Let’s face it, it can be quite daunting applying for your first teaching English job; let alone creating a CV that will set you apart from the other applicants! With over 20 years of experience in the TEFL industry, at i-to-i we’ve seen and heard it all before, and are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to things like these, so we thought we’d share with you a short guide on how to write the perfect TEFL CV.
1. Getting started
This is the easy part! Once you’re signed up with i-to-i you can sign-in and browse our jobs board. We’ve made some changes to it, so you can get our Jobs newsletter, which will sent you all the latest TEFL jobs. Take a good look at the job ads and descriptions. Identify what the most important skills employers are looking for and be sure to highlight how you match these with your CV. Sometimes, it can be really helpful to address these within a summary or statement paragraph at the beginning of your paragraph and then back this up with your experience. Whatever seems to be most important to employees needs to be the first skill you discuss and highlight.
2. Contact details
This is one of the most important parts of your TEFL CV. Include your full name and date of birth as well as your nationality (as some countries require this for visa purposes). Make sure you include an email address you can be contacted on, as employers will tend to get in touch with you this way first just for ease.
Most TEFL employers ask you to attach a photo to your CV, but avoid putting up a standard passport pic (let’s face it: we don’t look our best, and it doesn’t give an insight into who we are as a person). Your picture should still be professional and you should dress nice, but SMILE! You want employers to look at you and think ‘they look like a good teacher – I’d like them working at my school’.
Explain to your prospective employer who you are by summing yourself up in a few sentence. Avoid the cliches of ‘working well independently/in a team’ and instead focus on your skills towards teaching, and why you want to move to that particular company as it’ll show you’ve done your research.
5. Your education/employment
Include all your qualifications, starting from the most recent, and any previous jobs or work experience you’ve had. What’s so great about the eResume is once you’ve completed a checkpoint, you can showcase it on your eResume, so you have physical proof of how good you are at planning lessons and completing the tasks required to become a successful TEFL teacher.
6. Other information
Here is where you put anything you feel is relevant to the job, without it falling under any other category – for instance, it could be something like IT skills (proficient in Microsoft Windows) to your ability to drive; to even your hobbies like reading or travelling. Have a think about what makes you so relevant: what transferable skills do you have – were you captain of a sports team, or have you tutored younger students in maths? Any skills that are worth demonstrating to a potential TEFL employer are worth mentioning.
Include two references or a ‘referees available upon request’ at the bottom of your CV. If you haven’t taught before, don’t panic – just make it your previous employers, or if you’ve just come out of University, your tutor. It needs to be from people who know what you’re like in a professional environment.
8. Check your CV!
It can be tempting to just save and send once you’ve finished your CV, but you MUST check it as any silly spelling/grammar mistakes could deter you from getting that interview – how can you teach non-natives grammar if you can’t do it correctly yourself? Check, check and check again and get someone else to check it over – this part is extremely important! Once you’re 100% sure that there are NO mistakes in there whatsoever, you can then send it off to prospective employers.
Now you know how to write the perfect TEFL CV, you can put this guide into practice, and rest assured that you will soon be jetting off on your TEFL adventure… good luck and enjoy!