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

How to Create a Great TEFL CV to Grab a Fantastic TEFL Job!
Admin - Jul 22 2015

There are a lot of sites out in the world wide webland with lots of dos and don’ts when it comes to writing the perfect CV, so what makes this post any different?

Well for starters, it’s tried and tested. This formula has been used to bag many a great TEFL job over the years. It’s almost a secret family recipe, but we want to help you so we’re sharing it with you…

Follow these helpful tips and you’ll soon be living it up in your dream destination with your dream TEFL job!

Top tips for creating a basic CV:

Firstly, you should consider the following:

•    Creating a basic CV/resume will be worth all time spent when you can just tweak it for any particular teaching job – take the time to perfect the basic info and the rest is easy

•    There is no set template, but there are some principles that have been found to work well in the TEFL industry – if it ain’t broke…

•    Your CV should support your application letter, make the most of each document

Key skills – it’s so important to include a ‘key skills’ section. By speaking English, you already have 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 strange and arrogant in some cultures, but it’s your decision.

Job description – 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 demonstrates to whoever is reading your CV 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. We’ve included some of the most helpful tips:

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 keep things 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. It’s important to be careful and consistent, especially as you’re applying to be an English teacher. If your CV 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 perfect for you, but you don’t have something they request, what would you do?

a. Apply anyway and apologise for not having what they want
b. Apply anyway and not mention the issue
c. Not apply

We suggest you should (a) 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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