8 Top Tips for writing a TEFL/TESOL CV
Don’t provide unnecessary personal information
There is no need to give your marital status or the number of children you have on your TEFL/TESOL CV. Just your name, D.O.B., nationality and contact information is sufficient. Bear in mind that if you are from a non-native speaking country, you would be better off not putting your nationality on your CV.
Use a professional email address
Make sure you have an appropriate email address. The funny one you use with your friends and family is probably not appropriate for your TEFL/TESOL CV. It is easy to create a free email address to use solely when applying for jobs and using one based on your name is a good idea.
Be clear about what you want
Be sure to include a clear objective. This will necessarily change as your career advances and will also need to be adapted to suit the country or city you are planning to teach in.
Keep it brief but to the point
Ideally your TEFL/TESOL CV should only be one page but if it is more than this make sure that all the information a potential employer is looking for clearly visible on the first page. This should include your teaching qualification, degree and any teaching or teaching related experience you have. Potential employers will no search your CV for relevant information, so make sure it is there for them to see as soon as they look at your CV.
Provide relevant information
Keep the information in your TEFL/TESOL CV relevant to the job you are applying for. Employers are not going to be interested in the summer job you had sweeping the floor of the local supermarket. You should only provide a description of your job if it involved teaching related experience such as training/mentoring or it was a position of authority. In general you don’t need to go back further than 5 or 6 years unless you have been with the same company for some time or the jobs were relevant to teaching.
Check, check, and check again
Check for incorrect spelling and grammar. This is true for all CVs but it is especially important if you are applying for a job as an English teacher. Even the smallest error will see your CV tossed aside. Check your CV twice and ask someone else to read it for you.
Be consistent in your formatting
Choose one font for the whole document and stick to it! Using different fonts for headings, different sections etc., looks messy and unprofessional. Choose a font which is plain and easy to read. Overly ornate or handwriting style fonts make the page too busy and difficult to read. DO NOT USE ALL CAPS. They look ugly and large blocks of capitalised text are difficult to read. If you want to emphasise a heading, use bold or font size instead.
Also read: 6 Steps to Becoming a TEFL Trainer
Don’t go crazy with the colour palette
Everybody wants their CV to stand out from the crowd, but for the majority of TEFL jobs; going wild with the colour palette is not advisable. Highlighting your qualifications and experience is a better way to make your TEFL/TESOL CV grab an employer’s attention than having your name in rainbow letters emblazoned across the top.
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