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What an employer wants to see on your CV

The first thing an employer in China will look for is to see whether or not you meet the minimum visa requirements, which include a degree, TEFL certificate, and a couple of years teaching experience. This serves a dual purpose, first to see whether you can get a work permit, the other is if you’re suitable for the job.

They will then look at how closely your experience matches the job you have applied for in terms of the following:

  • Level of students (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • Learning objective (e.g. business English, exam preparation)
  • Class size (private lessons, small groups, large groups of 20+ students)
  • Age-group (young children, teenagers, adults)

Emphasize the aspects of your past experience which match the job you’re applying for at the time. Perhaps you worked at a center before and taught both children and adults, but you’re applying for a position teaching business English: It would make sense to highlight your experience teaching adults and anything related to business English you may have taught to them.

An employer will also consider your qualifications. If you did a degree which is not related to teaching, there is no need to go into any detail about it. All you need to make clear is that you have a Bachelor degree (or above). The TEFL Certificate is easy to dress up as looking very impressive, even if it’s just a two week course. The institution you got your TEFL from has already done this work for you in their advertisement! Consider a popular website such as TEFL.com

Last but not least, always include a picture on your CV. Chinese typically use passport-style photos on CV’s and it is expected. If you do not include one, they’ll surely ask you for one. The Chinese do care a lot about grooming, and a foreign teacher is mainly for marketing purposes, so keep this in mind when chosing your picture.