ESL Teacher Resume Step by Step Guide
Create an Outstanding Resume for Teaching Jobs
How do I create a resume that will help me get an online teaching job as an ESL teacher?
There are different approaches that others are going to suggest, and some of them are just as good as what you read here.
The main thing is to understand what the schools are looking for, and you should create a cover letter for each application you send. Yes, take the time to let the school know that you have read the requirements and how you match them. Don’t be lazy!
The resume that you give to a potential online teaching job is much different than the resume for brick-and-mortar teacher jobs. Just keep this in mind as we show you how to create a top-notch resume.
“Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do” by Jackson Brown an excellent and motivating quote whenever feeling lazy. Do not be lazy when it comes to writing a cover letter!
Keep in mind that most of the other teachers are going to send their CV/Resume with a generic cover letter. A generic cover letter is not a dealbreaker, but having a custom one specific for each school you are applying to might be that extra bit that grabs their attention.
The simplest way to create a cover letter is to write to explain to the potential employer why you are a good fit. Create this based on the requirements that they listed. It is that simple, and it will take little time at all to write a new one for each school where you submit your resume.
Along with meeting all of their requirements, you should also include what differentiates you from other teachers. Keep in mind that if the students are children, you should add relevant information about teaching children.
- As an example, let them know if you have props to keep the children focused and excited. Explain your knowledge and ability to use Total Physical Response(TPR).
- If you are teaching adults, then highlight how your experience will help adult ESL learners in their real-world business life. You can find a comprehensive list of English lessons for adults on the British Council site.
Best of all, you should even make an intro video like this one to demonstrate your teaching skills. Learn how to make a self-introduction video using this intro video template and guide.
Here is a list of other items to think about when applying for a job as an online ESL Teacher
- If you are a native or non-native English speaking teacher. What kind of accent you have or if it is neutral. Many schools prefer North American and British accents.
- Do you have a TEFL, TESOL, CELTA/DELTA, State-issued teacher license, or another certificate?
- English or ESL teaching experience or other relevant tutoring and teaching experience.
- Educational background. Do you have a Bachelor’s degree? Major in Education or English?
- The Internet speed of your connection and if it is wired or wifi. Include as well if you have a backup connection.
- Where you are currently located? Yes, some schools require that you are teaching from certain countries and that could impact you getting a job.
- What kind of computer you are working on and if you have a backup? Include the specifications such as memory, OS version, and camera as examples.
- Your teaching environment and supplies, including any props or whiteboard that you will use during the lessons.
- Mention that you have a high-quality headset and camera. If you do not have both of these then you should get them since the quality of the image and audio will have an impact on your students’ learning experience.
- Have a recent, professional quality picture of yourself on the resume.
- An introduction video that is posted on YouTube or shared through cloud drive like Google Drive. Yes, many of the Chinese schools have YouTube blocked, but others will use a VPN to get through. Learn how to do it.
- Last but not least, use this ultimate guide of online ESL teaching as a checklist to make sure you’re not missing anything and how your teaching skills meet their demands.
Basic Resume Requirements
There are a few requirements that each resume should have no matter the position or type of job.
- Make sure that you have your name and contact details stated at the top and bottom of the resume.
- The recruiters typically reach out through email. However, if you are traveling a lot, then you should get a Skype ID or better a Skype number or some other method to where you have a consistent number that can be forwarded to your local number would be a bonus.
- Keep your resume clean and straightforward. Use any of the primary fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman. Stick with black as the primary color, along with bolded letters when appropriate, and dark grey when necessary. If you provide links, make sure they are in blue only.
- The other basics include education, experience, awards, skills section, certifications, and appropriate recommendations and reference letters from others if you have one.
- Lastly, you want to make sure that you have an objective that lines up with the objectives of the school and job. As an example, if you are applying to LearnShip then you should have a goal focused on teaching adults. If you are applying to 51Talk, then your objective should be lined up and focused on teaching children.
- Preferably have your resume in pdf format. Check to see if the school requires a specific format. If they do and you have to convert it you should always check the conversion. The formatting might change during the conversion process.
Additional Items to Include for Online ESL Teacher Resume
The main point is to show the potential employer your understanding of what it is they require from you as an online ESL teacher. Let’s go through the items that are specific to teaching English online.
Native or Non-Native English Speaking Teacher
Some schools have strong preferences, particularly for conversational English lessons. List this out and let the employer know ahead of time will save both you and recruiters from the unnecessary effort. Yes, we all realize that there is a significant debate between what is native and non-native. However, the best approach is to target the matching jobs and understand the employers’ expectations so both parties will not end up in great disappointment.
TEFL, TESOL, CELTA or Other Certificate
Having your certification listed is essential. It is a strict requirement to have one if you’re teaching for ESL teaching platforms in China. Ensure that you mention it front and center. Attach the ESL teaching certificate whenever possible.
