Unless you teach remotely, being an ESL teacher (a person who teaches English as a Second Language) is a rewarding experience as you help students acquire new language skills and explore another country and its unique culture.
If you are still unsure about the destination, here are the best countries for ESL teaching to consider:
- China – most ESL teaching job opportunities
- South Korea – the most comprehensive job benefits in Asia
- Japan – excellent professional development opportunities, benefits, and salaries
- Vietnam – ideal for teaching and traveling
- Spain – perfect for work-life balance
- United Arab Emirates – the highest ESL salaries.
A CV for an ESL teacher is essential when applying for an ESL teaching position abroad, as it showcases your skills, experience, and personality traits. In addition, it helps the hiring manager determine if you are the perfect fit for the job.
You may have a TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certificate, a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate, a TOEFL (Teaching Online English as a Foreign Language) certificate, or a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. Perhaps you are a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) teacher.
Regardless of your teaching certifications, this guide to writing a ESL teacher resume will help you stand out and improve your chances of getting your desired job.
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What are the Roles of ESL Teacher
Your teaching responsibilities depend on the student’s educational level. Here are the essential duties you can expect in different educational settings:
- Creating Grade 1-5 English proficiency curricula.
- Translating documentation for your school.
- Developing and implementing lesson plans.
- Teaching students to read, write, and speak English fluently through various texts and media.
- Helping students understand verbal and non-verbal markers that vary across cultures, thus ensuring seamless social interactions.
- Helping non-native English speakers join your school and prepare for an ESL teaching job.
- Collaborating with other schools in the area to develop high-quality ESL programs.
Middle and high school
- Your task can be to create Grade 6-8 (middle school) and Grade 9-12 (high school) English proficiency curricula.
- An important task is to make lesson plans for English language and literature, collaborating with other teachers to help them understand the goals and objectives.
- You will need to prepare texts, media, and exercises introducing Western culture to ESL students.
- Preparing role-play activities for better English-speaking skills is also a responsibility.
- Your job will be to teach students to express ideas through lengthy texts in English.
- Organizing extracurricular activities like museum visits or shopping trips to help students practice English language skills in social situations.
- Helping high school students prepare for job interviews in English is essential.
- You will be tasked with creating progress reports for parent-teacher conferences.
Adult or remedial education
- Create and implement lesson plans to help adult students reach high-school knowledge equivalency.
- Assess students for conversational ability and learning disabilities to adjust teaching strategies according to their strengths and weaknesses.
- Teach conversational English to beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners.
- Prepare texts, media, and grammar exercises to help students improve language comprehension and proficiency.
- Provide one-on-one tutoring.
- Help students develop skills necessary for the workplace (e.g., teaching them practical vocabulary, critical thinking, and problem-solving).
- Assist students with job search through community resources.
- Use a digital tool to deliver lessons, communicate with students, track their progress, and conduct regular assessments.
- Create and provide online English listening, reading, writing, and speaking proficiency lesson.
- Customize lessons to different learning styles.
- Prepare audio lectures, videos, slides, notes, and other educational material.
- Create online tests and quizzes to assess learners.
- Provide one-on-one assistance and prepare group activities.
- Monitor the progress to assist when necessary.
- Create ESL teaching courses to help other professionals enhance their efforts online or in the classroom.
Choose the Best Resume Format
There is no universal approach to CV writing, as you will want to emphasize different things based on your previous experience, skills, job history, etc. However, it is crucial to pick the right format because you want to highlight the most pertinent information at the beginning, and your CV needs to get your potential employer’s attention.
A functional or skills-based format is ideal if you have no work experience because it focuses on your skills.
However, if you are an experienced teacher, you might benefit most from the reverse-chronological format. It highlights your latest work experience, going backward through your history (up to ten years), and skills, including any relevant transferable abilities.
Are you switching careers or wishing to emphasize specific skills? Then, a hybrid format might be more useful. It begins with your accomplishments and skills before listing your work history in reverse chronological order.
How to Write ESL Teacher Resume
Writing a CV for an ESL teacher resume may seem complicated, but this step-by-step guide will help you create an impressive document that stands out from other job applicants.
Here are the essential steps to writing an ESL teacher resume:
Write your contact information
Your name, job title, and contact details should be visible at the top to let the hiring manager know who you are and help them reach you quickly.
There are no specific formatting guidelines for this part, but using a larger font in bold for your name and job title is an excellent practice.
Note: Your home address is optional; the city and state are usually enough.
Address: 1461 Hillhaven Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States
Summary or objective statement
A summary statement or objective statement is ideal for introducing yourself by highlighting your qualifications and career goals.
A professional summary is a better choice if you are an experienced teacher. It should include your work experience, education, and top achievements.
If you have no work experience or are changing careers, an objective statement is an excellent alternative. It should include your skills, professional goals, previous achievements (if any), and the benefits of hiring you.
Expert tip: Keep the introduction concise, focusing on your best characteristics and quantifying your achievements. Avoid generic terms like “excellent communication skills” and “results-driven.” Instead, be unique and use powerful action verbs to impress the hiring manager.
Summary statement example:
A TESOL-certified teacher with a master’s degree in English Language and Literature and four years of ESL teaching experience in public U.S. high schools and online educational settings. Developed 150+ lesson plans, raised standardized test scores, and trained 520+ students for the TOEFL test. Dedicated to helping students master the English language in a creative and inspiring environment.
