How to make your teaching resume stand out with OISE TEFL specialization courses

person sitting in front of a laptop applying for a job

Are you a potential or current TEFL teaching candidate? 

Or maybe you are curious about OISE TEFL specialization courses and don’t know where to begin.

If you want to land the best position and learn more about how to make your teaching resume stand out once you are certified, you are in the right place. 

We will answer these questions and more while bringing clarity to the differences in the programs. 

If you are not already a TEFL teacher but are interested in pursuing this career path, don’t let overwhelm prevent you from moving forward.

At Teach Away we have you covered with how to become a TEFL teacher by breaking down the steps, eliminating your stress, and getting you started on the right path. 

Let’s dive into how you can get started with your standout TEFL teacher resume:

  1. Using & showing off your TEFL certifications
  2. Using experience to your advantage
  3. Including keywords to impress an employer
  4. Be intentional and focused on your TEFL teaching experience

1. Using & showing off your TEFL certifications

The resume is an important first impression for your potential employer. 

Besides the obvious education and basic information, you can use your OISE TEFL specialization courses to tailor your resume and stand out from the crowd.

Students from all over the world present their unique challenges when learning a new language. 

Teaching a student in China is very different from teaching a student in the Middle East. 

They bring their cultural differences to the classroom and structural differences from their native language to the English classroom. 

Are you wondering how you will accommodate this in your lessons? 

Let’s dive into some of OISE TEFL specialization courses to find out which ones would be best for you as you begin your TEFL journey.

TEFL specialization courses for a particular region

The region-specific OISE TEFL specialization courses will allow you to understand the culture of the region you are specializing in as well as the very unique language challenges that teaching students from that country may possess.

This is going to help you with your teaching approach because you will understand the specific struggles your students might face.    

Each of these OISE TEFL specialization courses will:

  • Help you recognize common phonological errors that are region-specific for the students you are teaching
  • Help students learn various parts of English verb tenses
  • Help you learn how to adapt your teaching style and develop classroom management techniques to suit the culture and country you are teaching in

Each culture and language group has its own set of issues they face when learning a new language. 

Whether you are teaching Arab, Chinese, or Korean students, each teaching placement presents its unique challenges.

To learn more about what's included in OISE TEFL specialization courses within a particular region, you can check out: 

Other TEFL specialization courses

teacher helps student with homework

Perhaps you are interested in one of the OISE TEFL specialization courses geared towards a particular area of teaching that you would like to learn more about and level up in.

You might want a specialization in teaching young learners, test preparatory classes, business English, digital technology, learner-centered classrooms or just teaching abroad in general.

All of these courses are going to:

  1. Help you dive deep into the topic that you are interested in
  2. Gain added authority on a particular area of teaching
  3. Show potential employers that you are experienced and qualified

To better understand all of OISE TEFL specialization courses, check out the links below:

You definitely want to ensure your completed specialization courses are boldly and clearly highlighted on your resume to stand out. 

If you still aren’t sure which specialization to teach, don’t worry! 

Choose different types of students that you might like to teach and go to the respective certifications. 


“Our TEFL specialization courses aim to prepare you for the teaching dream job abroad you’ve always wanted. Our learners teach English abroad while tapping into other interests and passions, and specialize in areas like teaching digital technology in the classroom, teaching business English, or teaching young learners."

- Michael Cassidy Associate Director, International and Innovation, OISE Continuing & Professional Learning, University of Toronto 

If you still aren’t sure, consider choosing a range so that you can appeal to a variety of employers on your resume. 

Remember that just because you might have a specialization course in teaching business English, that doesn’t prevent you from applying to other areas of TEFL teaching.

2. Use experience to your advantage

When you are applying for a TEFL teaching position, you want to make sure that you are really using your past experiences to your advantage.

Here are some tips to help you do that:

Highlight any teaching experience you have had

Make sure that you list the actual teaching positions you had where you were directly working with students. 

If you have limited teaching experience, try to draw on work and volunteer experiences where you were working with adults or children in a leadership role.

