Fantastic ESL teacher CV examples to use this year

Secure your dream ESL teacher position in with a perfectly crafted CV that showcases your strengths. Follow these tips for a great ESL teacher CV.



Table of Contents

  1. What to highlight in an ESL teacher CV
  2. Structure of an ESL teacher CV
  3. Do’s and don’ts for an ESL teacher CV
  4. FAQ: ESL Teacher CVs

What to highlight in an ESL teacher CV

An ESL teacher is a teacher that specialises 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 CV for this job will display your skills, experience, and certifications that fulfil 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.

Structure of an ESL teacher CV

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

  • Chronological: Chronological CVs focus on work history and are suitable for ESL teachers who have many years of experience in the classroom.
  • Functional: Functional CVs 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 CVs highlight both skills and experience; they are suitable for ESL teachers with some experience but who want to also emphasise subject-specific skills.

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

  • Contact information
  • Professional summary or career 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.

Professional summary or career objective

Your professional summary or career objective sits underneath the header at the top of your CV.

The professional summary is a snapshot view of your teaching career thus far. Only a few sentences long, it summarises 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 secondary education and during university prep.”

A career objective is slightly different in that it is more aspirational. Use it to outline our career objectives to show your goals align with the organisation you’re applying to. The career 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 CV 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 CV:

  • 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.

Do’s and don’ts for an ESL teacher CV


  • 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 CV.


  • 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 CV without help! Use our CV builder and free CV templates for inspiration.

FAQ: ESL Teacher CVs

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter in my job application?

Yes, a professional job application always needs a cover letter. Your cover letter is an opportunity to add some detail to your CV 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.

Q: How can I write an ESL teacher's CV without a lot of experience?

You can still use this ESL teacher CV even if you don’t have much teaching experience. Use a functional format for your CV 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).

Q: How do I change my ESL teacher CV to apply to different jobs?

You should always customise each CV 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 CV accordingly. For more CV tips and writing tips for your cover letter, check out our free samples.

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