Does TEFL look good on a resume?

Teaching English in any environment offers a wide variety of benefits that will enhance your future career, whatever path you choose to follow. If your English teaching experience also included an extended period living and working outside of your home country, then this will certainly look very appealing on your resume when applying for other jobs further down the line. In the modern age where every job seems to have a huge number of applicants and everyone seems to have a degree or other high-end qualifications, being able to add an overseas teaching adventure to your application could well be the difference between securing an interview and being put at the bottom of the pile. So what are the major benefits that teaching English abroad adds to your CV/resume?

International Work Experience

This is the most obvious benefit of teaching English abroad in terms of your resume. Most employers worldwide will see a spell of living and working in a foreign country as a very powerful statement about the candidate’s character. It demonstrates a willingness to try something new and the ability to look outside of your own comfort zone. Working abroad also shows you have an interest in other cultures and the desire to immerse yourself in environments that are different to what you grew up in. All these factors are very positive for your own development and employers in all fields tend to recognize this.

Communication Skills

Possessing a good level of communication skills is a trait that is highly sought after by employers right across the job spectrum. By moving outside of your own country you are basically forced to engage with people whose culture and (usually) language is different from your own. Being able to thrive in a foreign environment where your colleagues and students are not native English speakers shows quite clearly that your communication skills are way above the average.


Living and working as an English teacher overseas demonstrates that you possess a great deal of versatility, something that is highly valued by potential employers. The specific skills required to be successful in the classroom need to be learned and then refined on the job, which reflects well on any job applicant. Working well alongside people from other cultures also shows your versatility. As does learning to live and work in an unfamiliar environment that can often throw up unexpected challenges on a regular basis.

Leadership and Public Speaking

Whatever type of position you had while teaching English abroad, you will have had to develop some level of leadership skills, something that employers are always keen on. Standing in front of a class of students day after day, many of whom might have little understanding of your language, shows great determination and qualities that can easily be adapted to other types of employment. Throughout all of this teaching experience you will also spend a large amount of time speaking to a room full of people. Losing the fear of public speaking will set you up brilliantly for job interviews and the actual position you will secure at the end of your job hunt.

Creativity and Problem Solving

One of the cornerstones of any successful teacher’s daily life is coming up with new and interesting ways to get your teaching point across to your students. Designing lesson plans and individual activities often becomes second nature to many TEFL qualified teachers and this level of creativity always goes down extremely well with future employers, regardless of their specific field. And throughout all of this experience you will also have developed a high level of problem solving skills which are equally sought after in the workplace.

An Adventure to Talk About

On top of all the specific skills and traits mentioned above, your time teaching English overseas will also leave you with many great stories and adventures that people will be genuinely interested in talking about. If an interviewer asks you about your time abroad, which they no doubt will, you should have little trouble reeling off some interesting memories and insights about your time living and working as a TEFL qualified teacher abroad.