How to write an effective English resume.12+ Proven Tips

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Are you a non-native English speaker looking for a job? A well-written resume is key! Read on to learn 12+ proven tips on how to write an effective English resume!

As a non-native English speaker living in Toronto, I know mastering the language is essential for success in the workplace.

Based on my experience, I am telling you this: if you want to get a well-paid job, fluent English is a MUST-HAVE prerequisite! Period.

To be honest good English skills are necessary for any job in an English-speaking country.

According to the International Study website, “employers across all sectors and business sizes will offer higher salaries and promotions to those fluent in the English language.”

You can improve your skills by reading, writing, and speaking as much as possible.

There are also many online resources to help with pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, so take advantage of them!

You can also check out my website English Study Helper, to find the resources, tools, and tips that helped me master my English skills.

Don’t hesitate to grab the opportunity and implement my proven strategies in your learning.

OK. Let’s go back to our topic.

One of the main components in the job searching process is the resume.

graphic for an effective English resume

As we all know, a resume is a document that summarizes education, work experience, skills, and other qualifications for a potential employer.

A resume is typically one or two pages in length and should be tailored to the specific job and industry you are applying for.

Making a resume is hard enough without worrying about grammar and spelling. Especially for us who are not native English speakers.

So let me help you master your resume with specific resume vocabulary and certain phrases to give you the best chance of landing the job you want.

Stay with me as I will show you how to write an appealing, and effective English resume that will stand out.

Why having an effective English resume is so important?

Having an effective resume is important because it is the first point of contact between you and an employer.

Imagine that this is your first step at the door of your dream job. An effective English resume can help you to open that door.

If you want to make a positive impression, then an effective resume can help you stand out among other job candidates and increase your chances of getting an interview and being hired.

Welcome aboard, [ Your Name]! We’re excited to have you here! – welcoming greetings to the new team members that every job hunter wants to hear.

welcome aboard for effective English resume

How to write an effective English resume?

A resume is a marketing tool that should be well-written, well-organized, and error-free to be effective.

That could be quite a challenge for non-native speakers, but still achievable.

Let’s look at some proven tips on how to write an effective English resume:

Conduct Preliminary Research to create an effective English resume

research for an effective English resume
Conduct Preliminary Research

Conduct Preliminary Research to show attention to detail and professionalism, which are valuable qualities in any job.

As you are still learning English you don’t want to be overwhelmed and become stressed out with different kinds of information all at once.

Do your research step by step.


Collect General information about the industry, organization, company, and position you want.


Read the job description for keywords

Visit websites that give you valuable information: Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster, SimplyHired, etc.

Usually, employers list the exact skills, experience, and qualifications they’d like each candidate to have directly in the job description.

Here’s an example of a job ad for an Administrative Assistant position with skill-related keywords posted at Indeed:

screenshot effective English resume
This job ad features some skills you can add when you write your resume.

Review the job description.

Take note of any keywords you spot in the description.

Highlight as many of these keywords as possible to show employers that you’re the perfect candidate for the position.

Target the specific needs and requirements of the job you’re applying for, which can make you more attractive to potential employers.

Look carefully at the skills mentioned in the job ad, and showcase any of those skills you have with clear examples.

Find all the clues this ad gives you about what the company wants from applicants in this job description. They are there, in front of you. Don’t miss to capitalize on them.

If you come across new words or phrases write them down in a separate notebook or job-searching journal. In addition, you can make flashcards to help you memorize them faster. That will help you to learn and improve your English vocabulary.

🔔 Bonus Tip

I can not stress enough how is crucial to include specific skills, needs, and requirements from the job ads in your resume.

Have you ever heard about Applicant tracking systems (ATS)?

Do you know what the statistics say about it?


Applicant tracking systems (ATS) eliminate over 70% of applicants before their resume even reaches a hiring manager!

If you didn’t know that till now, you better take care of it.

How? – I can hear you ask.

Make sure to make your resume more Applicant tracking systems-friendly by targeting the exact keywords the software is looking for, which gives you an advantage going into the hiring process.

That’s it!


