ESL Jobs: How To Prepare A CV (or Resume) That Will Get You An Interview

A quality ESL CV is the best chance you have of getting an interview for a quality English as a Second Language job. A ESL Manager gives the lowdown on what she looks for in the resumes that cross her desk

I am the manager for a corporate ESL (English as a Second Language) training company in Bangkok. One of my responsibilities to recruit new ESL teachers for various positions that we need to fill. I have to say that I am constantly surprised and sometimes baffled by some of the CVs (or resumes) that I am sent. I thought I would write something to help those of you looking to find a good ESL teaching job and avoid being instantly deleted from the inbox.

    • Use correct punctuation and capitalization on your CV
    • List specific dates for jobs you’ve had
    • Give some information about what your responsibilities were at each job (not too many details)
    • Try to keep your CV to one to two pages
    • Include your current availability
    • Send a cover letter for the specific job that you are applying for
    • Spell-check your CV
    • Include how and when to contact you
    • Use an appropriate closing
    • Use a professional salutation
    • Use all lower-case letters
    • Send documents that weren’t asked for in the job ad
    • Send a 15 page CV!
    • Send a picture of yourself that hasn’t been re-sized – around 100k maximum
    • Send an inappropriate picture (i.e. with you on a night out with your friends)
    • Avoid using punctuation all together
    • Use an unprofessional e-mail address like:
    • Over exaggerate your abilities too much ( ‘I want to save the world’ is going a bit too far)

I have read a lot of CVs in my time and have come across some very odd things. Your TEFL CV should not have spelling mistakes and lack every form of acceptable punctuation. You are actually applying for a job as an English teacher so keeping that in mind will go a long way. I have often interviewed people who may not have been exactly what I was looking for because they had a professional ESL CV. Often times the CV’s are much too casual and use not only inappropriate language but also spelling. There are a lot of ESL jobs out there, but the number of quality opportunities is not nearly so great. If you want to land your dream job- the first step is putting together a professional and up-to-date CV.

Read more about finding ESL Jobs in Japan, Korea and Thailand

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