So you want to teach English abroad? In order to land the teach abroad job of your dreams, you’ll need a CV to give to potential employers. In today’s post, I’ll share my 7 top teach abroad resume tips on how to write a CV for teaching abroad.
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Do I need a CV or a resume to teach English abroad?
To begin, most countries outside of North American are actually looking for a Curriculum Vitae aka CV. Most jobs in North America require a short resume packed with only the most important info. In contrast, other countries are looking for a CV filled with your professional and educational background.
Another difference is that other countries often include information like age, relationship or visa status, and even a photograph on their CVs. This information isn’t included on North American resumes.
So this brings us to my first tip.
#1 Use a CV template specific to the country where you are applying
Each country has a different CV format. Do your research and find a couple of examples to use. It’s always best to reach out to a citizen of the country where you’d like to teach to make sure that the format is correct.
Imagine if it were the opposite and someone applied to an American job with a CV that listed their age, marital status, blood type and photograph! You need to adapt to the country where you’d like to work – not the other way around.
#2 Include relevant work experience related to teaching: tutoring, mentoring and coaching on your teach abroad resume/CV
Of course you want to put relevant teaching experience on your teach abroad CV. If you don’t have much prior experience, then you can include jobs like tutoring, mentoring, coaching, leading a scout group, babysitting, volunteering with children, etc.
Online teaching experience is also great to include on your resume. I recommend doing at least some online teaching before you go abroad. To find out more, check out my teach English online resources.
#3 Make sure your CV is easy to read – the person reading it might not be a native English speaker
Unlike the resume that you are used to writing, you’ll want to keep your teach abroad CV pretty simple. Remember that the person reading it might not be a native English speaker!
Keep your language clear and not overly complicated. The same goes for if you are asked to submit a video. Make sure that you speak clearly and use professional, easy to understand words.
#4 Keep the focus on English
While you may be fluent or studying another language or two, it’s actually not a good idea to include this information in all cases. Most schools only care about if you are a native English speaker.
If you aren’t a native speaker, I suggest getting your English level certified with a Cambridge English exam. You can include your English level on your teach abroad resume.
In some cases, schools or programs will actually ask for someone who speaks English as well as the local language. In this case, include that language if you speak it. Even though you are speaking to students exclusively in English, you may need to speak to their parents in the local language.
#5 Include a professional looking photo on your CV when required
Some countries, especially in Asia, will require a photo on your CV. Here are some tips:
- Choose a neutral background
- Wear professional looking clothes
- Cover up your shoulders
- Some countries will require a headshot as well as a photograph from the waist up
- Smile in your photograph to look friendly
#6 Include volunteering experience, leadership positions and awards in the educational background section
Other countries often look highly upon volunteering experience, leadership roles and awards won during university. You can include this information in your educational background section.
This information shows the recruiter that you are someone they can trust and are dedicated. Some countries care more about your education than your work experience.
#7 Skype IDs and international phone numbers
Another common practice is to include your Skype ID on your teach abroad CV. Schools abroad may use it to contact you for an interview. When you include your phone number on your teach abroad resume, don’t forget to put the country code (+1, etc.).
I recommend making a professional Skype ID. Make it related to your name or teaching.
I hope you find these teach abroad resume/CV tips helpful and are ready to start reaching out to potential schools.
If you don’t have a TEFL certificate, then I highly recommend getting one before you reach out to any schools, programs or recruiters. Check out this blog post to learn which TEFL certificate is best for you.