I’ve Just Completed My TEFL/TESOL Certification, Now What?By Jennifer Collis
August 13, 2022
You’ve finished your TEFL course – congratulations! Now you’re trained and qualified to teach English to speakers of other languages in locations around the world and/or online. But where should you go from here? Regardless of whether you earned your certification to qualify for teaching jobs, to freshen up your credentials, or to advance in your current career, we’ll point you in the right direction now that you’re officially TEFL/TESOL-certified.
1. First things first: Download your certificate.
You’ve worked hard to earn your new credentials – now you’re ready to claim and showcase them.
You’ll be able to access a digital version of your certificate at any time. Simply enter your unique certificate number on the Bridge certificate verification page or provide employers with this info so that they may do so. It’s also a good idea to download and save (as well as print out) a copy of your certificate for your records. You can order a hard copy original version of your certificate, too, but not all employers require this, so if you’re a job seeker, it might be best to wait and see.
2. Next, be sure and claim your digital badge.
Graduates of all Bridge online TEFL/TESOL courses receive a digital badge, in addition to their certificate, when they complete their course. Backed by blockchain technology, digital badges are the latest way to provide employers with a more in-depth look at the TEFL/TESOL program you completed. They’ll be able to see the learning objectives you mastered, the specific skills you acquired, the course’s accreditation, and more with just a click.
Take a closer look at what achievements your digital badges can share with employers.
Now that you’ve finished your TEFL course online, you’ll receive an email from Bridge with instructions on how to claim your digital badge. Once you’ve accepted your badge, you’re free to share it wherever you like to highlight your accomplishments and market yourself as a teacher. Some suggestions on where to share your digital badges include:
- Your social media profiles for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
- Your email signature
- Your TEFL/TESOL resume
3. Create or update your TEFL/TESOL resume.
All teachers need a TEFL/TESOL resume when applying for ESL teaching jobs online or abroad. This is essentially a resume tailored to ESL teaching jobs. You can create one from scratch or even just adapt your current resume so that it focuses on your latest TEFL/TESOL qualifications and ESL professional development.
A TEFL resume should include your:
- TEFL/TESOL certifications (including the number of certification hours)
- Prior ESL teaching experience and/or other relevant skills
- Educational background (degrees)
- Professional development (special TEFL courses taken, TEFL conferences attended, etc.)
- Contact info
Remember to keep the language on your resume simple and concise and your resume format functional, so employers focus on your qualifications. It can also be a good idea to include a photo of yourself.
4. Get involved in the Bridge community.
Next, we welcome you to join our global community of English teachers! Through our weekly newsletters for teachers and job seekers, our monthly ELT News Digest, and our Facebook groups, you can interact with other Bridge alumni, including current online and classroom-based teachers.
Subscribe to the BridgeUniverse Newsletter
If you’re not already receiving the BridgeUniverse Newsletter, you can use the form at the bottom of this article to subscribe. Choose to receive teaching- or job-related content, such as teacher interviews, classroom tips, free resources, and the latest TEFL/TESOL positions you can apply for.
Sign up for the BridgeUniverse ELT News Digest
Want to take a deeper dive into issues impacting English language teaching (ELT) professionals and organizations? You can check “ELT industry news” when you subscribe, and you’ll also receive our monthly ELT News Digest, which offers more in-depth articles on trends and developments in the global TEFL/TESOL space. You can browse recent articles here.
Join Bridge Facebook groups
Bridge has two active Facebook groups for current and future teachers. These are valuable (and fun!) forums where you can ask questions, share information, and network with other teachers and job seekers.
- The Bridge TEFL/TESOL Jobs Facebook Group is a place to join in job-related discussions with current Bridge students, alumni, and teachers from around the globe. It’s also a place to learn about open positions with Bridge partner employers.
- The Bridge Teaching English Online Facebook Group is not a job-search-focused group but rather a place for prospective or current online teachers to discuss online teaching methods and exchange ideas about the field.
