5 Tips to Write a Professional Resume for Getting Hired to Teach English Overseas

How many pages should a resume have for an international ESL job?

Should I add a photo or not while applying for a teaching English job overseas?

We are sure there are a lot more queries related to creating a professional and hireable ESL resume, which will stand out from the crowd and will create an impression on your recruiters. Well, there are a certain amount of hard and fast rules for international resumes. Very few of the CVs stand out in general. You need to build an impact quickly because an employer/ recruiter on an average spends almost between 5 seconds and 30 seconds to scan your CV. Due to the high demand for English teaching overseas jobs, the employer/interviewer get resumes from a lot of people who are well versed in the field. So, you have to forward a distinctive as well as an eye-catching resume rather than an unexciting one.

But don’t worry; it’s not very difficult to make one. A TEFL CV is not so poles apart from a regular CV. Here’s how you can construct your professional profile for being hireable.

The 6 major elements of a TEFL CV are:

  1. Your name
  2. Your educational background
  3. The current company you work for (if you are employed)
  4. Your previous employment (if you have)
  5. The starting date of your current position (if you have)
  6. The start and end dates of your previous position (if you have)

Let’s dive in.


What should be the length of your resume? Generally, most interviewers collect hundreds and thousands of resumes, and shortlist the best ones. This is not an easy task for them. Therefore, it goes without saying that building a defined, crisp, and attractive resume is vital. Ensure the fact that you will comprise all of your necessary information in one page. The interviewer may not be interested in flipping pages if your resume is longer, instead of that, they could finish up looking at the first page and discontinue.

That Crucial First Impression

Avoid the use of Italics – it will be hard to read. Select a font (Times New Roman, if possible) which is easily legible. Arial and Calibri are also being considered as understandable fonts. Stick on to black and dark fonts, however, there is no custom stating that you can’t choose a colour font for your resume. The accepted standard font size is generally between 10 and 12.


What to include in your resume? While creating the CV, always try to remember that you are advertising yourself as a flexible teacher who is prepared enough to move to a new country, can adapt, and serve up the needs of students along with the school. Try to highlight any teaching experience or training experience if you have. Highlight your educational and academic pursuits and record your skills, certification, and course work in a brief manner. Always include your country code with your telephone number.

Avoid Using Difficult Terminology

Don’t use complex terminologies and languages. As you will be teaching students from non-English speaking countries predominantly, hence, it means that the interviewer may not be a native English speaker essentially. That’s why you should stay away from using difficult English words in your CV so that the employer can comprehend. Another critical point to keep in mind is that you should not write resumes in the first person.

Difference Between a Resume and a CV

Well, you need to understand the difference. Usually, you’re perhaps used to calling it a resume in America. However, in a lot of the parts of the world, a resume is more frequently called a CV, or Curriculum Vitae. If you ask, technically there is a bit of a variation between the two, but in universal, “CV” is usually being used in countries where the British English is used, as well as Europe and Asia. A resume is classically much shorter than a CV, only one or two pages long, as well as contains the most appropriate information only. A CV is often longer.

Additional Guidelines Provided

  • Never lie in a resume
  • You must attach a professional profile photo of yours, especially if you are applying for jobs in Asian countries.
  • A formal email ID should follow in your resume with your first name and last name.
  • Nationality
  • Make sure your name is on top, bolded, and in a bigger font
  • State hobbies only if they are applicable to the job
  • If you are a bilingual person, add it to the resume
  • Extracurricular activities and accomplishments (if you have)
  • Skills
  • Comprise your other work practice internship, projects and even volunteer work
  • Highlight headings or subheadings by using bold
  • Divide the sections using white space
  • Stay away from abbreviations
  • Consider creating a LinkedIn profile to support your CV
  • You can comprise hyperlinks in your CV to any work you have done online
  • Try to list at least three references that you know well. Provide their name, title, company/school name, telephone number (country code) and email address

When you complete your online TEFL diploma course which is 21st century framework based, make sure you emphasize your TEFL certification subsequently, so that your employer can observe it rapidly. If you have any other certifications which can be associated with teaching, add them. Remember, the time devoted to putting it together can pay off well.

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