Your guide to creating the perfect TEFL CV, section by section.
Put your personal information at the top
So start with the essentials – there is always one candidate who has missed out their contact information on their CV. Include your full name, email address, contact telephone number and postal address. Your address is important as employers need to know if you are already in country or need to relocate.
I would also include your Skype ID as this is preempting the next stage. Nationality and age are a sticking point with some applicants. It is important to include these in your CV as there are work visa restrictions for some countries, so it is better to find out at this stage if you are eligible to teach English in that country rather than further down the line, wasting both your and the employer’s time.
Attach a photograph
Try not to use a passport photograph though – I don’t know anyone who looks good in one. Ideally, you are looking for a clear headshot from shoulders up. You want to look friendly and approachable, so remember to smile.
Include your qualifications
First and foremost, your TEFL qualification. Don’t just put ‘TEFL certificate’ on your CV, the recruiter needs to know what the course included and who provided the training e.g. 140-hour Premier TEFL Course, TEFL Courses Ireland Dublin, April 2015.
Followed by your university degree (if you have one) and any other qualifications (professional qualifications, A-levels or equivalents).
Be selective with your work experience
Include only relative work experience on your TEFL CV – so include positions where you worked with children, managed a team or helped mentor or coach individuals. If you are straight out of university and don’t have any work experience, highlight transferable skills that you learnt whilst studying like teamwork, project management and presentation skills. Mention any work experience that you have had abroad.
Add other skills
Depending on the teaching position for example, teaching business English, you may be required to drive to clients so highlight that you have a full clean driving licence. Other foreign language skills can also show that you know what it takes to learn a new language and can be sympathetic towards English language learners.
Provide their name, email address and work address. It is a lot easier for an employer to send a quick email to your references instead of calling, plus there is no need to worry about the time difference.
Check spelling and grammar
Spell check, spell check, spell check! You are applying for a EFL teaching position so your spelling and grammar should be perfect. Get someone who knows you well to read through your CV – they may pick up on any spelling errors that have crept through or if you have missed out a skill that is important to include.
Put it all together
Two A4 pages should be sufficient to cover all necessary points, any more than that and the recruiter could get bored. There are hundreds of applications for some EFL teaching posts so make it as easy as possible for the recruiter to spot the information they are looking for.
If you are emailing your TEFL CV, send it as a PDF document. This way it cannot be edited easily and is less likely that pages will be missed out. Include your name in the file name i.e. AlanMoir_CV.pdf and not just CV.pdf.
Posting or delivering your CV by hand? Print on good-quality, white A4 paper. Try not to fold it in half or let the edges go dog-earred. Don’t worry about putting it in a fancy folder – these usually go straight in the bin.
And volià, your TEFL CV is ready to send out to schools!
Do you have any advice on what to include (or what not to include) on your TEFL CV? Leave your tips in the comments section below.