in the EU, I think it’s a good template to follow as a standard international CV so I am suggesting you use the template as a start even if you do not plan to work in the EU territory. A link to this CV can be found on the website Europass.

Things to consider when sending your CV and Cover Letter

So your cover letter and CV are ready to go out. How should you deliver these important documents? Yes, most likely you will send them by email. But first convert both documents into PDF files. This is the only universal format available where you can be sure that no matter where in the world you are sending to, when they open the document it will look exactly like what you intended it to look like. Next attach both documents to the email. Do not copy/ paste the body of the cover letter in the email space. You want the person who opens the email to be able to print out the documents so that both can be filed in their appropriate place together. In the actual email space, write a brief summary of your cover letter. Basically, state what you want; a specific job position, and when you would be available. Then mention that all of your qualifications can be found in the attachments provided. Once sending out the cover letter and CV, its fine to do a follow-up call approximately one or two weeks after to first, insure that it was received and second to see if they are indeed looking for new hires and/or find out more about the job market in the immediate region. G.G.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Preparing for your TEFL Course

So you've registered for your on-site TEFL training. You've got your plane tickets and housing is arranged. Now what? You think you're finished? No, you havent even begun. You still have to take the course which is actually work. So here are some things you can do to prepare yourself for the course. 1. All TEFL, TESOL, CELTA programs have a healthy dose of English grammar. This is because your students will have grammar questions and they will expect you, the English expert, to answer them. Technically, you don't really need to study grammar before you arrive to the course as everything should be provided. However, if the thought of grammar terrifies you then you should, at least mentally prepare yourself for these sessions. The best advice I can give for this is purchasing either: Jeremy Harmer (2001) The Practice of English Language Teaching 3rd edition (Longman) or Scott Thornbury (1997) About Language (CUP) Read at least one of them just to get your head around the idea of English grammar. 2. You will be expected to read and write in English. There will be many opportunities where you must write correctly in English:)) After all, if you want to teach English then you must have mastered it, in theory anyway. Be prepared to write often during the course. 3. Any reputable program has teaching practice. This means, you must plan lessons and then stand up and teach them in front of students. That also implies that you will be expected to present and execute your lesson plan in the hopes that some of your students will learn some English at least some of the time during your class. Teacher practice is usually one of the most valued segments for TEFL graduates of our courses so I recommend you look forward to it and embrace it. Most often the students of English who participate as volunteers are very appreciative and look forward to the lessons prepared. 4. While most TEFL courses should be able to provide job advice, I suggest before you arrive, that you have a rough idea of where you would like to teach and starting when. Have a plan before the course. The more detailed your plan is, the more resources you'll be able to access. This also makes it easier for the trainers at your center to help you and get you started. 5. At the start, plan to have an open mind and be flexible. You are about to embark on a fantastic experience and the more open you are, the more likely you will be prepared to receive all the possibly wonderful opportunities that surround you abroad. G.G. Follow ThLanguageHouse on Twitter
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Monday, October 01, 2012

A Reality of Living Abroad

If the plan is to move abroad on your own, then, be prepared to spend at least some of your time on your own. Yes, its true that you will make friends and there will be people who will help you. However, there will also be times when you will have to do things on your own in situations where you may be the only foreigner and you may not speak the language well. That's part of the deal when you move to a new country.

The key is not to try to avoid challenging situations but accept them. Embrace the challenge because the more you do things that force you to stretch outside of your comfort zone, the easier things become; you begin to feel more comfortable in the new country and these challenges will only make you stronger.

One thing you can do is research the country where you'd like to live but more importantly talk to people online who are already living there and doing what you hope to be doing. Find out their advice and what things they tried that were successful or unsuccessful. I say it all the time but living abroad is not for everyone. The more informed you are the more likely you'll be successful.

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