Once you have completed your TEFL course you will nearly be ready to start applying for jobs. One of the most important aspects of looking for a job in any field is to build a solid resume that will be attractive to employers and help you stand out from competitors.
Many jobs these days are advertised online. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and one of the best place to start your search. In order to do this you will need to build an online resume so that potential employers can learn about your skills and qualifications straight from your profile.
Here are our tips for creating an online CV and using LinkedIn to find TEFL jobs:
- We recommend you start creating a network by following English teaching institutions and groups. All those contacts have the potential to help grow your career or find a new job.
- Join groups. LinkedIn communities are groups of professionals with a common interest. This online platform will be a great way to discuss teaching and even find out about job openings and receive tips and advice. Be visible, comment on and post in relevant discussions. TEFL Org LinkedIn Group
- Set your headline so that employers can find you easily. If you want to be considered for a teaching job in Thailand, go for something along the lines of “Qualified TEFL Teacher in Thailand”. This will help you appear in front of employers searching for TEFL teachers in this area.
- Although LinkedIn is online, don’t treat it like a social network such as Facebook. You still need to present yourself as professional in the same way you would on paper.
Creating a professional eResume
Here are our top tops in creating your online resume:
Use a professional photo
Bathroom selfies or a cropped photo from a night out won’t do! Make a good impression and use a recognisable portrait of yourself.
In addition to your formal education, your TEFL qualification is important to highlight. Make sure to specify who you took your course with: employers will be looking for accredited TEFL course providers such as TEFL Org. Outline how many hours of training you completed including any specialist courses such as Teaching Young Learners, Teaching Large Classes or Teaching English Online. Some of these courses might be especially relevant to where you are looking for a job. For instance, in Vietnam classes can have up to 60 pupils so the Teaching Large Classes module could set you aside from your competitors.
Previous work experience
You should mention any experience of living abroad, extensive cultural exposure or international volunteering as this shows independence and adaptability. For career changers and first time teachers, pull out and build on relevant non-teaching experience. Employers will be curious about your pre-TEFL career so make sure to highlight transferable skills such as public speaking, coaching, communication, creativity, working with young children, foreign languages etc.
If you have had teaching experience, include information about the type of school and the age of children you taught, as well as any achievements in teaching such as designing the curriculum. Demonstrate your development and career progression. You should give the impression that you are serious about teaching and not just a backpacker looking for extra cash.
Interests and hobbies
This section can be used to highlight your personality fit. Include relevant activities such as sports coaching. Avoid solitary activities as this does not show your ability to work with others.
You will need to include your degree qualification, if you have one, as this is a visa requirement for working in some countries. You don’t need to know a foreign language to teach English abroad, but if you do have one this would be worth including. Finally make sure your contact information is readily available and easy to read.