How To Write an ESL Teacher Resume

English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers help students build their English skills to pursue broader career and education opportunities. But it can be hard to translate this important work into a resume for your job search.

Your ESL teacher resume must demonstrate an ability to design lesson plans and assess student progress through a positive and inclusive learning environment. With the examples and tips below, you’ll learn how to organize your work experience, present your degrees and credentials, and align your resume with ESL job openings.

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level
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1. Write a dynamic profile summarizing your English as a second language teacher qualifications

Engage readers with a brief and impactful summarization of your career in education so far. The goal is to give hiring managers a compelling snapshot of what makes you uniquely qualified as an educator. List your job title and years of experience first, followed by a few qualifications that align with the job description of the position you’re applying for.

Express the positive impact you’ve had on students directly in your profile and list the range of ages you’ve taught. This helps the hiring manager see how you might motivate and empower students at their academic institution. You can also include if you can speak one or more languages besides English.

Senior-Level Profile Example:

Motivated ESL instructor with over 10 years of experience. Highly versatile, having taught basic through advanced ESL to learners aged 15 to 75. Build positive relationships with students, colleagues, and school administrators. Adaptable in the face of new work challenges and conditions. Committed to upholding a school’s mission, objectives, and educational values. Broad language skills, with fluency in Spanish and proficiency in German.

Entry-Level Profile Example:

ESL educator dedicated to delivering high-quality ESL instruction to students of varying ages and ability levels. Motivate and empower students to achieve and exceed their English learning goals.

2. Showcase your English as a second language teacher experience

Use your most recent teaching jobs as proof of your valuable hands-on experience. As much as you can, outline your role as an educator by discussing what you accomplished rather than what you were responsible for day to day. Use numbers to bring perspective to your achievements by discussing how many students you taught, how you measured success, or how student performance was improved.

As an ESL educator, you work with people from various cultural backgrounds. So emphasize your awareness of different cultures and how you create a sensitive and inclusive learning environment for all students.

Senior-Level Professional Experience Example:

ESL Instructor, XYZ Education Services, Seattle, WA | September 2016 – present

  • Teach students common English vocabulary and phrases needed for daily life and work settings
  • Work with and help immigrants study for the American citizenship exam
  • Refer students to job placement agencies and other community resources as appropriate
  • Recently appointed to a training role for newly hired ESL teachers. Facilitate group sessions on how to schedule classes effectively, organize course materials, and connect students to additional learning sources

Entry-Level Professional Experience Example:

ESL Tutor, KLM International Center, San Francisco, CA | April 2021 – present

  • Provide one-on-one ESL lessons to students and professionals
  • Assist and work with students of varying ages, skill levels, and cultural and economic backgrounds
  • Adapt teaching approach and methods to each person’s interests and ability level

3. List any education and certifications relevant to English as a second language teachers

Your foundation of knowledge is essential as an educator. And your resume needs to prove that you meet the minimum educational requirements for the job. In addition to your college education, include relevant certifications to show you’re qualified to teach.

If you have a state teaching certification, be sure to list that along with any ESL endorsements. For teachers without a state license or relevant degree, a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification will likely be all you need to meet minimum requirements for select ESL teaching jobs.



  • [Degree Name]
  • [School Name], [City, State Abbreviation] | [Graduation Month and Year]


  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) English, Hispanic Studies
  • University of California, Berkeley, CA, | May 2021



  • [Certification Name], [Awarding Organization], [Completion Year]


  • TEFL Certification, International TEFL and TESOL Training, 2021
  • Teaching License, California State Board, 2021

4. Outline your most useful English as a second language teacher skills and proficiencies

ESL teachers draw on a blend of communication and academic skills and deep knowledge of English in all its complexity. Below are the skills hiring managers often seek when filling ESL teacher positions. Consider including any of these terms to help your document catch interest and give the hiring manager a bird’s-eye view of your expertise:

Key Skills and Proficiencies
Adaptive teaching Adult education
Assessment and evaluation Attendance and grade documentation
Conflict resolution Cross-discipline collaboration
Cultural sensitivity Curriculum development
Differentiated instruction ESL
English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) English grammar and composition
Essay grading Individual learning plans
Lesson planning Linguistics
Task prioritization Technology integration
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Virtual classroom technology

How To Pick the Best ESL Teacher Resume Template

Hiring managers will always be more interested in the content of your resume over the visual appeal. So don’t get hung up on finding the most stylish resume template – keep it simple. Look for a modern, minimalistic design that’s easy to navigate and read. While a colorful template with fun graphics may look unique, it can distract hiring managers from your writing. A straightforward layout with clearly organized sections is always your best bet.

