Is your ELT CV

ready for 2019?

One of the first things you should be doing in 2019 is dusting off your CV and revamping it to ensure you land that job you’ve always wanted as an English language teacher. Be it in a school, language institute, university or educational projects you’re going to need your updated CV that shows recruiters just who you are as a teacher and as a person. Some of the most important things to consider when updating your CV are format, content, design, and of course language. Also, it’s just as important to highlight your experience and knowledge of teaching. As you analyze how to do this, make sure you consider the context you’ll be teaching in. Each one will need you to demonstrate a different set of skills. Think of what is most important if you teach face-to-face or online, private or group, adult or kids, or any kind of specific purpose course. Finally, take the time to set up your LinkedIn account if you haven’t already, so don’t miss the tips at the end of the post.

Important things to consider

Personal information and general tips

When writing your personal information, be sure to include your telephone number with the country code, especially when applying for international job applications, email, and current address. You never know who will be reading your CV, so write it in a way any recruiter will understand. A great way of ensuring this is to avoid unnecessary academic or educational jargon and abbreviations unless it describes a specific skill you want to emphasize. In some countries, CVS should include a recent photo of you. If you decide to include one, make sure it’s a professional photo and reflects the first impression you want them to have of you.


Make sure your CV is easy to read by sticking to an E or F pattern. Most recruiters will only skim your CV at first. These patterns guarantee the most important information you want them to focus on is in their line of sight. You can find an example and template which might give you ideas to revamp yours.


By dividing the information into sections you’ll guarantee recruiters find it easily. Make sure to split up the information into categories. Here are some ideas: personal information, profile, education, skills, workshops, experience, languages you speak, and certifications.


Use the same font throughout the CV and play around with the weight, size or color to make information stand out. Language Include power words that will highlight your skills and teaching style. When writing your profile and skills, it’s vital to include keywords relevant to the context you’re applying to. Take a look at this article where they take a look at over 130 power words that make your CV stand out.


Make sure to include keywords in your CV that reflect the skills you know and/or describe you. Here is a list of some of the key terms used in ELT today:
* communicative teaching
* 21st-century skills
* gamification
* lifelong learners
* growth mindset
* collaborative
* EdTech – ICT and information literacy
* initiative
* self-direction
* flipped learning
* project-based / task-based
* blended learning
* mobile learning
* embodied learning
* inquiry-based learning
* ELF (English as a lingua franca)
* Multi-literacies
* trans-languaging
* learners with specific needs
* creating and sharing content
* learning and teaching on management platforms
* online CPD
* use of authentic materials
* use of interactive whiteboard
* critical thinking skills / soft skills
If you’re trying to find a job as an online teacher, make sure you have at least some of these skills. Check out this list and include the relevant ones in your CV:
* search YouTube, Google, and other sources
* use tech tools to explain (clip use images, use JING)
* use hyperlinks
* identify different types of files and how to convert them
* create and share files (audio, video, doc)
* look professional on camera (clothing, background, sound, etc.)
* simplify homework for the online context
*use Google Docs to teach online

Personalize your CV based on your teaching stage

We are all at different stages of teaching, and each one of them has certain considerations we should keep in mind. As a teacher you could be at three stages: inexperienced, experienced, or other educational roles. At each stage, you’ll need to highlight skills that can promote your strengths.

Inexperienced teachers

At this stage of teaching, you’re probably just STARTING. You’ve most likely recently decided to become an English teacher and are just learning what it’s all about. You should be learning the principles of teaching through a certification course. If you’re not already, most institutions will have this listed as a requirement. Check out the TESOL/TEFL courses we offer. NEWLY QUALIFIED teachers are starting to put all the principles into practice and are learning more about teaching in the classroom first hand.
These are some specific cases that could arise at this stage:
“I used to work in another field, but know how to speak English and now want to give it a go.”
If you’re new to teaching but have always worked in different fields, let your background work its magic. When teaching English, you can focus on general English or take full advantage of your field’s expertise and teach specific purpose courses.
“I have my certifications, but no teaching experience.”
Don’t worry about not having teaching experience, make sure to focus on all of the transferable and useful skills that you’ve picked up during your certification process, as well as general soft and 21st-century skills that could make you a desirable candidate for the teaching job.

Experienced teachers

An experienced teacher could still be at the DEVELOPING stage, where you’ve been in the classroom for a few years building confidence and skills. This is the perfect stage to continue your professional development with specialized TESOL courses. At a PROFICIENT stage, you’re now confidently demonstrating your skills and experience to others. You’ve accomplished a lot because you’ve been able to reflect upon your teaching and improved throughout the years. You probably attend local or international conferences, seek professional development opportunities, participate in professional learning networks (PLN) or any other activity that fulfills your need to stay up to date. If you’re feeling stuck and not sure what PD activities to do, check out our worksheets!
Here are some situations that occur to teachers after they’ve taught for a few years:
“I have taught many years.”
All of your experience is valuable and it’s time to make sure all relevant skills, competencies, as well as experience, is not overlooked. When describing your profile, include what you’ve learned in the classroom and detail how this helps you stand apart from other teachers.
“I used to teach, and want to get back into teaching”
Although you haven’t been teaching in a while, you can still get back on track. Make sure you explain why you took time off from teaching, and what’s making you come back. It’s also important to explain what you’ve achieved in the meantime, and how this can improve your teaching.
“I have taught for many years but don’t have the necessary certifications”
If you’re serious about teaching, it’s necessary to get a teaching certificate that can prepare you to offer a meaningful learning experience to your students.

Progressing into more advanced educational roles

This is a stage not all teachers aspire to reach. There are teachers that simply love being in the classroom and are not interested in moving to other roles. If you are, then you are in an ADVANCED stage. These teachers exemplify their good practices to co-workers and like taking on further responsibilities. At the institutions, they are usually senior teachers or mentors. When you are a SPECIALIST, you enjoy leading and advising others in the ELT field. Some teachers take on different roles that allow them to share their knowledge like materials writer, researcher, teacher trainer, among others.
Here is a typical situation that occurs at this stage:
“I want to branch out into other teaching jobs like a coordinator, translator, trainer, materials writer, etc.”
When planning to take on a new role, it’s vital to demonstrate that you’re prepared to do so. Get any necessary certificates, detail any experience you’ve had and could be valuable to the job you want to apply for.


Set up your LinkedIn account

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account yet, it’s time to get one so you can get on the radar of recruiters. This is one of the popular sources recruiters have today to find teachers and if you’re on it, it will definitely increase your opportunity of landing a new job. One of the most important things to get right is your summary. It should have:
* experience
* skills
* motivations
* interests
* a description of what you want to be known for
* a bit of your personality
Think of your LinkedIn summary like a short cover letter. Your summary should have anywhere from 40 words to a few paragraphs. It should highlight what you want possible recruiters to know about you as a professional. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a dynamic network, so you should make sure to update it at least every 6 months.

Final Checklist – Is your CV ready to send?

  • Correct spelling and grammar

  • Right focus for the vacany

  • Font and size consistency

  • Format… PDF!

  • Use numbers and facts where necessary, and fact check!

  • File naming conventions (Ex: “JaneSmithCV.pdf”)

Stay up to date!