Applying for a TEFL job requires you to go through a few steps. Usually, a successful application will involve the initial application email, a few follow-ups, and one or two interviews (either in person or via phone/Skype).
What some people fail to realise is that it's not just the interview that will make or break your success. In fact, a lot of people never make it past the first email.
Why is this? Well, the sheer volume of applications that many recruiters and schools receive means that they have to filter them at the earliest possible opportunity; the initial email.
In this article, we're going to look at the 7 most common errors that applicants make in their initial emails. Knowing these will put you head and shoulders above the competition.
1 - No Salutation
Just because something is an email, doesn't mean that you needn't add a salutation. This is afterall, a job application. What looks better to a recruiter? "Dear Sir, I'm writing to apply for ....." or "Here's my application."?
2 - Bad Grammar Or Typos
It never hurts to proofread an email, especially when you are applying for a job as an English teacher! Attention to detail is important for any application, as is professionalism. Just because something is an email, doesn't mean the application has to be any less formal than a written application.
3 - Not Mentioning The Job You're Applying For
A lot of recruiters deal with more than one position, in multiple countries. If they can't immediately figure out what job you're applying for, they might pass over your application. Not only that, it usually shows that you've rushed your application, or don't pay attention to detail.
Usually though, it's a requirement of the application, so when you don't include it, it shows that you can't follow instructions to the full. Not a good sign.
4 - Applying To Multiple Positions With One Email
Personalised emails always work better, but even if you DO decide to try a generic application to save time, don't just cc every recipient into the email. You want the person receiving your application to think you've only applied to them, otherwise they won't bother to type a reply that you aren't committed to receiving.
Mention the name of the company you're emailing, the position you're applying for, and if possible, the recipient's name (you won't always know this though).
5 - No CV or Resume Attached
It's usually a requirement of an application that you include your CV or resume, but even if it isn't, it's going to be a good idea. If you were a recruiter and you received 50 applications for one job position, you'd probably start with those ones who included everything in their application, right?
6 - Too Much Information
You can keep it simple and to the point, while still appearing professional. You don't need to include your whole life story with the application in order to appear more committed. Less is more in this case.
Do you want your recipient to think "Ok, sounds good, let me look at these files now" or "Ok, too long, next!"?
7 - Demonstrate That You Know What You're Applying For
Similar to point number 4, you should mention the country/location and position that you're applying for. You really want to demonstrate that you know what you're applying for, you're familiar with the position, and you are specifically applying for this job. This is another reason why generic emails are a bad idea.
Small Things Make A Huge Difference
You might think that these 7 points seem small and unnecessary, but they really do separate the poor applications from the good ones. Recruiters often just don't have the time to go through every single application, especially if the position needs filling quickly. If you take that little bit of extra time to pay attention to the small stuff, you'll get huge benefits and will reap the rewards very quickly.
Take it from us, it's well worth it.