ESL Teacher Text-Only Resume Templates and Examples

  • Entry-level
  • Mid-career
  • Senior-level

Anthony Gentile
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]
123 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 12345


Resourceful ESL Teacher with 6+ years of experience. Adept at putting English grammar in clear terms to help students build their proficiency, overcome language barriers, and pursue new work opportunities. Highly patient, working closely with students as needed to address and resolve learning challenges. Well-versed in virtual learning tools such as Google Duo and Blackboard Learn.

Professional Experience

ESL Instructor, C.H. Language Services, San Diego, CA
September 2017 to Present

  • Deliver engaging and informative lessons on English grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and pronunciation
  • Carefully select and organize course materials for each group of students
  • Continually explore and incorporate new teaching methods, strategies, and technologies
  • Effectively navigated the abrupt transition to remote learning in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Earned consistent high scores in post-semester student surveys

ESL Teacher, XYZ International Language Institute, Tokyo, Japan
January 2016 to August 2017

  • Conducted ESL classes for groups of up to 20 secondary school students
  • Gained a strong foundation in classroom management and lesson planning


Bachelor of Arts (BA) — English, Creative Writing
University of California, San Diego, CA, January 2012 – January 2016

Technical Skills

  • Virtual Learning Tools: Blackboard Learn, Google Duo, Skype, Zoom
  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint)

Key Skills

  • Adult Education
  • Curriculum Development
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • English Grammar & Composition
  • Essay Grading
  • Lesson Planning
  • Linguistics
  • Task Prioritization
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Virtual Classroom Technology

Frequently Asked Questions: ESL Teacher Resume Examples and Advice

What are common action verbs for ESL teacher resumes?-

Action verbs help to illustrate your professional experience section, but you might run out of such verbs to describe your work. To help you overcome this obstacle, we’ve compiled a list of standard action verbs to help you describe your educator role. Use some of the words below as you write your ESL teacher resume:

Action Verbs
Adapted Assessed
Collaborated Communicated
Designed Developed
Educated Empowered
Engaged Facilitated
Helped Informed
Inspired Instructed
Mentored Motivated
Organized Planned
Prioritized Tutored
How do you align your resume with an ESL teacher job description?-

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment for adult basic and secondary education ESL teachers will decline 13% between 2022 and 2033, about 4,000 positions will open yearly. This prediction is based on the change in government funding for ESL programs and the reduction of adults seeking high school-level education due to increasing high school graduation rates.

With these expectations of job decline, competition for ESL teaching positions will be stiff. Applicants will need a tailored resume that aligns with the job description and speaks directly to the needs of employers.

For example, say an employer needs an ESL teacher specializing in teaching young learners. In that case, you would highlight your track record of teaching English to children through age-appropriate lesson planning and classroom management. Throughout your resume, you could demonstrate your ability to encourage participation through language games, group projects, and role-playing activities.

What is the best ESL teacher resume format?-

The chronological resume format is a solid choice for ESL teachers, especially those with much professional experience. Your work history is presented in a logical, reverse-chronological timeline. Hiring managers can easily track the progression of your teaching career and understand the scope of your work.

Alternatively, the combination format works well for ESL teachers who may not have had official jobs yet. With an emphasis on skills and education, the combination resume combines the best of a chronological and functional resume for a balanced approach focusing less on experience.

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Expert Advice
Include a cover letter with your resume
Once you finish your resume, write a cover letter and increase your chances of landing an interview. The best strategy for writing an effective cover letter is to tailor it to the school or company you’re applying to. Check out our teacher cover letter guide to learn how. For more examples in related occupations, read our tutor and professional substitute teacher cover letter guides.
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