TEFL Resume

What to and what not to put on your resume

Employers want someone who is certified to teach, so make sure you place your CELTA qualification somewhere prominent on your résumé. Writing it after your name in the heading (e.g. John Doe CELTA) will make sure your résumé gets read.  Employers are also interested in finding staff members who fit in well with the other teachers and employees. For this reason, be sure to include some unusual or interesting hobbies on your résumé to balance out your impressive credentials and show that you have an active life outside of work.

Know the city or town where the school is located. If you harp on about loving the great outdoors while applying for a job in the heart of Tokyo, an employer may worry that you won’t be happy with your environment and overlook your résumé. By showing an awareness of the local lifestyle and culture, you’re showing that you’re prepared for the job as well as the lifestyle surrounding the job.

Make your résumé positive. This does not mean you should lie, but do avoid using negative language or complaining about previous employers; even if you are justified in doing so, you must ask yourself, “How will this look to the person reading my résumé?”

Think carefully about the words you use in your resume. The verbs you choose, in particular, can reveal a lot about you as a worker. For example, action words like created, guided, and prepared portray a more active person than do phrases like "dealt with," "participated in," "and was responsible for." Also, avoid using "always" and "never," as absolute statements imply exaggeration.

Positive words to include:

  • Achievement
  • Active
  • Developed
  • Evidence
  • Experience
  • Impact
  • Individual
  • Involved
  • Planning
  • Transferable skills

Negative words to avoid:

  • Always
  • Awful
  • Bad
  • Fault
  • Hate
  • Mistake
  • Never
  • Nothing
  • Panic
  • Problem

Proofread your finished résumé and ask both a friend and a colleague to proofread it as well. You don’t want prospective employers passing on you because of a few silly spelling errors or typos. Everyone makes them, but not everyone is forgiving when they read them.

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