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Written by Anna MuckermanAnna Muckerman

ESL Teacher resume example & writing guide

A proven job specific resume example + writing guide for landing your next job in 2024. You can edit this ESL Teacher resume example to get a quick start and easily build a perfect resume in just a few minutes. Just fill in your details, download your new resume & start your job application today!
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ESL Teacher resume example & writing guide
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A job as an ESL teacher can be just as rewarding for you as it is for your students. As you watch them grow confidence in their language skills, it's clear that you've made a difference in someone's future. All it takes is a resume that proves you've got the right mix of teaching skills and character traits to handle this fulfilling role.

Luckily, we're here to help. With 300+ job-specific guides and resume examples, we know a thing or two about creating an application that stands out to hiring managers and lands you that dream position. In this guide, along with our corresponding ESL teacher resume example, we'll teach you how to:

  • Choose the right format for a ESL teacher resume sample
  • Create a summary that highlights your personality, experience and education
  • Design a layout that stands out in a crowded application pool

What does an ESL teacher do?

ESL Teachers are educators who specialize in teaching students studying English as a second language. They help students to develop a greater understanding of English and develop skills through activities centered around reading, listening, writing, and speaking. ESL Teachers can teach students of any age and can teach in a school, independently, or through a private company. ESL Teachers must be understanding of different backgrounds, customs, and cultures, and work to make their students feel comfortable. ESL teachers research word equivalents in the languages of their students, and work to bridge the gap in understanding. ESL Teachers should have excellent communication skills in order to work with students, tutors, teachers and other academic professionals.

Expert tip

You can find plenty more writing and formatting advice in our related education resume examples, including ones for elementary school teachers and teacher assistants.

How to write an ESL teacher resume

Your ESL teacher resume should contain many of the sections found on other resume samples, including:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

An ESL Teacher resume should clearly demonstrate a candidate's ability to help students develop a greater understanding and utilization of the English language. Your resume should highlight your firm grasp on English and your teaching skills. Showcase your ability to help students understanding English through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Be sure to highlight your flexible personality and adaptability, as these are important skills when it comes to a position like this. Your resume should also call attention to your ability to effectively carry out lesson plans and develop curricula that supports ESL students (English Language Learners.) Your resume should also emphasize your education and certifications, as those are key requirements for an ESL teaching position.

Expert tip

Including these sections on your resume sample is not only great for organization, they can also help you beat ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems.) These algorithms are built-in to many online application portals and can filter out candidates before they even reach the hiring manager's desk. By using common section headers, you help tell the robots where to find the information they are looking for.

Choosing the best resume format for ESL teachers 

Since education is a fairly formal field, ESL teachers should generally opt for the reverse chronological resume format. This is the best option because of its focus on the employment history section where you'll be able to share your relevant skills and experience. List your previous positions starting with the most recent and working backwards until you've filled the page or included 10 years of work experience.

Other formats like the functional resume are better suited for entry-level candidates who want to show off skills without much previous employment. You can combine elements of these two structures on a hybrid resume, which can be an option for applicants who want to show off a specialized skillset or make a career change.

Expert tip

Many ESL teachers choose to work abroad for the cultural immersion experience that comes with the job. Here are some top ranking countries where ESL teachers are in demand, according to gooverseas.com.

  • Best job availability: China
  • Best benefits: South Korea
  • Best for traveling: Vietnam
  • Best for salary: UAE
  • Best for work-life balance: Spain

Resume summary example

The summary offers the hiring manager a glimpse into how well-rounded you are. This section is meant to highlight your best skills, experiences, and accomplishments here. This section should serve as an influential summary conveying the value you bring as an ESL teacher, including the right personality traits. Be sure to include any information you do not want a potential employer to miss.

Check out the summary from our resume sample below.

Adaptable summary example

Experienced and passionate ESL Teacher with a love for teaching and empowering others. Adept in creating a comprehensive and well-rounded curriculum that meets education requirements and standards. Able to act as a facilitator of powerful learning experiences, while allowing students to share their own passions and curiosities. Familiar with many renowned educational philosophies, and committed to continually advancing as a Teacher. Bringing forth dedication, skill, and the desire to positively impact the lives of students. 


Employment history sample

In the employment history section, list all positions of importance and those that have transferable duties and/or required skills necessary for an ESL Teacher position. Remember to use powerful action verbs that showcase your skills and abilities. Quantify your achievements with numbers and statistics that show the impact you had on your students. Skills that require more than a few words to explain can be woven into your bullet points here. See the resume example content below.

Adaptable employment history example
  • Conducted home language surveys to determine the needs of a students.
  • Placed students in programs that best suited their needs.
  • Planned and implemented lessons that consisted of skill building techniques for reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  • Conducted small group and individual lessons.
  • Attended professional development workshops to remain informed about the best techniques and strategies for English Language Learners.
  • Identified and suggestion additional resources for English Language Learners and their families.

ESL teacher resume education example

Education is important for an ESL teacher so make sure to list all degrees and certifications here. Any honors or distinctions should be noted here as well. If you hold a degree higher than a bachelor's degree, you may leave out your high school. If you have many additional teaching certifications, you can list them here or create a separate section highlighting them. Below you'll find the education section from our resume example.

Adaptable education example
  • 2009-2013 Hamline University, Master of Teaching English St. Paul, MN
  • 2005-2009 Hunter College, Bachelor of English NY, NY

CV skills example

The CV skills section is the best place to highlight any abilities that can be summarized in one or two words. Make sure to check the job description for the abilities an employer values most. An outstanding ESL Teacher CV should include a number of impressive skills that your employer is looking for in a candidate. Be sure to include job specific skills and a strong mix of soft and hard skills. Find our resume sample below.

Adaptable skills example
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Language Building Activities
  • Adaptability
  • Differentiation Techniques
  • Informal and Formal Assessments

Resume layout and design

The layout and design of your resume sample says a lot about how professional you are and how seriously the employer should take your application. Make sure to choose a design that is appropriate and attractive for the position (and even the cultural norms) of the workplace you're applying to. It's important to maintain a balance of white space to text so avoid visual fatigue on the part of the reader. A pop of color and bold font can go a long way in helping your layout stand out, but make sure not to go overboard with design touches or it could have the opposite effect.

Expert tip

If you need a head start creating a perfect layout, check out our collection of resume templates, professionally-designed and waiting for you to add your personal finishing touches.

Key takeaways for a ESL teacher resume

  • Your ESL teacher resume is the first step in making sure you land that dream position, so make sure you put effort into the writing and appearance
  • Reverse chronological is the best resume format for this position because of its focus on previous employment
  • Make sure the summary of your resume sample conveys your experience, motivation and personality traits
  • Keep your resume error free by using spell-check and proofreading before you submit
  • A resume example can help you outline your thoughts and keep your resume to the right length
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