I have been privy to a number of resumes received by my school from first year hopefuls trying to find a job. I have also sat in on some demo lessons as well. What I've seen makes me embarrassed for some of these would be teachers, as well as embarrassed for the fellows as a whole. No wonder people find it difficult to find a job... use your common sense, people!
A couple of pointers based on what I've seen in the past month:
#1: If you are sending a resume via email, do not make your cover letter a separate attachment. The body of your email should be the cover letter itself! If you write a boring, generic, or casual email and expect anyone to actually download a cover letter or resume after that, you're wrong. You may have only 8 seconds to make a great impression. Please utilize your emails wisely!
#2: Get the name of your school right! There is no "Brooklyn University." If you sound clueless, certainly we have no reason to believe you're not!
#3: Having a world travel section on your resume makes you seem downright pretentious. And actually, I'll just laugh behind your back from this.
#4: If you are invited to an interview, come on time! In fact, come ten minutes early. Bring extra copies of your resume and dress professionally! Capri pants are not the ideal interview attire.
#5: If you are invited to do a demo lesson, have a lesson plan with you!!! I understand you're not teachers yet, but there are plenty of resources online. There is no excuse to show up empty handed. In addition, a lesson where you present an interesting topic and the students ask questions for 45 minutes is not acceptable! There should be clear parts to your lesson, including some sort of group work component and sharing if you want a chance at landing the job.
#6: If you are asked to give a demo lesson in earth science, it is not acceptable to teach a lesson in astrology!!!!
That's all I have so far. I'm sure the readers of this blog (are there more than 2???) have more sense than to make one of the above blunders, but you never know. I do hope that those teachers who were not called back, or did not get the job, reflect on what they can improve for subsequent interviews. After all, even I went on 4 interviews before I landed my job!