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6 ways to be a true TEFL professional

Show you’re a true TEFL professional by following the top tips below. They cover everything from bagging the right certificate to keeping your industry presence digital and accessible. Each is sure to up your game, get those applications extra efficient, and make you look and feel more the part in the world of teaching English abroad.


TEFL professional
TEFL professional meeting | Nik MacMillan/Unsplash


Get the right qualifications


It might seem obvious, but the first step in becoming a real TEFL professional is in getting the right qualification. Don’t mess around with so-called “free” courses that aren’t regulated and aren’t recognized around the globe. Don’t go thinking that you can bag your dream job without even bothering to complete the required 120-hour certificate. A good start can work wonders.


Pay attention to job requirements


Aiming high is good. Aiming too high is counter productive and unprofessional. The reality of the TEFL world is that some countries require candidates to have BA degrees and prior experience (the likes of Japan and Korea come to mind), others are strict on letting in only native speakers. It’s better for you as a prospective teacher to focus on the places where you know you’re eligible for the positions that pop up.


TEFL professional
Updating documents | Helloquence/Unsplash


Update your CV regularly


Nothing says “don’t hire me” like a CV that’s years out of date. If you want to look like a bona fide TEFL professional, it’s important to craft any resume to fit the job at hand. That probably means reworking it and tweaking it each time you apply for a new position. Think about highlighting the particular modules you did in your TEFL course that are relevant to your school’s teaching method. Think about talking around hobbies and abilities that are sure to make you a standout candidate for that job.


Have an online profile


Welcome to the 21st century, folks. In this day and age, an online profile that showcases your skills, qualifications, and successes in the English teaching industry is a sure way to up the professionalism. It looks slick, but it also makes it much easier for prospective employers and HR head hunters to check your resume. LinkedIn is the platform that most people go for.   


TEFL professional
Tattooed woman with laptop | Brooke Cagle/Unsplash


Always keep learning


Don’t go thinking that the journey to become a TEFL professional starts and ends with your training course. Nope – this is a lifelong thing. As with all other teaching career paths, you’re going to be changing, adapting, and learning as you go. In fact, lots of tutors will tell you that the real skills start to develop once you’re actually in the classroom, dealing with students and working through the curriculum. 


Don’t be afraid to ask questions


Unsure about a piece of grammar? Curious about how to enforce homework deadlines? Want to know more about your school’s after-hours language clubs? Just ask. Seriously, there’s no better way to get to grips with a new job and show that you’re a thorough staff member than being willing to quiz your colleagues and superiors. It’s good for building both knowledge and rapport.



If you’re a veteran TEFL professional and have anything to add to this list, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Alternatively, get on the road to being a true TEFL pro by checking out our range of courses.

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