TEFL CV Guide

There are great TEFL jobs worldwide in our TEFL Jobs Centre, and our blog is full of helpful tips and insight into the world of teaching English as a foreign language. But to find a fantastic job teaching English as a foreign language, you first need a great CV!

We go the extra mile to help after you complete your TEFL course with us, and you can create the perfect CV with our CV builder.  Just enter your details and create a stylish online CV/resume that you can share with schools around the world – your TEFL Org qualifications will be automatically included!

My CVNew CVBrowse CVs (employers only)

How to Write Your TEFL CV

What you need to include and top tips to writing your perfect CV is below:


Personal information

Name, address, email, and phone number are essential details on any CV but on a TEFL CV, you also need to include nationality and date of birth. Some countries have visa restrictions based on nationality and age, so this is essential information employers need to be able to check immediately.

It can also be useful to add in your Skype username as many interviews are conducted online.

Add a Photo

In some countries, it isn’t typical to include a photograph of yourself on a CV, but it’s important to include on a TEFL CV. As you are not going to be interviewing in person, this is your chance to put a personal human touch on an otherwise dry stage of the application process.

Here are 5 tips for choosing the ideal photo:

1 – Avoid passport photos and selfies
2 – Look like the ideal teacher – confident, friendly and professional
3 – Choose a good quality photograph that’s around 600 to 1000 pixels wide
4 – Send the photo as an attachment, or as a small picture on your CV
5 – Use your common sense

A professional headshot of a woman with short hair and glassesA woman holding a beer in a party atmosphere

Education/Qualifications

When you’re applying for a teaching job, your TEFL qualification should always be the first qualification listed on your CV, along with the date awarded. It’s also important to mention the number of hours in your qualification. You may wish to mention, depending on the job, specific features of your course such as modules in teaching business English, teaching young learners, your grammar course, teaching practices or video classroom observation.

If you’re already a qualified teacher holding a PGCE, BEd or equivalent, this should come next, mentioning the date qualified, where you studied and which subject you trained in.

Next, if you have one, should come your degree(s), mentioning university, subject, grade and date awarded.

After that, put any other relevant further and higher education qualifications, particularly if they include anything related to teaching or English. Resist the temptation, however, to put down every certificate you’ve ever earned – an HNC in childcare may help your application, a certificate of attendance for a cake decorating course probably won’t!

Lastly, put your school qualifications along with subjects, grade, relevant dates and where you studied for them. Include relevant subjects such as English or a foreign language. If you have significant post-school qualifications or if a long time has passed since your school days, you can miss these out or not mention each individual subject and grade.

You can also mention, if applicable, any ability in a foreign language.

Example:

Education

The TEFL Org, Edinburgh
TEFL Certificate, 120 Hours March 2019
Including: Grammar certificate, teaching young learners, teaching business English

University of Glasgow
BA (Hons) Philosophy (2:1) 2009 – 2013

ABC High School 
A Levels (History- A, French -B, Maths- C) 2007-2009

ABC High School
10 GCSEs, including English Language, English Literature and French 2003-2007

Foreign languages: Fluent in French


Employment

Detail your previous employment in reverse chronological order, mentioning your position, the company or organisation you worked for, the location and the relevant dates. Include a couple of lines about your responsibilities and achievements in each position. Make sure to explain any gaps e.g. missing employment dates.

Try to ensure you only mention activities relevant to TEFL – be sure to highlight coaching and mentoring in the work place, organisational duties, giving presentations, or running any staff training. These skills are more important to a TEFL job application than writing in detail about the sort of cars a mechanic works on or being a qualified ice cream scooper.

If you are applying for a business English position, you may wish to be more specific when describing responsibilities in business related jobs, mentioning that you worked in areas such as negotiations, sales or finance.

Voluntary positions can also be added. Mention and emphasise any teaching, training or presentation experience. If you have experience as a teacher or classroom assistant, include the ages you worked with.

Make sure you keep the language very simple in this section. A foreign employer may not have English as a first language and even a native English speaker likely won’t understand complicated industry jargon, so you need to be sure your TEFL CV is clear and concise!

Example

Employment to date

Sales Manager, A Big Store, London, UK (September 2006- Present)
Among my responsibilities, I have trained, mentored and coached new staff. I regularly give presentations to the management board and large groups from other organisations. I have regular weekly deadlines that must be met while managing and engaging with a team of 20.

Sales assistant, A Smaller Store, Hull (June 2003 – September 2006)
As well as my sales duties, I was responsible for developing relationships with suppliers and organising delivery schedules.


Other Information

Having a section for other relevant information can allow you to show any experience, skills or personality that isn’t already conveyed by your employment and education history. Sometimes a job posting might ask for specific experience or skills, such as a full clean driving license, and this is where you should mention it.

Keep this section short! Don’t use this as an excuse to list every certificate you have ever earned. Again, make sure that you write about things that are relevant to teaching English as a foreign language. One or two hobbies, such as playing in a band in the example, can show that you are social and confident in front of others.

What to mention:

  • Any training/teaching/leadership roles held outside of work
    • Travel experience, particularly if you have lived in a foreign country
    • Computer literacy
    • First aid certificate
    • Driving license
    • A few appropriate hobbies to show personality
    • You may wish to mention here if you have a particular affinity for aspects of the culture in your chosen country

Example

Useful Information

Interests: I am a very active person and enjoy many outdoor pursuits, including mountain biking and hiking. I am also a talented drummer and play in a local band. I have travelled to many countries in Europe and enjoy its variety of culture.

IT Literacy: Word, Excel, Front Page and Office

Driving licence: I have a full licence and have been driving for 5 years.

Checking it over

Now you’ve put everything together, it’s really important to proof read and make sure everything is correct. Read it through multiple times and take some time away from it in order to check it again with fresh eyes. It’s also a good idea to ask someone else to give it a read as well.

Remember, you’re applying for a job that requires an exceptional command of English, so any mistake on your CV could cost you the job!

The layout is also very important – it’s key that your CV looks attractive, professional, and the information is presented clearly. It also needs to be under two pages, so if you’re over at this point you need to do some trimming or reformat it to get it under.

When you’re happy with it, save it under an appropriate name so an employer can easily identify your CV from the file name alone – for example, “CV-JaneDoe-EFLTeacher.pdf”.

The next thing you’ll need is a top-notch cover letter, so make sure to check out our top 10 tips for writing a great TEFL cover letter.

And visit our TEFL Jobs Centre for great teaching positions all over the world.

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