ESL Teacher Career Information and Job Search Tips
Secure an English as a Second Language Teaching Position with These Job Hunting Strategies
The need for English as a Second Language instructors, more commonly known as ESL teachers, is becoming greater with each passing school year. As the culture in the United States and Canada becomes more diversified, so does the student population. Every year sees more families immigrating to North America from regions such as Latin America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. These new students may have little to no experience with the English language, as such, it is essential for schools to accommodate them and help them reach their full potential, regardless of which native language is spoken.
Reasons to Teach ESL Learners
- There is always a need for ESL instructors
- It can be an exciting, and rewarding new challenge
- You will form an even closer bond with your students and their families
- You can travel and teach ESL abroad, overseas or internationally
- ESL instruction doesn't need to be limited to a formal classroom or K-12 population; you can teach students at an adult level, as well as in a corporate training environment
- Teaching a new subject always looks good on a teacher resume
- If you are a career changer, instructing ESL students can help you transition into the world of education
- ESL teaching is great for beginning instructors, as well as seasoned educators. If you have limited experience in the field of education, ESL can be a great place for you to start
- Learn a new language or two!
Where to Apply for ESL Teaching Jobs
If you are looking at applying for a position in ESL education, there are various places you can turn to in order to enhance your job search. Whether you are searching in person, online, or networking through family and friends, the key is to get out there and search! One of the best job hunting methods is networking. Let family, friends, and past colleagues know that you are in search of an ESL position. Ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for any potential positions you may be interested in. Formal sources to utilize in your ESL teacher job search include:
- Local school districts
- Career or job fairs
- Out-of-state schools and districts
- Immigrant services
- Extracurricular tutoring companies
- Companies that recruit internationally
- Overseas recruitment agencies
- International schools that accommodate children of diplomats and army members serving overseas
- Businesses that have primarily international relations (China and Japan are good examples)
- Adult education classes for those looking to learn a second language
8 Critical Job Search Marketing Documents to Get Results
Regardless of the teaching position you wish to apply for, there is a standard set of documents that you should provide. Make sure these documents are well written, up-to-date, and visually appealing.
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae CV
- Cover Letter, Letter of Introduction, or Letter of Intent
- References Page
- Philosophy of Education Statement or Teaching Statement
- Teaching Portfolio
- Autobiography or Biography (potentially)
- Thank You Letter or Follow Up Letter (post-interview)
- Focused, Targeted, Keyword-Rich LinkedIn Profile (job search aid)
Before the Job Search Even Begins...
Make sure you have an exceptional, professional resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. You may think that you need to find a job to apply for first; however, the opposite is the case. What if you come across the perfect ESL position, but the deadline is not only today, but just one short hour away? There is nothing wrong with tweaking your ESL resume to fit the position, but you must make sure the bulk of the document is ready to go.
What your teacher resume should include:
- Contact Information
- Profile Summary (aka Introduction)
- Areas of Expertise / Core Competencies
- Formal Education and Credentials
- Teaching Experience
- Job or Career Accomplishments - relevant
- Professional Development
- Professional Affiliations
- Foreign Languages (if any)
- Publications and Presentations (if any)
- Community Involvement
Your resume and cover letter must also include ESL teaching keywords related to the world of education.
Below you will find 10 effective keywords. If any of these topics or methods apply to you, try to incorporate them in your job application document. The goal is not to necessarily use all of them, but fit them in strategically, and throughout your resume. If you have trouble integrating these keywords, or would like to learn more about them, give us a phone call or email! (A+ Resumes for Teachers by clicking here or call toll-free: 1-877-738-8052)
- Cultural sensitivity
- Differentiated instruction
- Multiple intelligences
- Response to intervention
- Individualized instruction
- Teachable moments
- Data-driven instruction
- Technology integration
- Discipline strategies
- Interdisciplinary teaching
In addition to your resume, you need to create an ESL cover letter. It is always a good idea to have a generic cover letter on standby, for circumstances such as the one above; however, if you have time, it is very important to tailor your cover letter to the ESL position you are applying for. This is an essential marketing tool that lets your personality shine through and encourages the reader to pick up your resume. Therefore, NEVER opt out of writing a cover letter!
What your teacher cover letter should include:
- Contact information for you, as well as the recipient
- The position you are applying for
- Formal education and credentials
- Hard skills and soft skills
- Teaching and related accomplishments
- Goals for your classroom
Furthermore, make sure your ESL cover letter is done in the same format as your resume, i.e. same header containing contact information, font, font size, and border (if you use one).
Preparing for an ESL Teacher Job Interview
Congratulations! You've been selected as an interview candidate. Now what do you do? As with any job interview, it is crucial you practice, practice, practice! However, teacher job interviews, in particular ESL teacher interviews, require special preparation. Your goal is to focus on your teaching accomplishments, skills, and methods. You must also concentrate on why you will make an exceptional additional to the school's ESL team. Did you notice how I said, "will" instead of "would?" You want to put yourself in the place of the position, and show the interviewer how you will benefit the school. By painting a picture that includes you as already being a member of the school team, you can help convince the interviewer that you are indeed the perfect fit. Here are some other tips for acing your ESL job interview:
- Prepare for a Behavioral Descriptive Interview (BDI)
- Prepare for a Panel Interview
- Practice answering interview questions in front of a mirror
- Practice with a friend or family member
- Bring your teaching portfolio to the interview
- Bring a copy of your teacher resume to the interview
- Have a list of professional references on hand
- Know and incorporate current industry buzzwords, like those mentioned above
- Link yourself to the school
- Showcase your solid instructional and classroom management skills
- Convey how you are able to reach out to all types and levels of learners
- Demonstrate how you effectively collaborate with parents
- Highlight how you are able to successfully coordinate with other educators
Once you have completed your interview, go home, and write a thank you letter immediately. You can either email the thank you letter or print it out and hand-deliver the next day. This is a great way to remind the interviewer(s) of the exceptional attributes you will bring to his or her school. It is also a very polite and professional way to show your appreciation for the opportunity bestowed upon you. Make sure you send a thank you letter to each interviewer that was present.
A Qualified Resume Writer Specialized In Education Resumes Will Reduce Job Search Time and Stress
If you are eager to teach ESL learners and/or change careers and transition into the world of education, then you must take my advice to heart! Do not go into your teacher job search half-heartedly or unprepared! After all, this is your career, as well as your future that we're talking about! If you are struggling with the development of your teacher resume or ESL cover letter, then don't take a chance. Let a Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach help assist you today.
Throughout this website you will find many articles and blog posts that will provide you with the information you are looking for, including how to develop an ESL teacher resume and cover letter, tips on teaching abroad, how to create a philosophy of education statement, preparing for the job interview, and various others topics.
We have helped many ESL teachers succeed in North America and internationally. Now, let us help you!
If you require more information or have any questions - Contact Candace at A+ Resumes for Teachers by clicking here or call toll-free 1-877-738-8052 FREE.