TEFL tips – writing the perfect CV

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Writing a TEFL CV can be a challenge, especially if you’ve just graduated from a TEFL course, so we thought we’d pass on some tips and tricks for writing an impressive CV that’s sure to land you that teaching job you’re after!

Content

Start off with your name and contact details, then follow with a brief personal profile. For example:

British university graduate with a TEFL qualification. An excellent communicator with experience teaching learners of all levels. Intermediate level Spanish, beginner level Catalan. 

Then follow this with your professional experience. Don’t worry if you don’t have any teaching experience, you can include your teaching practice hours in this section. For example:

TEFL Iberia – taught adult learners in multilingual and monolingual groups of all levels using both textbooks and self-created lesson plans. Experience teaching grammar with a focus on the communicative approach as well as incorporating elements of the lexical approach in teaching vocabulary, general English and ESP as well as private one to one classes.

Follow the teaching practice with any other professional experience, focusing heavily on anything teaching related, such as training other staff members, mentoring younger students, sports coaching or organising workshops:

Glasgow Film Theatre – ticketing assistant. Responsible for training new employees in ticket sales, programming and cash handling. Excellent customer service skills, good at working under pressure and using initiative to solve problems. 

If you have a background in business, finance or law, be sure to include this, as these are transferrable skills for teaching English for specific purposes – business English, or legal English.

After the section on professional experience, include your qualifications (university/college/TEFL) and then end with two referees – one from previous employment and then a TEFL referee, such as the head tutor on your course.

Format

Keep it simple – black text on a white background. Make sure your spacing and font are consistent through. Try to keep your CV to one page. Reducing the font size to 11 can give you a bit of extra space while still keeping the text large enough to be legible. And get a friend to proofread it for you – typos are the last thing you want when applying for a job as an English teacher!

Alternatively, if you’d like to jazz it up you can use a CV template on Canva to add a bit of personality.

Your photo

It might seem strange to put a photo on your CV, but it’s common practice in Spain to have a small, passport-size photo in the top corner of your CV. The photo should be a head and shoulders snap, against a white background. Ask a friend to take your photo – it looks more professional than a selfie!

Cover letter

It’s always best to tailor your cover letter to the specific job advert instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach. It shows that you’re interested in that specific role, that you’ve paid attention to their specifications and that you’re willing to put in the time and effort to apply – generic cover letters just read as lazy, which is not the best impression when applying for a job! It’s also worth doing a bit of research to find out who the course coordinator or director is so you can address the letter to them by name. And put the text in the body of the email, not as an attachment – it means the recipient will see it right away.

Things you shouldn’t include

Don’t include your secondary school qualifications if you’ve already included your university qualifications. Hobbies are widely included in CVs, but they can be cut if you’re short on space. Don’t list every job you’ve had since you were sixteen – employers will be looking out for experience specific to teaching or training, so that pizza delivery job you had when you were seventeen isn’t really relevant!

So good luck with writing your CV – hopefully these guidelines will make it a bit easier!

Contact us if you'd like to learn more about TEFL in Barcelona.

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