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Resume Writing Tips for English as a Second Language (ESL) Teachers

resume writing tips for english as a second language ESL teachers

Writing an ESL teaching resume can be difficult if you don’t know what is important to include and what to leave out.

Teaching English as a second language is a division of education that is continually growing, because newcomers to the US and Canada often don’t speak English as their first language, and countries around the world desire to learn English as well.

Those wishing to acquire a job in education may be more successful if they look for employment in an area such as ESL, TESOL, ELL, TEFL, and TESL.  The competition for ESL jobs is usually not as stiff as the competition for teaching jobs in other disciplines.

There are many positions to teach English abroad, so you don’t have to limit your search to North America. However, if you want to gain an ESL teaching position, composing a quality ESL teaching resume will be integral to your success.

If you prefer to work in a different teaching role, ESL can be a great pathway to eventually getting into the position of instruction of your dreams. If you answer a school’s call when they are desperately seeking an ESL teacher, they will most likely return the favor at a later date if you wish to transfer you to another position in the school. This, of course, would depend on the school and administrators.

Individuals who wish to teach ESL will find a myriad of opportunities both locally and abroad. To seize these opportunities, you will need a quality resume that highlights your ESL related skills. When composing your ESL teaching resume, be sure to include the following things:

• Discuss Skills Related to the Position

When creating an ESL resume, you do not have room to mention every skill that you have. Make sure that you only list skills that will be directly related to your occupation as an ESL teacher.  While you may have a whole lot of different skills, the interviewer will only be interested in the ones that apply for the position.

• List Relevant Work Experience

Schools looking to hire ESL teachers will want to see that you have some previous experience in the education field.  Even if you don’t have a teaching degree, you probably have some education or training experience.  Make sure to highlight any experience that is even remotely related to the job. There is no harm in pushing unrelated work experience to the background and bringing related experience to the front. You can even mention unpaid positions, like teaching Sunday school, or helping with adult education classes as a reference for teaching experience.

• Mention Language Experience

Because it is directly related to the job for which you are applying, be sure to mention any language skills you may possess, regardless of how small they may seem.  You do not have to be fluent in a language for your experience to be relevant.  If you can understand some basic conversational phrases, your skills will likely be helpful in your ESL teaching job.

• Include International Travels

Many hiring committees are impressed by ESL teachers who have traveled internationally.  Regardless of whether you are applying for an ESL position in your home country or abroad, having previous international travel experience can give you a leg up.  It allows the administration to see that you are worldly and experienced.  If you are applying for a job abroad, traveling to other countries indicates that you are not scared to go out on a limb and take chances.

Depending on the student population in the school district, some areas may have only one ESL teacher.  While ESL jobs are easier to find than jobs in other educational areas, it is still important to present a well-organized, professional persona.

This will help communicate you are the person the school district should choose for the ESL program.  Teaching ESL can be a large responsibility. Schools are not going to be eager to place that responsibility on your shoulders if you do not look like someone who can handle the load.