> CV / Résumé Tips

Teach English Worldwide strives to provide clear, comprehensive, and objective advice to anyone interested in teaching English overseas.

The man who can make hard things easy is the educator

R.W. Emerson (American poet and essayist)

Your Curriculum Vitae (referred to as a résumé in the US) and cover letter are your most important tools during your job search. Taking the time to compose these documents with care and professionalism will ensure that you are putting your best foot forward each and every time you apply for a job. For the most part, a TEFL/TESOL-oriented CV and cover letter require the same basic qualities as those for any other job. However, to maximize your chances you should tailor these documents specifically for English teaching positions.

Keeping the following tips in mind will help you to do so:

  • Your CV and cover letter should be a maximum of 1 page each
  • The format and appropriate information for your CV will depend on the country in which you are applying for a job. In most countries outside of the United States, it is common to attach a passport-sized photo, your marital status, your passport number, and your current and permanent addresses (if they differ). You can do some research online to determine exactly the right CV format for the specific country in which you will be working.
  • Your CV should highlight any and all teaching experience or teaching related skills that you possess. Don’t worry if you were not actually working as an EFL teacher.
  • Your CV should list any foreign languages you speak, and your respective ability levels in each language. This is particularly beneficial if the language is spoken in the country where you are applying.
  • You should tailor your CV and cover letter for each job to which you apply. If you will be giving classes to children, discuss any experience with kids (teaching or otherwise). If, on the other hand, it is a business English position, you should focus on your experience in the business world.
  • Be enthusiastic in your cover letter. Highlight your international experience (both travel and work), and your interest and knowledge of the country in which you are applying .
  • Because non-Native English speakers will often review these documents, both documents should be written in clear, straightforward English.
  • Finally, ensure that both your CV and cover letter are devoid of any spelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes. Carefully proofread them several times, and have several other people read them as well.