Objective statement example:
A passionate teacher with a master’s degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, seeking employment at the Beijing BISS International School. Offering innovative ESL teaching methods and lesson-planning proficiency. Provided tutoring for 54 ESL students at UCLA and volunteered in the PUENTE Learning Center’s adult ESL program.
Provide work experience history
Your work history is the most crucial part of an ESL teacher resume. It shows where you honed your skills and outlines the previous responsibilities and achievements that might qualify you for the desired position.
Each entry should include your job title, employer, dates of employment, responsibilities, and accomplishments.
Expert tip: Use a bulleted list to mention your duties and accomplishments, quantify your experience where possible, start each entry with a powerful action verb, and do not use periods. Include up to ten years of work history unless you have been with a particular employer longer or wish to emphasize an older job to showcase relevant skills. Previous salaries or supervisor names are not necessary.
English as a Second Language Teacher at Keystone Academy, Beijing, China
September 20xx – June 20xx
–Developed and implemented lesson plans for Grade 6-12 learners
–Collaborated with other teachers to develop Grade 6-8 English proficiency curricula
–Taught six classes daily of 25 to 30 students
–Provided one-on-one tutoring whenever necessary
–Supervised extracurricular activities where students practiced English speaking skills
–Trained Chinese-speaking teachers for ESL teaching
Provide detailed educational background and certification
Mention all your degrees and certifications to showcase your suitability for the teaching position. Start with your most recent educational achievements.
Every entry should include the qualification, institution, and start and completion dates. You can also mention your GPA and academic achievements. You must also mention any relevant program or course you are currently taking.
Educational qualifications can be listed as follows:
- Bachelor of Communication
- TEFL Certificate
- ESL Advanced Certificate
- TESOL Master’s Degree
- Bachelor of Special Needs Education
- Bachelor of Arts in English Literature
- Associates Degree in Elementary Education
Remember that you need a bachelor’s degree and a state or country license for an ESL teaching job in a public school.
Expert tip: There is no need to mention your high school education if you have a college degree, nor should you mention any degrees that are not closely related to an ESL Teacher position. You can, however, add some training or professional experience you have received outside of college. Licenses and certifications are also essential and should be added to this section or a separate section under this one.
Master of Arts in English Literature
CGPA: 3.8, summa cum laude
University of California, Los Angeles
September 20xx – June 20xx
Bachelor of Arts in English
CGPA: 3.9, summa cum laude
University of California, Los Angeles
September 20xx – June 20xx
Los Angeles, California
October 20xx – December 20xx
Create an impressive skills section
The skills section is vital for showcasing the abilities that make you the ideal candidate for the job. Refer to the job description to ensure you mention the skills your potential employer finds most important.
List your most valuable soft skills and hard skills (technical abilities) to stand out among the other candidates and impress the hiring manager.
Here are some examples of soft skills an ESL teacher can benefit from:
- Good interpersonal communication skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Social and cultural awareness
The following are a few examples of relevant hard skills for this position:
- Classroom management
- Creative thinking and problem-solving
- Lesson planning
- Expert in MS Office
Expert tip: Create a bulleted list and keep it concise by using keywords from the job description and descriptive language instead of vague, generic terms.
You can make a list like the one given below:
- Native English speaker
- Mid-level Chinese language proficiency
- Lesson planning
- Curriculum design
- Differentiation technique
- English Chinese translation and vice versa
- Experience with digital teaching and video collaboration tools
- Microsoft Office proficiency
- Advanced verbal communication skills
- Excellent adaptability and patience
If you are new to resume writing or want to ensure that your CV is as streamlined and efficient as possible, you can begin by using a template. By creating the most effective outline and assisting you in expediting the process, a good template takes care of all the preliminary work for you.
Tips to Remember
The steps above are essential, but you can add more flair to compel the hiring manager to choose you.
Here are the top tips to remember:
1. Add keywords from the job description
The keywords in the job description are the key abilities and characteristics your potential employer is looking for in a new hire. Therefore, including them (as long as they genuinely apply to you) will showcase that you are a suitable job candidate.
2. Show your passion for the job
No one wants to hire a teacher who is not passionate about working with students. Your enthusiasm for inspiring young minds and assisting them in mastering a new language in a creative setting will demonstrate that you have the right attitude for the profession.
3. Remain professional
Your vocabulary might display your personality, but professionalism should always take precedence. After all, you are applying for a job.
For instance, you may wish to mention how you spend your free time to add more personality but keep it relevant. Unfortunately, the hiring manager is uninterested in irrelevant hobbies such as gardening or cooking, but volunteering as a teacher would be a huge plus.
4. Select an appropriate layout and design
Your chosen layout and design demonstrate your character and professionalism. Too much color, an overused bold font, and barely any white space would cause visual fatigue.
Choose a clean layout with a few design elements, like the bold font in the examples above, and maybe use a different color to differentiate sections.
5. Double-check your resume
Check for grammatical, spelling, and formatting errors before submitting. Such errors could indicate you are not serious about the job because you did not take the time to polish everything. Review your CV to ensure that you have accurately included all relevant details.
ESL Teacher Resume Examples
Frequently Asked Questions
One page is a typical length, but it is not mandatory. You may extend it to another page if you wish to mention more information that your potential employer might find valuable.
Choose the suitable format, layout, and length according to your experience and skill. The CV should be concise while not missing anything vital.
PDF format is the best option because it saves your formatting, regardless of which program you used. It also enables hiring managers to open it on any device and operating system. Some employers may have different requirements, but they will specify them in the job posting. Carefully read the instructions to understand how to apply.