Look at other resume examples for inspiration

sample an effective English resume

As a non-native English speaker, you might not be sure what kind of information to put on your resume.

Review resume samples that were written by other people who work in your industry.

Additionally, looking at examples will give you an idea of how to design your resume and how to format each section.

🔔 Bonus Tip

Look on:

  • Organization/Company website
  • Job ads at Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Simlyhired, etc.
  • Any publications about the industry, organization/company – magazines/ articles, etc.

Use the right resume format to make an effective English resume

It is not necessary to remind you that landing a job isn’t easy. We all know that.

But with the right resume format, you can increase significantly your chances of getting an interview by highlighting your most marketable qualifications and skills and lessening your weaknesses.

Here are the three most common types of resumes to choose from:

Chronological resume format (standard resume format)

The chronological resume focuses on your work experience, listed in reverse chronological order, with your most recent position at the top.

Most resumes use this format.

screenshot effective English resume
Credit to Purdue Univesity – Sample Resumes

Functional resume format (skills-based resume)

The functional resume focuses on a candidate’s relevant skills rather than their work experience.

Credit to Purdue Univesity – Sample Resumes

Combination resume format

As its name suggests, the combination resume format mixes the most significant features of both chronological and functional giving equal space to your skills and work experience sections.

Credit to Purdue Univesity – Sample Resumes

Select a resume format that lets you highlight your most relevant qualifications and achievements so the hiring manager can see them right away.

Hey, dear readers! How is your day going? I would love to have you on my website. It’s called English Study Helper and is where you can find tips, strategies, and resources on improving your English faster and more effectively. Hope to see you there!

You can also read:

7 Ways to Improve Your Written English Through Blogging

Boost your English-speaking confidence in 8 Easy Ways

Tried-and-True Ways to Express Yourself Better in English Writing

How to Elevate Your Communication with English Power Words

7 Smart Ways to Conquer Confusing Words. Expert Tasted

How to learn English faster? Start Daily Journaling

Empower Your Daily Chats with Expertise in English Slang

Language Improvement Through Essays: Level up Your Skill Set

Elevate Your Writing with powerful Transitional Words and Phrases

Proven Tips on How to Easily Learn Confusing Verbs

Write an eye-catching header when you list your contact information

Professional Resume Heather – credit to resume genius

Contact Info

  • Name
  • Permanent address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

The first thing you need to do is include an eye-catching header on your resume at the top of the page to quickly highlight your contact information for hiring managers.

To be honest, a resume header is one of the most basic and easy things to put on your resume.

As a non-native English speaker, you don’t have any challenges related to correct grammar and vocabulary.

However, it’s also one of the most important.

🔔 Bonus Tip

Your name should always be the largest element on your resume to make it stand out, so use a font size larger than 20 points.

Write an effective Objective Statement

You have two different approaches here:

Brief and to the point


A detailed description of the desired position and qualifications

You decide which one will work better for you.

First Approach: Brief

  • A full-time position as a social service worker/ housing worker/ mental health worker
    • To obtain a full-time position with YMCA

    Second Approach: Descriptive

    • A full-time position as a Social Service Worker will allow me to use my counseling, advocacy, and harm reduction skills and techniques.
    • To obtain a position in Customer service/Call center where I can utilize my skills and experience to contribute and learn within your organization.

    A strong and powerful Objective statement is one of the components of an effective English resume.

    Highlight clearly and effectively your most impressive achievements and skills

    Skills/ Qualifications

    • Over 5 years of experience within a call center environment including inbound and outbound
    • Exercise active listening, empathy, sensitivity, and patience to remain composed and convey understanding to irate or frustrated customers in a respectful manner
    • Successful in cross-selling and up-selling and met daily sales goal
    • Experience with M S Suite specifically Word, Excel, Access; Internet
    • Fluent in Spanish
    • Excellent interpersonal, communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills
    • Strong organization and planning skills to complete tasks on time
    • Highly motivated, adept at working both independently and as part of a team
    • Fast learner, detail-oriented, committed to high-quality work, flexible and enjoy new challenges

    As a non-native speaker, who is still learning English, make that clear in your resume. Don’t say you are fluent in English if you are not.