Think about:

  • Summer camps
  • Church groups
  • After school tutoring
  • Volunteer programs
  • And any other types of organizations where you were leading groups and responsible for learning outcomes

Draw on experiences with second language learners

Have you ever worked with students who were learning a second language?

Did you ever have students in your classrooms from other countries, cultures, and backgrounds?

A good place to highlight these would be under your work experience. Be sure to specifically list the types of learners that you were teaching.

If you have limited experience in teaching, you will want to highlight any and all experiences that you have had with second language learners.

Consider any type of international experiences that you might have had.

Have you traveled to other countries and interacted with people from other cultures? Volunteer experiences count too, so don’t neglect those! 

traveling man walking down khao san road outdoor market in bangkok, thailand

Were you ever an au pair?
Have you ever studied abroad?
Or, did you ever intern abroad?

Employers will be very interested to see that you have lived or traveled in other countries and have experience with other cultures.

3. Including keywords to impress your employer

A mistake that many TEFL teachers make when creating their resume and cover letter is neglecting the use of keywords to stand out.

Keywords include words that are frequently used in the TEFL teaching industry.

Believe it or not, some companies use computers to scan resumes to make sure that the applicant is suited for the job description. 

If you neglect using keywords then you might be missing opportunities to get chosen.

Make sure you are using keywords like these throughout your resume and cover letter:

  • Teaching English
  • TEFL certification
  • Teaching abroad
  • Classroom teaching
  • Teaching experience
  • ESL teaching
  • TEFL teaching experience

When you are applying to teach for a specific company, you can look on their website to find out the keywords that they use and implement them into your resume and cover letter. 

Research the industry and get to know the schools and countries that you are applying to.

Remember you can create different resumes and cover letters for various positions!

4. Be intentional and focused on your TEFL teaching experience on your resume

woman smiling at a laptop in a cafe

These are some additional areas of your resume where you can be very intentional and focused on showing off your TEFL teaching experience and skills.

Write a focused resume objective

Your objective goes at the top of your resume and should also be included in a cover letter, if required.

This should be 2-3 sentences maximum as you detail exactly what your objective is for applying to that particular school or company.

Saying something like:

“Teacher seeking job opportunities overseas because I love traveling and experiencing new cultures,” is not going to cut it.

Try a more focused objective such as:

“Highly qualified TEFL teacher seeking a position to help Korean students expand their English skills so that they can have more opportunities for continuing education.” 

Be specific in order to stand out in your application. 

Don’t add every job you’ve ever had

Many TEFL teachers think they need to add every job they have ever had on their resumes. This is not necessary.

An employer hiring TEFL teachers in China is not interested in knowing that you once worked for Starbucks as a barista and flipped hamburgers at Mcdonald's in high school.

Those are not interesting or appealing to a language school. 

Focus on highlighting related jobs where you might have used teaching skills. 

Of course, the actual teaching positions should always go at the top and before anything non-teaching-related.

Add in language skills and other related TEFL teaching skills

A large part of teaching overseas as a TEFL teacher is being able to adjust to new languages and cultures.

If you have had any language learning experiences be sure to highlight those in your cover letter and resume.

Do you speak more than 1 language?
Have you studied other languages in school?
Do you have cultural experiences that help you gain new skills?

Bonus TEFL resume writing tips

Beyond writing your cover letter and resume, here are some additional bonus tips to make sure that your resume is aesthetically pleasing and hitting the mark for a quality document that will stand out from the crowd.

  • Keep your resume to 1-2 pages (1 page is ideal. Anything more than 2 pages is too much)
  • Keep a consistent font throughout 
  • Make sure your headings are bold and clear
  • Utilize white space. Less is more when it comes to explaining things
  • Don't recreate the wheel. Use templates from Google (Canva is a favorite for designing a great resume!)
  • Stick to neutral colors and if you are going to use colors, stick to 2 at the most
  • Let a few friends read it to give you feedback

Are you ready now?

If you are ready to start your TEFL journey, make sure you visit our TEFL certification page to help you get started. 

Don’t forget to also check out the OISE University of Toronto TEFL program, designed by Canada's #1 ranked Faculty of Education and #3 ranked education research institution globally, to add even more credibility and authority to your teacher resume.