Having an active and reliable Internet connection to teach ESL online is extremely important. Not only a strong connection but preferably one that is wired. The majority of the online teaching companies will expect your Internet speed is at least 5 MB/s for both uploading and downloading. Test your Internet speed before getting on an online interview.
Include your current location. Some online teaching companies have the technical constraint in where their teaching service and server infrastructure located, which limits the region where they can hire the teachers to ensure running the lessons smoothly.
Having a quiet teaching environment that is clutter-free is a valuable asset when it comes to getting a job and keeping the students happy. It would be nice if all of the students reciprocated, but of course, we do not live in a perfect world.
Include in the description of your environment if you have any teaching tools such as a whiteboard. If you are teaching children, you should think about investing in some props as well.
List the type of computer you are using, the operating system, the amount of memory, and the type of processor. Also, include the kind of camera you have, and if you have a quality headset with a noise reduction microphone.
You are teaching online, right? Okay then, create an introduction video that clearly shows you are using a headset, have a nice clean background, can be heard crisp and clear. Show them that you are a real professional online teacher. Here is a guide for creating your astonishing intro video.
What to put in your video can be a rather lengthy topic and deserves a full post of its own. Take the time to write a short script of what you are going to say in your video. Record it a few times until you get it just right. The video doesn’t need to be lengthy, but 2-5 min is sufficient.
Include the basics about yourself while also including how you can help students learn through your online lessons. If you are focused on teaching children, this is an excellent time to bring out some props and show off your backboard as well. On the other hand, if you are teaching adults, make sure that you are wearing clothes that show you are in professional attire.
Keep in mind that YouTube has some reasonably easy to use editing functions once you upload your video. If you have a Mac, then use QuickTime to record your video and audio. If you are on Windows, there are different applications such as ManyCam that you can download to record your video.
Here is an example of resumes that focused on getting an online ESL teaching job
Example Cover Letter Experienced Teacher
Dear [company name],
After reading all of your requirements here, it appears that I would be an excellent fit for your company and the wonderful children that you teach. Since I am from the United States and have a bachelor’s degree in teaching English, I am familiar with teaching US Common Core State Standards. I have taught online for three years and have over five years of in-class teaching experience with children ages 5 to 10. The teachers in my school district and I all use Total Physical Response(TPR).
I have read over the requirements regarding the number of hours per week along with the peak times. This fits in well with my schedule since I am a stay-at-home mom. Fortunately, I have a quiet section of my house where I can teach from and have various props and a whiteboard to use during the lessons.
Regarding the technical requirements that I see here, there is no problem with meeting any of those. My computer is a newer model Dell(8GB RAM Intel i5) running Windows 10 and the latest virus protection. It comes with an HD camera that works well, and I also have a top-of-the-line Logitech headset. Like I mentioned above, I have been teaching online for a while now, so I already have the proper equipment. My connection is a wired DSL connection with 45mps up and 30mps down. In my attached resume, you will find a link to my speed test results. Lastly, I have the proper versions of Chrome and Firefox installed.
Beyond all the requirements you have asked for, you will find that I am probably one of the most energetic teachers you have ever met. Teaching is my passion, and I look forward to working with you. I am part of one of the Facebook groups for recruiting VIPKid teachers. Many of them remind me of myself, and that is why I chose to apply to your excellent company.
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Example Cover Letter No Experience
After reading over all of the requirements listed here, it looks like I would make an excellent fit for your company and especially the children that I will be teaching. I am from Canada and am currently living in Thailand. My working environment is tranquil. The background behind me contains a whiteboard and props that can engage the 5 to 12-year-old children that I will be teaching. Using Total Physical Response(TPR) to keep the children active is also essential and part of my lessons. My 120 hour TEFL certification has also helped me to understand the needs of the students.
Committing to a six-month contract is no problem at all. Hopefully, we can sign an extended contract since I like to be committed to one job for an extended period. The laptop I have is a Toshiba with an excellent HD camera, a powerful processor, and 8GB of RAM. My headset is one of the latest versions from Logitech and is of high quality. The Internet connection where I live is stable and has a download speed of 35 Mbps and 25 Mbps upload. I also have a spare connection just in case there are any issues. The last technical requirement is a Chrome browser, which I also have.
I think that I will make a great DaDaABC teacher. My interaction with all children will be equal and exciting for them to ensure they get the best experience possible. During the demo lesson, I will be ready to ensure that I have the proper teaching delivery, frequent interaction with the students, clear and thorough explanations on language points, and prompt correction of the student’s mistakes.
Please find the rest of my qualifications and background in the attached resume. Beyond what you see on paper, you will find an incredibly enthusiastic and highly reliable individual. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you and follow the application process to the end.
Make sure that you are following up with the schools where you apply. Also, if you find someone who is offering a referral link to the company where you are applying, then get in contact with the teacher referring you to the school. Let them know you are applying, have used their referral link, and would like a little help. They get paid for each referral so they should be more than willing to help you out.