Your Guide To Write The Perfect ELT Resume To Get Hired

25th May 2022

How to write an ESL teacher resume is the elephant in the room! The TEFL journey is definitely a worth while one to experience for all the teachers who decide to give their mundane teaching profession a global quirk.

While teaching a language comes with its share of challenges when in a different culture, the satisfaction of being around diversity over compensates for it. Jobs to teach English abroad is easy to find with so many TEFL providers coming up with their updated partnerships with recruiting agencies and schools all around the world. However, the real roadblock in this cake walk is to frame that perfect resume/CV. Let us focus on that here!

Here are a few key points to understand the various angles and perspectives that would help you to develop and work on your document.

1. Difference between a resume and a CV

A resume is a shorter design that is majorly based on your experiences. Your experiences are more detailed and the other details like your personal information, qualifications, other skills and certifications, etc are precisely highlighted. CV stands for curriculum vitae which is basically the broader version of the resume where you extensively elaborate on your educational background, skills, internships, formal as well as informal teaching experiences, etc.

Understand that if the recruiter asks for a CV/resume you must have both ready and send only the one that they have asked for.

2. Emphasize on the TEFL/TESOL certification

Harp on the hours covered in the certification, theory as well as practicum. If you are not a native speaker, highlight if you have language teaching/foreign language learning experience where the triumphs and tribulations prove to be useful for your ESL job undertakings.  

3. A professional photograph

Majorly in Asia, the recruiters want to see their potential ESL teachers. A professional headshot should be attached. The photograph should be clicked against a neutral background preferably a white wall and one must look well groomed with minimum distractions made by the outfit or the background.

4. Sound technical and relevant to the TEFL field

Avoid using generic and mainstream phrases for objectives like “asset to the organization”, “very dynamic personality who can bring in fresh ideas”. As a matter of fact, also avoid just listing out a few words for the sake of filling out columns like skills, hobbies, interests, etc.

Prepare a professional CV for teaching English abroad

Use terms or relevant vocabulary that you have come across during your TEFL certification journey. For example, keeping it connected to concepts like TPR, CLT, TBL, suggestopedia, receptive skills, productive skills, affective filter, bloom’s taxonomy, multiple intelligence, error correction, etc.

Remember, that recruiters look for passionate teachers and it has nothing to do with sounding emotional or mainstream. When you are passionate about getting the job, one is likely to get very technical as that reflects your sound knowledge and empathy.

5. Attachments and links along with the CV/resume

Attaching an intro video goes without saying. Additionally, you must prepare a demo teaching/microteaching video where you take up a lesson plan and present it in a skeletal way just to give an idea to the recruiter that you know about the components to be the covered in a lesson and also an idea about your knowledge of the approaches.

If you have classroom or virtual teaching experience (formal and/or informal), you must attach snippets from the same in the form of pictures or short videos of your classroom activities, engagements, etc.

Ideally, the videos/photographs/posters can be uploaded on google drive and saved with an open access. So, when the recruiters find the copy of the link on the CV/resume, they are able to access the same. This is definitely a smart move and the attachments add some seriousness to your application.

Remember that beside these vital points, you must also avoid to highlight on your past experiences too much if they are not relevant to the teaching field. If you are a non-native speaker, a TEFL course certification is necessary as the recruiter will ask for this.

With all these put together in one piece, the possibility of getting a secure ESL job only becomes more open.

Written By : Park Jin Ae

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