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How to Create a Killer TEFL Cover Letter for Online English Teachers

Check out our top tips for writing an ESL teacher cover letter that will help you land your online English teaching job.

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Dust off that old ESL teacher cover letter you have sitting around on your desktop - It's time to give it a facelift! 

Cover Letter for Online English Teacher: Tips & Tricks

Cover letters for online teaching are usually boring and bland. If you're anything like a majority of the job-seeking market, you send the same one around to every company you apply to. But that's about to change! Enter, a cover letter tailored specifically for that teaching English online job and school you want to apply to work at. You're about to knock their socks off!

What is a TEFL Cover Letter?

A TEFL cover letter shows your excitement for a particular English teaching job and highlights your suitability as an English teacher. It can also address any shortcomings in your resume, such as lack of experience, education, or job gaps.

What is a TEFL Cover Letter for Online Teaching?

An online teaching cover letter is a short (one-page) document that communicates your enthusiasm and qualifications for teaching English online. Cover letters for online teaching provide an opportunity to convince your future employer that you are the right person for the job.

How to Write a TEFL Cover Letter for an Online English Teacher

When applying for a job, a cover letter should be submitted alongside your resume.

  • Your online tutor cover letter should highlight any educational and teaching-related experiences that you may have to offer.
  • You should also highlight any previous experience you have teaching English as a second language, as well as your desire to provide your students with a quality educational experience and your commitment to professionalism. 

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A common error that many teachers make when applying to teach English online is sending a generic cover letter. This means they are using the exact same cover letter to apply for a plethora of jobs, even though the jobs are for a range of different schools.

While a generic cover letter is more times than not adequate, having a cover letter that is tailored to the specific school you are applying to and the age group of students you will be teaching will help set you apart from the competition.

Another way to stand out from the crowd is to highlight what differentiates you from other online English teachers. For example, if you are applying for a role where you will be only teaching children, try to keep your cover letter focused on this. Perhaps mention that you have a colorful, clutter-free dedicated space for your classroom and many fun props to attract a child’s attention and make learning fun.

Similarly, if you are applying for a role with an adult-teaching platform, you will want to tailor your cover letter to focus on teaching English to adults instead. 


Online Tutor Cover Letter Formatting

Your online English teacher cover letter should be a clean, simple, modern design. The most important thing is that your font is easy to read. Times New Roman is commonly viewed as a classic resume font, but it is also dated and can be considered boring. Try using clean, sleek fonts like Calibri, Arial, or Verdana to give a more tightened-up presentation.

The text should be black or grayscale and the use of the bolded font is not necessary for a TEFL cover letter as the need for headings or subheadings don't exist. You’ll also want your cover letter format and text to match that of your resume. Although we do not discuss resumes in this post, this is something you should already be thinking about.

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Online ESL Teacher Cover Letter Requirements

Your online English teaching cover letter should include the following:

→ You'll want to mention where you are located and whether your location is stable or if you are constantly moving around (i.e.: a digital nomad). This can be as simple as listing your address at the top of the page.

→ A brief explanation of your interest in education and teaching English.

→ How and why you are interested in working for that school.

→ Mention whether you're a native or non-native English speaker.

→ Make note of what accent you have (i.e.: If you are American, then list that you have an American accent). Some schools give preference to the type of accent you have.

→ Education. Include your TEFL Certification and where/when it was obtained.

→ Any prior teaching or international experience you have.

→ Specific skills you may offer that pertain to teaching ESL to the age group in question.

→ When you are able to begin teaching English online and your ability to fulfill any minimum contract agreements.

→ List the make/model of your computer/laptop, amount of memory, operating system, processor speed, etc. If your laptop has an in-built webcam, make note that it's inbuilt, or if you use an external webcam, list the make and model. Also list the name and model of your headset. A quality headset will do you wonders.

→ The speed of your Internet connection and whether it is wired or wireless. You can take a speed test and link to it to show your speed results. 

→ If you already have a dedicated space set up for your classroom, reference it as well as any teaching English online classroom props you may have.

→ Limit your cover letter to one page in length.


Go further: What are the requirements for teaching English online


Saving Your TEFL Cover Letter 

Save your cover letter as your last name, first name, online school name, and then what the file is. Example file name: 

Anderson, Tiffany - <Online School Name> Cover Letter

Be sure to save your cover letter as both a Word Doc (so you can edit it later if need be) and as a PDF doc (this is the version you will submit during the application process). 

Next Steps

Great – you have your English teacher cover letter all sorted, now you need to get your resume in order. Check out our post on how to create a killer resume for teaching English online.


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