Whether you choose to do this in the UK or abroad, teaching English as a foreign language can be a very rewarding career move.
However, these positions can be competitive and you need to put your communication skills to good use if you hope to create an engaging application that gives you an edge.
Find out how to showcase your language skills effectively on your CV using our writing guide below. You can also check out our TEFL CV example to inspire you further.
TEFL CV example
This example CV demonstrates how to structure and format your own TEFL CV, so that it can be easily digested by busy hiring managers, and quickly prove why you are suitable for the jobs you are applying to.
It also gives you a good idea of the type of skills, experience and qualifications that you need to be highlighting in your CV.
TEFL CV layout and format
In today’s fast-paced job market, recruiters and employers are often short on time. If they can’t locate the information they’re searching for within a few seconds, it could result in them overlooking your application.
To avoid this happening, it’s critical to structure and format your CV in a way that allows them to quickly identify your key skills and offerings, even when they’re pressed for time.
Tips for formatting your TEFL CV
- Length: Your CV should always be limited to two sides of A4, regardless of whether you have a year or three decades of experience. With recruiters juggling multiple responsibilities, they don’t have time to sift through lengthy applications.
- Readability: To help recruiters quickly skim through your CV, it’s important to format your section headings with bold or a different colour font and break up lengthy paragraphs into short sharp bullet points. This enables them to easily identify important information and assess your suitability.
- Design: It’s generally best to stick to a simple CV design, as funky or elaborate designs rarely add any value to your application. A clear, modern font and a subtle colour scheme work perfectly and allow your skills, experience and achievements to speak for themselves.
- Photos: Profile photos or aren’t a requirement for most industries, so you don’t need to add one in the UK – but if you do, just make sure it looks professional
Quick tip: Creating a professional CV style can be difficult and time-consuming when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. To create a winning CV quickly, try our partner’s CV Builder and use one of their eye-catching professional CV templates.
When writing your CV, break up the content into the following key sections, to ensure it can be easily digested by busy recruiters and hiring managers:
- Contact details – Always list these at the very top of your CV – you don’t want them to be missed!
- Profile – An introductory paragraph, intended to grab recruiters attention and summarise your offering.
- Work experience / career history – Working from your current role and working backwards, list your relevant work experience.
- Education – Create a snappy summary of your education and qualifications.
- Interest and hobbies – An optional section to document any hobbies that demonstrate transferable skills.
Now you understand the basic layout of a CV, here’s what you should include in each section of yours.
Tuck your contact details into the corner of your CV, so that they don’t take up too much space.
Stick to the basic details, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address – It should sound professional, such as your full name.
- Location -Just write your rough location, rather than your full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – If you include these, ensure they’re sleek, professional and up-to-date.
TEFL CV Profile
Recruiters read through countless applications every day.
If they don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll simply move onto the next one.
That’s what makes your CV profile (or personal statement, if you’re an entry-level/graduate candidate) so important.
This short and snappy summary sits at the top of your CV, and should give a high-level overview of why you’re a good match for the job.
This way, you can ensure that busy recruiters see your suitability from the outset, and so, feel your CV is worth their time.
CV profile writing tips:
- Make it short and sharp: Aim for a short, snappy paragraph of 3-5 lines. This is just enough room to showcase why you’d make the perfect hire, without going into excessive detail and overwhelming busy recruiters.
- Tailor it: If recruiters don’t see your suitability within a few seconds, they may close your CV straight away. Your CV profile should closely match the essential requirements listed in the job ad, so make sure to review them before you write it.
- Don’t add an objective: Career goals and objectives are best suited to your cover letter, so don’t waste space with them in your CV profile.
- Avoid generic phrases: Focus on fact, not fluff. Phrases like “Committed and enthusiastic thought-leader” and “Dynamic problem solver” might sound fancy, but they’ll do nothing for your application. Not only do they sound cheesy, but they have no substance – stick to real skills and facts
Example CV profile for a TEFL Teacher
What to include in your TEFL CV profile?
- Experience overview: Start with a brief summary of your relevant experience so far. How many years experience do you have? What type of companies have you worked for? What industries/sectors have you worked in? What are your specialisms?
