How to Write an ESL Teacher Resume (With an Example)

Updated June 10, 2023

If you're a native English speaker who wants to pursue a rewarding career, becoming an English as a second language (ESL) teacher may be a good option for you. To apply for this position, you may need a strong resume that highlights your experience, education, and skills. Learning more about how to write an effective resume can help you impress employers and improve your chances of receiving an invitation to interview. In this article, we explain what an ESL teacher resume is, discuss how to write one, and provide a template and example to aid your writing.

What is an ESL teacher resume?

An ESL teacher resume is a document that highlights the relevant experience, education, and skills you may need for success in this role. When applying for ESL teacher positions, you might complete a job application and attach your resume to it for consideration. The primary goal of this document is to show employers why you're a better candidate for the position than other applicants to improve your chance of receiving an invitation to interview.

Related: How to Become an ESL Teacher (With Salary and Work Conditions)

How to write an ESL teacher resume

If you want to create a resume to apply for ESL teacher positions, here are the steps you can follow:

1. Review the job posting

Before creating your own resume, it's best to review the job posting. Assess the skills, experience, and training employers are looking for to determine what details to include on your resume. If they mention keywords multiple times, such as specific skills they want ESL teachers to have, including them in your resume can help impress employers. While reviewing the job posting, you can also research the company to determine its values and goals. This can help you determine whether your own goals and values align.

2. Format your resume

Another element to consider before starting your resume is the format you want to use. There are three types of common resume formats, namely chronological, functional, and combination. Here's an explanation of each to help you choose one that meets your needs:

Chronological resume

Chronological resumes display applicants' work experience in reverse-chronological order. This means you list the most recent position you held at the top of your work experience section, followed by your previous positions. This makes it a good resume format for candidates with a lot of relevant industry experience.

Related: What Is the Standard Canadian Resume Format? (With 7 Tips)

Functional resume

Functional resumes highlight applicants' skills instead of their work experience. To do this, place the skills section of your resume above the work experience section. This makes it a good option for candidates with limited industry experience.

Combination resume

Combination resumes include elements from chronological and functional resumes. They allow you to highlight both your skills and work experience. You can adjust your combination resume based on what the employer is looking for in a candidate. For example, if the job posting states the employer wants ESL teachers who can speak at least two languages, you may list your skills first to highlight your language abilities.

3. Include your contact details

No matter what resume format you choose, the first section to include is always your full name and contact details. Include them in the header of your document so you can highlight to hiring managers who the resume belongs to, making it easy for them to contact you for an interview. Include your phone number and a professional e-mail address so employers can easily contact you. You can include the city and province or territory you live in to show employers you live nearby rather than your full address.

4. Write a professional summary or objective

A resume objective or summary statement serves as an introduction to your resume. This is a very important section of the document where you can promote yourself and highlight why you're the right candidate for the job. The goal is to gain the hiring manager's interest and motivate them to read the rest of your resume in three to four lines. Aim to use strong action words such as championed, mentored, or founded, as they create a sense of accomplishment, energy, and excitement.

Deciding whether to include a resume objective or a summary statement may depend on your unique situation. Here are short definitions to help you decide:

  • Resume objective: Candidates who are first-time job seekers or have limited work experience may opt for a resume objective. You can use this section to list the skills you have suited to the position and to explain your professional goals.

  • Summary statement: A summary statement is preferable for candidates with work experience. Apart from this, you can also mention your educational background and your most important achievements.

5. Discuss your education or training

Employers typically require candidates to have a diploma, degree, or certificate that allows them to teach ESL, such as a TESL certificate. If you have one, include details about it in this section of your resume. Include the name of the school you attended, the type of certification you received, and the date you graduated. This shows employers you're qualified and able to work as an ESL teacher.

Related: 20 Careers in Teaching and Education (With Salaries)

6. Describe your work experience

While many employers are happy to hire candidates with minimal teaching experience, if you do have relevant work experience, include it in this section. This includes internships, volunteer positions, co-ops, or professional experience. Include the name of the school you worked for, the position you held, and three to five of your past responsibilities. If you have a lot of relevant experience, limit this section to four of your most recent positions.

7. List your skills

End your resume with a bullet-point list of the relevant skills and attributes. Try to include five to 10 skills the employer is looking for, which you can typically find in the job posting or description. Here are some examples of skills and attributes a successful ESL teacher may have:

  • Passion

  • Communication skills

  • Classroom management

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Patience

  • Time-management skills

  • Flexibility

  • Organizational skills

  • Creativity

Related: What Are Resume Qualities and How to Include Them on Resumes

Resume template for ESL teachers

Here's a template you can use to create your own resume as an ESL teacher:

[Your name]
[Your phone number]
[Your e-mail address]
[City and province or territory where you live]

Professional summary
[Include one or two sentences describing your skills and experience.]

[School name] [Degree type]
[Location] [Year of graduation]

Work experience
[Job title]
[Company name], [Location], [Employment dates]

  • [Duty or responsibility]

  • [Duty or responsibility]

  • [Duty or responsibility]


  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]

ESL teacher resume example

Here's an example of what your resume may look like as an ESL teacher:

Patricia Jones
Victoria, British Columbia

Professional Summary
Creative and dedicated TESL-certified teacher with a master's degree in English and five years of ESL teaching experience in various educational environments. Committed to encouraging students of diverse cultures to master the English language and develop a love for languages in general.

Work experience
ESL Tutor, English for All Language Centre, Victoria, British Columbia
June 2017 to present

  • Developed innovative and unique lessons plans for five classes at different levels of proficiency in English

  • Organized and supervised special events and activities that encouraged students to communicate in English

  • Offered one-on-one tutoring lessons for students as needed

  • Taught up to five classes of around 30 students per class daily

English Conversation Teacher, Shanghai Experimental School, Shanghai, China
January 2014 to December 2017

  • Taught four classes of up to 50 ESL high school students daily

  • Invented effective ways to teach a language to large classes

  • Provided written feedback on all assignments

  • Supervised extracurricular student activities

  • Learned Mandarin in my spare time

TESL Certificate
Vancouver, British Columbia
TESL Training School
January 2013 - December 2014

Master of Arts in English Literature
University of Green Hills, Victoria, British Columbia

Bachelor of Arts in English
University of Green Hills, Victoria, British Columbia


  • Proficient in word processing

  • Fluent in English, Mandarin, and French

  • Familiarity with digital teaching tools, including interactive whiteboards, smart projectors, and audio enhancements

  • Experience in using video teaching platforms

  • Empathetic nature and a genuine desire to help others

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