    Making yourself look better in the resume will not help you during your interview. Being a non-native English speaker is not something that you can hide.

    Instead, be honest about your skills. That is what employers expect from you.

    I’ve met people using “white lies” in their resumes aiming to outsmart the hiring managers and land a job.

    Even though some of them succeed, I wouldn’t recommend doing that.
    In my opinion, this is fraud.

    List your work experience and accomplishments clearly and effectively

    Based on my experience in both writing and screening resumes, I am a hundred percent positive that having the ability to communicate your achievements is crucial to convincing an employer that you are a good fit for the position.

    • Include positions you have held that are related, in some way to the job you are seeking
      • Can be both paid and volunteer positions
    • Be creative with this section of your resume by describing and emphasizing your experiences in the most relevant way possible
    • Use bullet points to highlight some of your best professional accomplishments
    • Start with a specific action verb that highlights what you did at your current and your previous job

    In this blog post, I am focusing on how to write an effective English resume if you are a non-native English speaker.

    The most challenging part for English learners is the section where they have to describe their work experience persuasively.

    It is when action verbs come into play.

    In the next paragraph, I will pay special attention to action verbs as they are proven tools for resume writing and English learning.

    What are Action Verbs and why are they key to creating an effective English resume?

    Ok. Let’s look at action verbs and why they are so important to create an effective English resume.

    It’s often challenging to come up with simple and clear sentences.

    It is even more difficult if you want to make these sentences sound persuasive.

    I got that! You should use strong action verbs because they express your achievements in a concise, persuasive way.

    Since concise writing is easier for readers to understand, action verbs are more convincing than non-action verbs.

    Make sense?

    Additionally, action phrases will help you avoid being too brief and help grab the reader’s attention.

    You should also include some specific numbers when possible to better illustrate and measure the impact or achievement you made while working in this particular role.

    That could be the number of sales you made, the better percentage you negotiated, how many customers you helped, etc.

    By giving measurable results you make your resume more persuasive and effective.

    Writing effective resumes will contribute to expanding your English vocabulary and improving your written English overall.


    Before: Supported drop-in activities

    Was the boss of a team of nine sales associates

    After: Planned 10 arts and crafts activities for preschool-aged children

    Supervised a team of 9 sales associates

    screenshot effective English resume

    I want to contribute to your English learning by giving you this Active Verbs List:

    Communication Skills: You communicated effectively with colleagues and customers

    Advocated, Clarified, Corresponded, Encouraged, Interpreted, Negotiated, Persuaded, Presented, Publicized, Solicited, Spoke, Translated

    Business / Data / Financial Skills

    Adjusted, Allocated, Budgeted, Compared, Computed, Counted, Documented, Estimated, Forecasted, Inventoried, Invested, Predicted, Projected, Quantified, Recorded, Retrieved, Verified

    Helping Skills: You helped customers or the community

    Aided, Assisted, Built, Demonstrated, Facilitated, Familiarized, Helped, Performed, Represented, Solved, Supported, Trained, Upheld, Volunteered, Worked

    Management / Leadership Skills: You managed projects or people

    Achieved, Administered, Assigned, Attained, Challenged, Coordinated, Decided, Delegated, Established, Executed, Handled, Headed, Implemented, Incorporated, Intervened, Launched, Led, Managed, Mediated, Motivated, Organized, Oversaw, Planned, Prioritized, Recommended, Scheduled, Supervised, United

    Efficiency Skills: You achieved something incredible

    Accelerated, Allocated, Boosted, Centralized, Downsized, Edited, Eliminated, Enhanced, Expanded, Expedited, Heightened, Lessened, Leveraged, Maximized, Merged, Optimized, Outlined, Outsourced, Prevented, Prioritized, Reorganized, Reduced, Revised, Simplified, Standardized, Stream-lined, Synthesized, Systematized, Upgraded

    Research Skills

    Analyzed, Collected, Compared, Controlled, Detected, Diagnosed, Evaluated, Examined, Gathered, Identified, Investigated, Located, Measured, Organized, Reported, Replicated, Researched, Reviewed, Searched, Surveyed, Wrote


    Purdue University

    Rosalie Maggio, How to Say It: Choice Words, Phrases, Sentences, and Paragraphs for Every Situation

    Webster’s Thesaurus.

