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Fantastic ESL Teacher Resume Examples to Use This Year

An ESL teacher needs to be extremely skilled and have excellent interpersonal skills. Our ESL teacher resume examples will show you how to display these elements in your own resume.

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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What to highlight in an ESL teacher resume

An ESL teacher is a teacher that specializes in teaching English as a second language. For this position, you’ll need to have all the skills associated with classroom teaching while also having professional expertise related to teaching the English language to ESL learners.

The right professional resume for this job will display your skills, experience, and certifications that fulfill the role’s duties to hiring managers. This should include evidence of teaching experience, classroom management skills, experience creating lesson plans, knowledge of different teaching methods, and principles of ESL education.

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How to write a ESL teacher resume

The structure of your ESL teacher resume will depend on which resume format you choose. There are three main formats:

  • Chronological: Chronological resumes focus on work history and are suitable for ESL teachers who have many years of experience in the classroom.
  • Functional: Functional resumes focus on skills and are suitable for candidates applying for entry-level positions in education, highlighting your skill set rather than previous roles.
  • Combination: Combination resumes highlight both skills and experience; they are suitable for ESL teachers with some experience but who want to also emphasize subject-specific skills. 

Regardless of which format you choose, your resume will include the following sections:

  • Contact information
  • Resume summary/objective
  • Skills
  • Work experience 
  • Education


Your contact information goes in your header, and should be easily visible to the recruiter. You should include your full name, address, email, phone number, location, and any relevant social media links like your  LinkedIn profile. This gives the hiring manager a full rundown of options to contact you.

Resume summary/objective 

Your resume summary or resume objective sits underneath the header at the top of your resume.

The resume summary is a snapshot view of your teaching career thus far. Only a few sentences long, it summarizes your strengths as a candidate. For example:

“Professional ESL teacher with a master’s degree in TESOL with over ten years of classroom experience. Proven track record of mentoring ESL students and improving ELL language skills in both middle school and high school.”

A resume objective is slightly different in that it is more aspirational. Use it to outline our career objectives to show your goals align with the organization you’re applying to. The resume objective is the better option for less-experienced candidates: “Recent graduate seeking professional development in an ESL learning environment. Experience teaching TEFL in small groups and measuring student progress.” 


The best resume will have a comprehensive skills section that mentions the necessary hard and soft skills to be a responsible ESL teacher. Consider using these bullet points as inspiration to include in your ESL teacher resume:

  • Communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Second language proficiency (e.g., Spanish)
  • Knowledge of IEPs
  • Knowledge of linguistics and second language acquisition principles
  • Knowledge of assessments
  • Microsoft proficiency, including PowerPoint
  • TOEFL principles
  • Principles of classroom management

This list is by no means exhaustive. Being a teacher is a highly skilled profession. The classroom setting means that soft skills are a significant need for teachers as they navigate student needs. Check the job description for specific skills the recruiter is looking for. This information will help shape your skills section. 

Work experience

List your previous relevant work experience in reverse chronological order in this section. The perfect work history section refers to plenty of educational responsibilities and achievements that show your teaching skills as a second language teacher. If you are a trainee teacher, refer to roles where you have collaborated with other teachers to aid student learning.

If you have no experience in a teaching job, highlight roles that showcase transferable skills. This section is about making the connection for recruiters between your previous experience and the advertised position.


In your education section, establish credibility by listing any professional qualifications or certifications you may have. That could be a bachelor’s degree or a certificate from a professional development course you attended. Any ESL-related certifications will also be good to highlight here.

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Do’s and don’ts for an ESL teacher resume

check sign Do's
  • Show you understand the jargon of your profession. This field is littered with acronyms, so use them correctly to show you know your stuff.
  • Establish your credibility by listing specific duties and accomplishments that show you can handle the ins and outs of teaching.
  • Use keywords from the job description (e.g., specific skills or required experiences) to help guide your resume.
close sign Don'ts
  • Overfill your experience section with non-relevant roles – focus on experiences that directly apply to the job you want.
  • Falsify any experience. This will get found out at the interview stage by a skilled recruiter.
  • Try to write your resume without help! Use our resume builder and free resume templates for inspiration.

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FAQ: ESL teacher resumes

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Yes, a professional job application always needs a cover letter. Your cover letter is an opportunity to add some detail to your resume and show off a bit of your personality. It’s also an opportunity to explain why you are applying for that school in particular and why you’re a great fit.

You can still use this ESL teacher resume even if you don’t have much teaching experience. Use a functional format for your resume and use your skills section to demonstrate all the important skills you’ve gained through your teacher training and any related experiences (e.g., internships or summer/volunteer teaching work).

You should always tailor your resume to each individual job you apply for. To do this, use the job ad, job posting, and job description to look for clues as to what the hiring manager is looking for. You’ll use this information to tailor your resume accordingly. For more resume tips and writing tips for your cover letter, check out our free samples.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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