How to Create a Great TEFL CV and Grab a Fantastic TEFL Job!

By Katie Baxter
Guest blogger from

Follow these simple rules and you’ll soon have a glowing CV/resume that’ll make employers weep for joy! Remember that what seems acceptable back home in a CV is not always the same when applying for TEFL jobs over the other side of the world!

Create a basic CV:

Firstly, here are some considerations:

  • Once you have a basic CV/resume, it’s easy to tailor it for any particular teaching job.
  • There is no right or wrong resume, but there are some principles that work well in the TEFL industry.
  • Your resume should support your application letter.

Key skills – Don’t forget to include a ‘key skills’ section. If you speak English, that is already an enormous skill to focus on. Keep any experience or qualifications relevant to the teaching position you’re applying for.

We’d suggest leaving out ‘personal goals’ or ‘career highlights/objectives’ as this can seem egotistical in some cultures- but if they are relevant then it’s your decision whether to include them or not.

Job description – if you take anything from this blog, take this… identify the selection criteria in the original job advert. Then, highlight this in your cover letter AND THEN restate the selection criteria in your key skills section. This shows the employer that you have fully read the advert and have the relevant skills.

Keep it relevant – remove anything that doesn’t scream ‘I CAN DO THIS JOB WELL’. Keep it succinct and punchy. The following tips should help:

  1. Use the same font as your application. It creates a good impression – you’ve made an effort to present a professional package.
  2. Start with most recent qualifications and experience.
  3. Key skills should be nouns.
  4. For current responsibilities use verb + ing.
  5. For past jobs use past tense.
  6. Make sure you are consistent with word forms and punctuation. For example, make sure a list of past responsibilities is all past tense, not a mixture of past tense and verb + ing. Use full stops after all or no items in a list – not just some of them. Care and consistency is especially important for an English teacher. If your resume is sloppy, an employer will think your work in class will be sloppy.
  7. A professional photo of yourself is a helpful addition if you feel comfortable adding this in.

If you see a job that you know is right for you, but you don’t have something they ask for, what would you do?

We suggest you should apply anyway and not mention the issue. For better or worse, the TEFL field is demand-driven. If you can sell yourself as the perfect candidate, the school may ignore the stated requirements.

However, in terms of legal requirements (e.g. needing a degree to get a work visa) there may be no way around it.


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