5. Planning to teach abroad with your certificate? Prepare Now!
If your goal is to go abroad in the near future, having your certification in hand means you’re well on your way. These additional resources can help you take the next steps, including learning more about different teaching locations:
- Check out this blog post with specific information on preparing to go overseas: How to Teach English Abroad: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Adventure.
- Visit our Teach Abroad Information Page for resources such as FAQs, informative eBooks, and the Jobs at a Glance chart with info on typical salaries, requirements, and more for popular teaching locations.
- If you’re ready to dig even deeper into particular teaching locations, download a free Bridge Country Guide.
- Take advantage of the job assistance included with your Bridge TEFL/TESOL course (more on that in #7).
6. Ready to teach English online with your certificate? Get started!
Maybe your goal in getting certified was to teach English online, or perhaps it will be a transitional job for you while you wait for the opportunity to teach English in the classroom. Either way, now is a great time to get started in the high-demand field of teaching English online.
- Visit our Teaching English Online Information Page to find FAQs, our latest eBook, and links to helpful resources such as the Teaching English Online Facebook Group.
- Make sure you’re fully qualified. If you don’t already have it, consider adding Specialized Certification in Teaching English Online to your general TEFL/TESOL certification to stand out in this job market.
- Go straight to the online teaching jobs section on the Bridge Job Board to start researching open positions with online tutoring companies and teacher marketplaces.
Learn more about your options as an online English teacher, including teacher marketplaces: Should you teach online with a company or work for yourself?
7. Next steps for all TEFL/TESOL job seekers: Connect and network.
For those of you who are ready to jump into job hunting with your completed TEFL/TESOL certificate, there are a few recommended next steps to kickstart your search.
Register on the Bridge Job Board
Registering on the Bridge Job Board is a quick first step that will unlock convenient features for job seekers, such as the ability to create a teacher portfolio or upload your TEFL resume.
Teacher portfolios allow you to highlight your new Bridge certification. You can also add a headshot to your teacher portfolio, detail your educational background, describe relevant career history, and list skills that are related to the specific positions you’re interested in.
Uploading your online teacher resume is another great way to succinctly show employers your qualifications and why you’re a good fit for the job.
Start applying to positions on the Job Board
Once you’ve created your teacher portfolio or uploaded your resume, you’re ready to conveniently share your information with any TEFL/TESOL employer you find when browsing open positions on the Job Board.
Get job placement advice and assistance from the Bridge Career Advising Team
The Job Board isn’t the only resource for Bridge grads who are job seeking. We also encourage you to contact our Career Advising Team, who have experience teaching around the world and can support you in your TEFL/TESOL job search by:
- Providing job advice specific to your location of interest or for those seeking online jobs.
- Reviewing your TEFL/TESOL resume and offering tips for interviewing.
- Connecting you to opportunities with our extensive global network of schools and recruiters.
- Offering insights for vetting employers.
8. Continue learning with ESL professional development.
Take professional development TEFL/TESOL courses
Career English language teachers are often lifelong learners themselves, and Bridge has an ever-growing portfolio of professional development courses to help facilitate that growth. Certified and experienced teachers looking to enhance their resumes and learn the latest ESL teaching methodology and skills can add Bridge Specialized Certificates and Micro-credentials to their existing credentials.
Bridge Specialized Certificates are 30-60-hour professional development trainings in high-demand areas. These courses are designed for teachers who would like to develop a teaching niche or improve their instructional methods in a certain area of TEFL/TESOL, such as Teaching Young Learners & Teens or Teaching English Online.
Bridge Micro-credentials are shorter professional development courses! They cover immediately applicable teaching topics and skills, like Teaching IELTS Exam Prep and Games & Activities for the Online Classroom.
Continue learning with BridgeUniverse Expert Series webinars
Teachers can also take advantage of BridgeUniverse Expert Series webinars, which delve into industry trends and insights as well as pedagogy. Past webinars have covered diverse topics ranging from incorporating 21st-century skills into the ESL/EFL classroom to using digital realia to standing out in teacher marketplaces. You can join in the discussion by attending a live webinar, or you can watch recordings from our ever-growing library of webinars.