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 How to Write a TEFL Resume

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John V Asia Teacher
John V Asia Teacher
John V Asia Teacher

PostSubject: How to Write a TEFL Resume   How to Write a TEFL Resume Empty28.05.17 16:40

TEFL Resume Header Design and Content

If your resume is online in a prominent location, employers have already found it. If you lack offers it is because your resume needs improvement. The following guide will help you increase your chances of discovery and getting recruited.


The business card section detailing who you are, what you are and what you offer, with contact details. For online resumes do not include a visible email address unless you want the bucket loads of spam that go with it! Keep the header short, sharp and to the point. There is never a reason to add social security, telephone numbers or an address to an online resume. Create two resumes, one to go online and the other for direct applications, which includes a phone number, D.O.B, passport number . . .

Personal Details, Profile or Summary

Age and year of birth, gender, marital status and nationality are all compulsory for Asian resumes. Specifically state if a 'Native English Speaker'. Include a recent photo at the top of the page, with shirt and tie for males and conservative dress for women.

This is an important part of the document and its location as the first inclusion after the header reflects its importance. A short introductory profile containing experience and education, preferably with an objective reference snippet. Never boast; unlike the west this is a major fail across Asia.

A resume is not a life history and a profile or summary should introduce, not list requirements, hence the specific term 'Profile' or 'Summary' and not 'Objective'. In addition, if an inclusion does not have a direct bearing on teaching, or its needed core abilities, then omit it. At the end of this section, the employer should know enough to form a picture of whom and where you are and what you offer.

Education, Qualifications

Academic qualifications feature highly in the foreign teacher employment process. List gained degrees, the location and the dates attended, as well as including the establishment location and core subjects. List core subjects under the degree. This section completes just over one-third of a single page resume and contains the information needed for hiring. The following employment section should contain the practical outcome of already stated facts.

Employment, Experience

The relevancy of having worked in McDonalds five years previously bears no relevance to the current application. Further, do not extend employment experience beyond ten years unless it has a direct bearing on teaching. Always list employment roles in anti-chronological order, the most recent position listed first. The Asian recruiter’s interest lies in what the applicant is doing now, not how they got there. Mainstream advice on previous volunteering often suggests that employers look on these favourably. Not in Asia; unemployment, or having to volunteer because you can’t get a job doesn’t suggest professionalism. Only include volunteering as experience if it mirrors the employment sought.

Skills, Summary, or Additional Information (optional)

Adapt this part of the resume to main points reflecting strong abilities. Do you hold a driving licence, or posses competence skills in Microsoft Office, or Photoshop? Perhaps you have artistic leanings; a musician, or an ability in a second language? List four or five unique skills or achievements you have under this heading, using a bullet type format, or single-line inclusion. Don’t linger on the skills section, as the content will mirror others, which is why it's placed near the end of the resume.

Your completed resume design might look similar to this: Resume. [1]

Five of the Best Free Tools to Help your Resume Design

Learn the predictive, problem solving and personal management skills needed to survive mass conformity and stay clear of the standardised mass-produced resumes of the majority.

Professional templates to download and edit. [2]
283 downloadable templates that you can edit. These are professional resume templates, which you can edit to your own requirements.

No more guesswork, design your own headers using psychology. [3]
Design your own headers based on intellectual, empathetic and spiritual (deep emotional level) content.

Copy and paste your resume to find needed verbs and action verbs. [4]
This site provides a large list of resume words and phrases to use, or conversely, those to avoid.

An excellent copy and paste proof reader, arguably the best of the free ones. [5]
A paper grader, which checks spelling, vocabulary, grammar and transitional phrases, as well as offering free correction advice.

Check your completed resume for impact, plus brevity and depth. [6]
This useful program will upload a resume and give back an instant score. Concentrate on depth and impact. Aim for a minimum overall score of B.

Questions and Answers

1. No experience?

Major drawbacks in resume construction assume everyone has experience and advice becomes merely that of layout. Yet advice on filling out your resume with pointless information of being a discussion leader at school is worthless and merely confirms you have nothing to offer.

No one ever hired someone because they had no experience or knowledge and that’s where self-promotion comes into it. Search the Internet for information, join evening classes, volunteer your services if you’re unemployed and write about what you learn. Learn to create lesson plans and put them online, develop a sample 45-minute lesson and practice giving it, you’ll need it later. In other words, let your potential employer know that you know the basics. Remember you’re competing against others who do have experience; substitute enthusiasm and knowledge for lack of experience.

2. What content should my resume contain?

A resume is not about what you want, it lists what you offer as potential. Avoid unnecessary jargon; there is already a presumption that professionals have 'problem solving skills' and can 'think outside the box', besides 'working under pressure with team player qualities'. Foreign teacher recruiters are specifically looking for hard skills; evidence of completed formal study and some experience, with the emphasis on potential, leaving the employer to decide on suitability.

Section your content to around five headlines. Resumes follow a structure, yet within that structure is room for individuality. Use professional language, the expletives 'awesome' and 'wow' do not belong on a resume and neither do txt speak abbreviations. Further mainstream advice is that resumes are tailored to fit each application. Not necessarily; every recruiters asks for evidence of academic qualifications and experience and so the static resume content isn’t going to change, just occasionally added to. Any deviation or additions about a job offer should occur in a covering letter.

Add a little colour, leave white space and concentrate on short, sharp, one line content. Your resume is not a book, or even an interesting read, its sole purpose lies in content that helps you get an interview.

3. Should I include a photo?

Yes, it's compulsory. If a recruiter judges by looks, that will occur when viewing your resume, or later at the usual Skype interview, but it will happen. Asia does not focus on equality, people like to see who or what they read about and it's also why major professional recruiter sites such as LinkedIn all actively encourage using images. Coincidently, it's also why a McDonalds menu includes images, with a logo and why every book has an illustrated cover and author bio, with photo.

4. Should I use an online resume generator?

No. Stay clear of online 'fill in the blank spaces' types and learn to create a professional resume, which stands out from the crowd. The European Union even has a recommended resume template (Euro-pass) to prevent any individuality or differences! Most online generators include your resume on their own site. Using, 'the mass-produced resume factory. post your resume here for amazing results./my resume/.com ' is a waste of time.

5. Are professional resume writers any good?

Yes, if you’re prepared to pay, it's what they do for a living. However, a major drawback with professionally written resumes are they contain the practices of a particular country and method. Pay particular attention to the country your resume aims at and despite the (US) hype, remove dollar signs and percentages. Excellent TEFL resume image examples are legion across the Internet. Pick a style and copy the structure yourself. Just like a favourite book or film, differences are what distinguish a resume and get you noticed. Tailor your resume to fit teaching employment, not western mainstream sales types.

6. I’ve finished. What do I do now?

Promote your resume online. 'Monster', the online site for recruiters, receives an upload of 427,000 resumes a week! (Sullivan, 2011). Getting a noticeable response here would be like winning the lottery. Place your resume where it attracts attention; as a link signature on a foreign teacher forum, or create a free account on, or upload to issuu. Another suggestion is to join LinkedIn and showcase it.

The effort spent in resume preparation, construction and promotion will pay dividends in offers and salary equal to the time spent on it. [7]

[1]  Resume
[2]  Professional templates
[3]  Design your own headers
[4]  Find needed verbs and action words
[5]  Copy and paste proof reader
[6]  Check your completed resume
[7]  Read the full in-depth article here

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