* How to craft an ESL-focused resume (download resume template)

When writing an ESL teaching resume, it’s especially important that you put yourself into the shoes of the hiring school. While it’s true that you may be taking a risk by securing a job over the internet, the school is also making a big investment by offering a teaching job to an applicant they are not able to meet in person.  As such, creating proper ESL-focused resume is key to generating interest and not losing any potential opportunities.


Crafting a Good Teaching Resume

1. Include your address, contact information and DOB at the top of the resume. Including a proper photo in your resume is a nice touch, though not necessary.

2. To follow should be your OBJECTIVE and RELATED QUALIFICATIONS. Mention travel and periods of living abroad. Adjusting to a new culture is hard, and employers need some reassurance that you won’t pack your bags and run back home a month after arrival. Even if you haven’t lived abroad before, travelling on your own or for extended periods of time shows independence and the ability to handle the unexpected.

3, Next is your EDUCATION (including TESOL cert. if you have it).

4. The MAIN EMPLOYMENT SECTION can be titled: TEACHING-RELATED EXPERIENCE In this section you can list any relevant experience you have, be it paid or volunteer that is related to the position you are applying for. 

  • Emphasize experience in art and entertainment subjects such as acting, music, theatre and writing. Include anything related to teaching, leadership, camp counsellor, coaching etc
  • Be sure to let the employer know if you had a job working with children before, whether it’s as a babysitter (caregiver) or a Little League coach. Understanding the psychology of children goes a long way when working in ESL.
  • Your unrelated work experience can follow under the heading OTHER EXPERIENCE.

5. Cover Letter

  • Please explain why you are the right type of person to teach overseas.
  • Please explain what qualities you think are necessary to be a good teacher.
  • Please describe how you would deal with a workplace dispute with another co-worker or supervisor.

Tips & Warnings

Think of an ESL resume as a replacement for a face-to-face interview. Since it’s unlikely that you will meet your employer until after everything is finalized, you need to make sure you use the resume to express everything you won’t be able to say directly.

Write a powerful query letter to go along with your resume, making sure you emphasize why you would love this position, your knowledge of the country and why you would be perfect for the job. It doesn’t hurt to also do a little research on the school and mention some positive things about them in the letter.
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