Step 3: Applying to Jobs

You’ve got your resume ready to go.

You’ve found a few jobs to apply to.

Now you’re ALMOST ready to apply.

E-Mail (Cover Letter)

Documents You’ll Need

You should have scanned copies of the following documents prepared as most employers will ask for them:

  1. First page of your passport
  2. Any degree(s) you have
  3. Your TEFL certification
  4. Any other awards, certifications, training, etc. which might help.
  5. University transcripts

#5 is less important.  I don’t think I’ve ever been asked for my transcripts.  In addition to the scans, I suggest bringing the originals.  I have never been asked for my original degrees and certifications, but I know that it does occasionally happen.

Application Strategy

Most people take the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks approach”.  Personally, I don’t recommend it, but the choice is yours.  It seems like a lot of extra, and unnecessary work.  Are you really going to write a specific email and cover letter for each job you apply to?

You want your email and/or cover letter to look like it was written SPECIFICALLY for the job you’re applying to.

An email and co and you’ll end up writing ‘canned’ emails and cover letters.

If you’ve applied to College/University, I’m sure you recall the following strategy

  1. Dream Schools
  2. Targeted Schools
  3. Safety Schools

Following Up – Persistence

There is no hard and fast rule as to what is appropriate.  However, doing it is a must.

As I mentioned in another article, I’ve followed up on an International University job that had been posted for only 2 hours that was filled by the time I called.  That’s not the norm.

What I do is;

  1. Call to see if the job is still available.
  2. While doing this I try to find out some more information such as the Hiring Manager’s name.  (*Be careful to not ask too many questions, especially questions that aren’t pertinent at the moment.  It’s common for applicants to ask questions that will only matter IF I make them a job offer.  Never mind that I haven’t even offered them an interview yet.)
  3. I will do research on that person (Facebook).  (*Yes, there is a 100% certainty that the potential employers will do the same to you.  So it might be time to do a little housecleaning or to fiddle with permission controls.)
  4. Next, I send my email out, making sure to include something I’ve gleaned from their Facebook page to form a connection with them.  (*Make sure it doesn’t seem like you’ve stalked their Facebook :D)
  5. Finally, I follow-up later in the day or the following morning to confirm my application was received.  This shows that I’m organized, detailed-oriented, and that I don’t work off of assumptions.  You can do this and it won’t feel like you’re pestering the employer.  At this point, I will briefly inquire into the application timeline if it wasn’t mentioned in the job listing.  For example, when is the start date, when will interviews take place, etc.

There’s a fine line between being persistent, and being annoying.  If I tell you I’ll call you on the 7th, don’t call me on the 6th to follow up.  Either call me late on the 7th or early on the 8th.