Just as people are learning English from home, so too, companies are hiring ESL teachers to work from home. As home-based online ESL teaching jobs become increasingly more common, companies are giving a lot of effort to recruit and screen new hires. One of the first places this begins is with your resume. In today’s blog, we’ll show you how to prepare a resume that shines brighter than others. So, continue reading to learn more about what you should be focusing on and highlighting in your ESL teacher resume.
Preparing Your ESL Teaching Resume
The old adage, keep it simple, applies here. Companies that hire English teachers typically want to see three basic points: your education, your TESOL training, and your ESL teaching experience. Therefore, be sure to include these key elements at the forefront of your resume where they can be easily seen. You can even highlight them in a brief introductory paragraph. Then, within the body of your resume, be sure to include action-oriented relevant details as bullet points.
Finally, keep your font and your visual presentation simple. Arial, Calibri, and Georgia are some pretty standard fonts you can use to allow resume readers to focus on your information instead of sorting through fabulous calligraphy. As for your presentation, use simple headings with a touch of bold type, not too many italicized words, and not too much all-cap text.
Most companies require a minimum four-year degree for their teachers. It seems to be an industry-standard these days. Degrees in English and education carry a lot of weight in the business. However, degrees in English literature, journalism, marketing, and mass communication can be useful for fairly obvious reasons that relate to the subject of communicating—the purpose of language. But don’t think without one of those degrees you’re excluded. Not at all.
Even applicants with nursing degrees, for example, can be excellent ESL teachers. Why? Because a nursing degree demonstrates an understanding of how to interact with patients with patience. And, at times, when teaching English online, patience is a great asset for a teacher. Also, since it’s likely a nursing major learned their degree using English, they have a lot to offer. So, whatever your degree, just be sure you can highlight the value of it to the ESL industry, as we did here for nursing.
But if you’re like me and thoroughly enjoy learning new things and have more degrees than a thermometer, don’t feel the need to put them all on your resume. Keep your resume focused. Non-relevant degrees or educational attainments can be de-highlighted or even left out. This gives HR personnel an opportunity to see your qualifications without distractions. So order your educational attainments accordingly.
However, if you feel other degrees demonstrate a more well-rounded you, why not include them. Just be wise about the company you’re targeting. Those educational attainments directed at the more specialized positions we’ll address later. For the most part, again, keep things simple.
Degrees alone are not the end-all-be-all of getting a job. It’s not that cut and dry. Pretty much anymore, if you want to work with a big company or even be a private tutor, companies and customers want to know that you’ve been trained. Combine your education with a TESOL certificate from OnTESOL and you’ve got something impressive to show on your resume.
Sadly, the years prior to this standard were riddled with unqualified and poorly trained teachers. These teachers would take positions around the world and or online, and wreak havoc. They had little if any real understanding about how language is learned, how to teach grammar, vocabulary, and or pronunciation; how to manage speaking, listening, reading, and or writing classes, etc. The result was an industry beset with disappointed student-customers and disillusioned academies, schools, and company personnel. They finally realized it was time to look for something more from a teacher than just a degree.
Hence, a top organization like OnTESOL can not only provide you with a TESOL certificate but more importantly, the training you need to succeed in the ESL career field. So, display any relevant TESOL training you can on your resume.
Being a rookie in this business is not a bad thing. Indeed, in the demand for teachers, many companies accept teachers without experience. Part of the reason is that they simply conduct student-customer-specific training within the company. So, having experience or not doesn’t need to be a terminal problem.
However, you should try to show any kind of teaching experience you might have in your background such as teaching Sunday school classes, teaching as a part-time daycare worker, or even helping out at the local YMCA or Boys/Girls Scouts. Anything that shows some experience interacting with and helping people is a plus. So, don’t be shy about or neglect your volunteer experience.
Often, ESL companies will cater to various special interest clients such as accountants, aviation industry workers, computer technicians, legal clients, HR professionals, entrepreneurs, business professionals, and the like. These are specialized clients with their own jargon and needs, and consequently, teachers familiar with them.
Also, it’s not uncommon for schools to teach these subjects in English, so they need a teacher who can do that too. As such, they require teachers with backgrounds in these fields.
That said, don’t hesitate to add a degree or other certification that reflects your expertise. It might be that a company scoops you right up when they see you’re a trained and or experienced ESL teacher who can also teach these areas.
Now, we hope you have a better understanding of how to prepare your resume to apply for home-based online ESL teaching positions. Be sure to keep things simple, focused, and focused on the right things: education, TESOL training, and experience. Don’t let your resume get too cluttered with lateral information that’s going to lead HR personnel away from your value to the company.
As always, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you. And if you want to learn more about how to teach English as a language, feel free to drop us a line to learn more about our professional teacher training certificates.