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Writing a resume for a TEFL job

Writing a resume for a TEFL job 


First off, you should know that writing for an overseas job is quite different from writing a typical resume for a UK based company. That is obvious of course seeing as the requirement will be completely different. 

There will be some odd and potentially overly personal questions thrown into the mix too, depending on which country you’re applying to. Such as; marital status, language capability, 1st language, ethnicity, or even as blunt as skin colour in some places, but don’t be disheartened or put off, they’re just as keen to find the perfect teacher as you are to find the perfect school.


Find what’s fit.

You want to make sure that what you’re applying for fits both your needs as well as the employers. So, make sure you thoroughly read the job requirement before sending off your CV. If they’re looking for an Italian woman and you’re a French man, then it should be apparent that it’s not for you. You can save yourself a lot of time and email checking, if you just make sure you are suited for this job. Not only do you save time by doing this but it also eliminates the risk of disappointment if your school isn’t what you expected. You do not want to end up teaching 1st grade when you thought you’d be teaching 8th or vise versa. Check, check, leave it a day and then check again, I really can’t stress this point enough.


Posing for a professional, picture perfect resume pic.

You’re picture will be examined by a few people before you’re selected for the job, so sending the right image is key for landing your dream job. For higher education or language schools, the professional look never fails. It says ‘look at me, I’m a teacher, ready to teach!’. If you’re applying for pre-school education or anything around that age, professional is still the goal here but more smart-casual. Something that says; ‘look at me, I’m open to new things and want to have fun with all of you in class.’ 

So, before sending you’re best selfie over, take one last look and decide if it’s suitable for the job you’re applying for.


Blab, white space and formatting.

Chances are, your resume will be read by a non-native English speaker, this means that all those big and professional words you’ve thrown in there for extra points will get overlooked or misread. So, KISS…(keep it simple stupid). Don’t worry about all those fancy words, just make sure it’s easy to read, professional and straight to the point, with plenty of headings and space between sections. 


Key areas to cover:

In general these are the categories you need to include in your CV (in this order):

Name and Contact details – this can be centered at the top of the CV or left aligned

Personal details – left aligned

Your photo – on the right

The remainder of your CV is left aligned, in reverse chronological order including:

Education with date of attendance, degree and major, city and state of said institution

Work Experience with dates, city and county, position and responsibilities

Volunteer Experience - This means any tutoring, work at university that you performed without pay (mentoring), writing for the newspaper, conducting tours, etc.

Interests and Experiences - Do you love to learn languages? Have you hosted an exchange student?

Mention Travel - Have you lived abroad, been an exchange student, or traveled for ecotourism?

References available upon request – Have at least three ready, and make sure they are okay with being contacted.


So, finally, once you think you’ve got the perfect resume and are ready to apply for that dream job you saw a while back, check it, check it again, have someone else check it and then, set it loose and let it do all the leg work for you! Good luck, and happy travels!


We hope you enjoyed reading this post. Remember to share with your friends and fellow teachers. Do you have anything to share? If so, get in touch!


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The TEFL Professional Development Institute’s FREE Online TEFL Certificate is your answer to: ‘How do I teach English as a second language?’. The TEFL Professional Development Institute has been created to modernise TEFL Teacher training. TEFL Teacher training SHOULD NOT be prohibitively expensive. Education liberates the mind it is the right of every person. The TEFL Professional Development Institute aims to modernise global TEFL Teacher training and TEFL Certification….[About]

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