- Targeted skills: Ensure that your profile highlights your key skills that are most relevant to teaching English as a foreign language , and tailor them to match the specific job you are applying for. To do this, refer to the job description to closely align your skills with their requirements.
- Key qualifications: If you have any qualifications which are highly relevant to TEFL jobs, then highlight them in your profile so that employers do not miss them.
Quick tip: If you are finding it difficult to write an attention-grabbing CV profile, choose from hundreds of pre-written profiles across all industries, and add one to your CV with one click in our partner’s CV Builder. All profiles are written by recruitment experts and easily tailored to suit your unique skillset.
Core skills section
In addition to your CV profile, your core skills section provides an easily digestible snapshot of your skills – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy hiring managers.
As TEFL jobs might receive a huge pile of applications, this is a great way to stand out and show off your suitability for the role.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points and be made up of skills that are highly relevant to the jobs you are targeting.
Important skills for your TEFL CV
English language proficiency – Maintaining a strong command of the English language, including grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
Lesson planning – Creating lesson plans that are engaging, effective, and appropriate for the level and needs of the students.
Classroom management – Maintaining a positive and productive learning environment, managing student behaviour, and handling any issues that may arise in the classroom.
Cultural sensitivity – Understanding and respecting different cultures while working with students from various backgrounds and nationalities.
Assessment and evaluation – Assessing and evaluating student progress including designing and implementing effective assessments and providing meaningful feedback to students.
Technology – Utilising technology to enhance learning and engage students.
Quick tip: Our partner’s CV Builder has thousands of in-demand skills for all industries and professions, that can be added to your CV in seconds – This will save you time and ensure you get noticed by recruiters.
Work experience section
Recruiters will be itching to know more about your relevant experience by now.
Kick-start this section with your most recent (or current) position, and work your way backwards through your history.
You can include voluntary and freelance work, too – as long as you’re honest about the nature of the work.
Structuring each job
If you don’t pay attention to the structure of your career history section, it could quickly become bulky and overwhelming.
Get in recruiters’ good books by creating a pleasant reading experience, using the 3-step structure below:
Provide a brief overview of the job as a whole, such as what the overriding purpose of your job was and what type of company you worked for.
Using easy-to-read bullet points, note down your day-to-day responsibilities in the role.
Make sure to showcase how you used your hard sector skills and knowledge.
To finish off each role and prove the impact you made, list 1-3 stand out achievements, results or accomplishments.
This could be anything which had a positive outcome for the company you worked for, or perhaps a client/customer.
Where applicable, quantify your examples with facts and figures.
Sample job description for a TEFL CV
Provide online instruction on reading, writing, and speaking to non-native English adults, for a global educational company that offers individuals, universities, and businesses with test preparation, student recruitment, and language services.
- Establish structured lesson plans and teaching materials for each session, including textbooks, reading materials, hand-outs, and visual aids.
- Use video conferencing to teach English to students from different parts of the globe, such as Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, and North/central Africa.
- Administer, grade, and convey feedback on assignments, tests, and projects to determine students’ level of English proficiency.
- Monitor student progress, identify areas of improvement, and adjust lessons as needed to optimise vocabulary, composition, and comprehension capabilities.
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our partner’s CV Builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
Education and qualifications
After your work experience, your education section should provide a detailed view of your academic background.
Begin with those most relevant to TEFL jobs, such as vocational training or degrees.
If you have space, you can also mention your academic qualifications, such as A-Levels and GCSEs.
Focus on the qualifications that are most relevant to the jobs you are applying for.
Hobbies and interests
The hobbies and interests CV section isn’t mandatory, so don’t worry if you’re out of room by this point.
However, if you have an interesting hobby, or an interest that could make you seem more suitable for the role, then certainly think about adding.
Be careful what you include though… Only consider hobbies that exhibit skills that are required for roles in TEFL, or transferable workplace skills.
There is never any need to tell employers that you like to watch TV and eat out.
Once you’ve written your teaching English as a foreign language CV, you should proofread it several times to ensure that there are no typos or grammatical errors.
With a tailored punchy profile that showcases your relevant experience and skills, paired with well-structured role descriptions, you’ll be able to impress employers and land interviews.
Good luck with your next job application!