Choosing the Best Resume Format
is Tough. Make Sure to Include This...

If you’re planning to teach English in Japan, choosing your resume format and writing your resume are the first steps in the whole process. To help get you started we’ve outlined the most popular resume formats with a short explanation on who should use them.

Now I know that many of you are not up to the task, don't have time or would rather just farm it out to a pro and be done with the whole damn mess. If so, these guys can snap a solid resume together for you with quick turn-arounds and solid writing. Give them a looksy...

However if you wish to give it a shot then read on...

We realize that many people are confused about which format to use because there are so many.

If you’ll be applying to English conversation schools in Japan, be sure to read how to write one for this market before you start writing....Just scroll down.

Functional Resume:
Use this one if you’re reentering the job market, have had some career setbacks or if your accomplishments are more impressive than your career history.

Employment History

Resume Format for Recent Graduate:
Those with little experience should use this version of the functional resume format. This format stresses what you can do verses what you've done.

Skills Education
Work Experience
Activities and Honors

Chronological Resume:
Use this one if you’ve had little or no employment gaps, have worked in the same field so that the position you’re applying for is a logical progression.


Resume Format for a Career Change:
This format is designed to highlight accomplishments that apply to your new field. If you're trying to break out of an old field and into a new one, you need to draw attention to what you've done and what you're capable of doing. Highlight what is most relevant to the new position you're applying for.

Career Objective
Summary of Experience
Professional Background

Skills Format:
Use this if you have extensive experience in one field. This format highlights your unique qualifications. It basically screams that you're the perfect match for the job.

Job Target
Relevant Skills
Key Qualifications
Optional Sections

The Combined Resume:
If you have a linear and solid career history with significant accomplishments that you don’t want “lost in the shuffle” use this one.


Professional Resume Format:
If you’ve worked in 1 field and want to show your specific accomplishments and the roundness of your career, it's best to use this one.

Summary of Qualifications
Summary of Accomplishments
Professional Experience
Honors and Activities
Professional Affiliations

2 Ways Writing a Resume
for an ESL Job in Japan is Different

Personal Data
Although it’s considered a waste of space to include information like marital status, health, age and hobbies in most countries. It’s not in Japan. Be sure to include this. If you don't have a hobby, get one. "Japanese anime" probably isn't the best choice. For personal data, you can do it like this:

Full name: (as it appears on your passport.)
Passport origin and expiration:
Place and D.O.B: (include the county /state/ province you were born in.)
Marital status:
Visa status:
Contact information:

Not including this information can only hurt your chances of getting a job. Why? For example consider age. Age is a big factor in getting hired. Most large chain schools don’t hire teachers over 35. If you don’t include this info. your resume will get tossed because they’ll assume you’re over 35.

Again, in most countries you never include personal pictures, (models and performing artists are the exception to this.) However for teaching jobs in Japan, it’s critical. Look at a few job ads. That says it all.

Make sure to write your name on the back of the photo. Glue it in the top right corner. It should be a passport size photo and whether you smile or not is up to you. In most Japanese resumes we see they’re not smiling but the game isn’t exactly the same for foreigners. Especially those who teach children. Contrary to what you may have read, a pleasant look or small smile doesn’t hurt a bit.

If you've already chose your resume format, see our interview tips page to get ready for those interviews! If you have your resume format down but aren't sure about how to go about writing your resume, see our tips page on how to write a powerful resume that gets read.