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How To Write An Incredible TEFL CV

Are you all prepped and ready to start applying for exciting teaching jobs all over the world? (Yeah!) Feeling a bit daunted about applying for jobs? (Erm, kinda) Without trying to put you off your adventure, your CV is what will make you stand out compared to other TEFL teachers. No need to panic…with our top tips you’ll be a CV champion in no time!

Let’s get to it!

CV word cloudWhat to include in a TEFL CV

Always be relevant! If you’re a first-time TEFL teacher with no experience (other than your TEFL training) you might be wondering how on earth you tweak your TEFL CV so that it is relevant. Remember those handy transferable skills! E.g. have you organised a sports team? Have you done any coaching? There are even more of these handy tips in ‘TEFL Uncovered’!

You’re a fluent English speaker! The TEFL industry is a demand-driven field (and the demand is huge!) so if you’re looking for a first-time teaching position then the ability to speak English fluently is a MASSIVE selling point alongside your TEFL certificate and degree (if necessary).

Keep it clear and well-organised – Coveted teaching positions will receive lots of applications so employers will want to be able to read your CV quickly AND pick up all the key skills you have to offer. It’s best to organise your CV chronologically so that your most recent experience is at the top. Also, don’t be scared to use bullet points and change font sizes etc. Nothing wrong with making your CV look appealing! We might have to call it a day at flowery borders though…

Your interests – There’s no harm in including some of your relevant interests in the CV too. You’ll want to include anything that demonstrate your leadership skills, show your ability to get results or your interest in travel and other cultures – i.e. Have you lived abroad for a length of time, can you speak another language?

A couple of differences you might not have thought of..

You have to take cultural differences into consideration – in many CV’s it is sometimes appropriate to list career expectations/goals but this isn’t always the case for a TEFL CV. In some countries this may come across as egotistical and disrespectful of local customs – it is therefore more important to demonstrate how you can do the job advertised rather than harping on about where you expect to be in 5 years time. Fair point!

Go digital – Everything is online nowadays, even our grandmas… Grab yourself a Linkedin profile advertising yourself as a professional TEFL teacher. You’ll be surprised how many employers will receive your CV then look you up online!

Should I apply, shouldn’t I?

You’ve seen the PERFECT teaching job, it’s exactly where you want to go (you’ve done several Google-image searches and even looked up local restaurants and accommodation…) but there are a couple of requirements you don’t have – it could be a certain level of training etc. What do you do? Give up and look elsewhere? Or apply anyway?

What do we suggest? Apply anyway! You’ll be able to prove how passionate you are about the job and if the employer likes you they may overlook a few of the requirements for the right candidate (i.e. YOU).

However, if one of the requirements is a degree employers will be unlikely to budge on this (and don’t trust one that will) it will no doubt be due to visa purposes rather than your ability as a teacher. If it is more training you need you can upgrade your TEFL course at any time!

Best of luck in your TEFL job applications! Do you have any top tips to share on how you landed your teaching job?

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  • Steve Sorrell

    Ohh first comment! This is very useful! Thanks for the info! :)

  • Shelley Harter

    Question, I am certified teacher. Do I still need a TEFL certification? I am really just looking in to teaching abroad. There is a lot of information and I’m getting lost in all of it.

  • itoitefl

    Hi Shelley! Whilst there’s no doubt that you’re qualified to teach :) Employers overseas, more often that not, will ask for a TEFL certificate. So it’s worth having a look at current jobs in a country of interest to you and seeing what their requirements are! You can check out our Jobs Board here: Hope this helps! Helen

  • Elizabeth

    I have a bachelor in business administration and a MBA and I’ve been working in corporate world for last 16 years. Part of this time as a corporate trainer. I’m ready for a change and decided to pursue a TELF cert. I am just about finished finished with online courses 120 hours. I’m wondering how I should set up my CV. I really want to work with children but all experience I have in that is from 20 years ago when I used to teach swim lesson and camp counselor. Is that past experience still relevant? Of should I just go for teaching business English to adults?

  • itoitefl

    Hi Elizabeth! Any experience is still useful so if you really want to teach children I’d put this down – it’s always worth giving it a try :) You could always create two separate CVs – one aimed for jobs teaching children and one for business English? Helen