Applying to become an ESL teacher overseas is an excellent opportunity, but knowing how to present yourself in front of potential employers can be challenging for a lot of first-time ESL teachers. One of the things that presents you as a potential candidate is your ESL resume.
Although there’s no absolutely right or wrong way of writing your ESL resume, you want to tailor it towards being an ESL teacher so that you’ll greatly increase your chance of getting hired. After all, a great resume is something that you have to spend hours creating, typing up, and honing, so you want to make sure it stands out!
Know the Basic Format for ESL Teacher Resumes
Here are some basics for getting started, so as long as you can follow directions, you can easily create the perfect ESL teacher resume.
The personal information section will contain your name, address, and phone number, but this is also where you will include your date of birth, gender, and nationality.
These are the basic information what overseas employers will be looking for on your ESL resume.
This section will include all the education that you have received, starting with your TEFL certification and continuing with your highest levels of education and working down from there.
It is necessary for you to be very specific in this section and include where you received the education, what your major was, and when you received your degrees. With our recruiting experiences, some international schools even require the candidates to be graduated from certain top universities!
If you do not have an education degree, you do not need to worry that you will automatically be disqualified. All you need to do is list all the courses that you have taken in the past that are relevant to education. A few of those courses could include English literature, public speaking, foreign languages, and even journalism.
The skills section will have you touting all those special skills that you have acquired over the years, even if they are not related to teaching.
This is a great place to share that you are proficient with computers, know multiple languages, or anything else that you think will be helpful. It is always nice to include both hard and soft skills, as they allow the employers to see how well-rounded you really are.
A few hard skills that would help boost your ESL resume include being proficient in at least one other language, capable of writing and editing, knowledge of computers, and prior teaching experiences. Soft skills are also important such as the ability to communicate with others well, capable of building relationships, adaptable to any situation, and being quite patient (extremely important for young ESL learners).
Almost anything counts under work experience and you will want to include what you have accomplished over the last ten years.
Most overseas employers love seeing job titles in this section, so add those along with what you did for each position, you start and end dates, and any recognition you received while there.
If you just graduated from college, or have little job experience, volunteer work and even summer camp positions are helpful. These experiences are also strong proof that you are someone who’s active and driven, and are capable of working with others in a team environment.
Schools also want to get to know their potential employees as much as possible on a personal level, which is why they love to see what you have been doing in your spare time.
This is really your place to shine on your ESL teacher resume, because you can list all those times that you mentored, tutored, or coached others, as well as any activities you are passionate about which showcase you are a positive person.
It is also recommended that you place a professional photo at the top of your ESL teacher’s resume. As mentioned above, schools love getting to know their potential employees, and nothing does that better than a professional picture of you! Employers will instantly form a personal connection with you and will love that they have a face to put with the name and skills that they are reading about.
When you have your picture taken, make sure that it is done professionally. This is not the time to do a quick selfie and hope for the best!
Enhance Your ESL Teacher Resume
There are certain things that you must keep in mind when you are crafting your ESL teacher resume.
1. The Language You Use
First, please remember that a non-native English speaker may be reading your resume. Therefore, it is important that you keep the format simple and standard, while making it easy for anyone to read. This is not the time for you to use words that most people would need to take a dictionary out to understand.
2. Big Bonus: Overseas Experiences
The last item that you should make sure is on your ESL teacher resume is any of the times that you have studied or lived overseas. This is not a deal breaker, so do not panic if you have never been away from home. However, employers love to see that their potential employees have the ability to adapt to new situations and can be independent.
Not everyone requires references, but they are nice to include just in case.
Three references are recommended, and it is important that you list how you know each one, how long you have known them, and their email and phone number.
A Checklist For ESL Teacher Resume
ESL Teacher Resume Samples
The good thing about writing an ESL resume (or any resume), is that you don’t always have to start from scratch! There are a lot of great samples available online that provide both basic templates as well as creative inspiration.
ESL resume samples:
- Panda Buddy’s ESL teacher template (CLICK to download)
- Job Hero ESL Teacher Resume Samples
- ESL Teacher Resume: 20+ Examples
Resume Templates (Downloadable, Customisable):
Looking For An ESL Opportunity?
A great ESL resume is there to help you knock the door of the ESL teaching world. The next step is to explore all the opportunities possible!
With its creasing demand and cultural appeal, China is probably one of the best places to start your teaching journey abroad. The teaching positions are opening all year round, which you can review and apply at your convenience.
Ready to start your journey in China?
As you can see, it is not that difficult to write an ESL teacher resume. However, you should also be able to see why it is so different than many of the other resumes you have sent out in the past.
Now that you know how to write this type of resume, you can sit down and type one up to send out and start living your dream of being an ESL teacher in another country!