    Write out your education details

    picture an effective English resume

    An effective education section on a resume includes only your highest degree. If you didn’t go to college, add your high school diploma instead.

    How to list education on your resume?

    Your degree name
    The name of the college or high school (and its location) – Your graduation date (if it’s within the last 15 years)

    • George Brown College, Social Service Work Program
    • Current overall GPA: 4.0
    • RSSW                                     April 2022

    Honors, Volunteer Experience, Other

    • Harm reduction trainer
    • Board member, North York Community Services

    Volunteer work

    Are you passionate about volunteering?

    As a non-native English speaker, you may lack work experience.

    Putting volunteer work on your resume is a great way to show employers you’re engaged with your community and are able to dedicate your time to others.

    Thus, you will create an effective English resume that stands out.

    Set up your resume formatting and style properly.

    picture effective English resume

    Once you’ve written the content of your resume, it’s time to make sure it looks good.

    If you want to create an effective English resume you need to follow the rules of proper formatting.

    Basics of how to format a resume

    • Use 1″ margins
    • Font – professional, easy-to-read
    • Font size – between 10 and 12 points, depending on the font you’re using and your space requirements.
    • PaperUse 8 1/2 “ x 11” – white, light cream, or gray
    • Divide your information into clear sections
    • Insert headers for each section
    • Length1 to 2 pages

    🔔 Bonus Tips:

    Your name and section headers should be larger to help break up your resume into sections.

    Employers will only take 15 seconds to glance at a resume!

    Proper format and style are components of an effective English resume.

    Proofread your resume

    Did you finish writing your resume?

    Read through it several times.

    You will be very surprised how easy it is to make spelling mistakes and how difficult it is to spot them in your own writing.

    You can also give your resume to a friend or relative to read through so they can help you notice any other mistakes

    You can also use some other tools to check your resume for grammar or spelling mistakes:

    Here is a screenshot of a resume I checked on Grammarly and as you can see there are 9 spelling mistakes, including on the title of the section.

    Here are some grammar tips to keep in mind when writing a resume:

    • Use proper verb tense: Make sure to use the past tense for past jobs and the present tense for your current job.
    • Avoid using contractions: Contractions like “don’t” or “can’t” can make your writing appear informal.
    • Be consistent with verb forms: Be consistent with verb forms, particularly with words like “manage” or “coordinate” which can be used as nouns and verbs.
    • Avoid using pronouns: Use proper nouns instead of pronouns to make your resume clearer and more professional.
    • Avoid using informal language: Avoid using slang or overly casual language.
    • Use strong action verbs: Use strong action verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments, such as “managed”, “implemented”, “achieved”
    • Use punctuation correctly: Use punctuation correctly, such as using commas and semicolons correctly.
    • Proofread: Proofread and proofread again to catch any errors.
    • Be concise: Be concise and use bullet points, avoid long paragraphs and sentences.
    • Don’t use very complex words and phrases. Instead, use simple, but specific ones that you are familiar with.

    By following these grammar tips, your resume will be clear, professional, and easy to read, which can help you stand out among other job candidates.

    Bonus Tip

    As a non-native English speaker, you will need to create a resume in a language that is not your mother tongue.  It is therefore recommended to ask for advice from a native English speaker, who can check your resume – using the correct spelling and grammar.

    Email your resume

    Once your effective English resume is finished and you’ve checked for grammar and spelling mistakes, it’s time to send it to employers.

    Second, save your resume in a PDF format, unless the job ad specifically asks for other formats.

    Your resume’s file name should be simple and clear.

    For example, Anna-Smitt-Resume.pdf is a good file name because it contains the applicant’s name and the word “resume.”

    Finally, email your resume to the hiring manager by attaching it as a file.

    Don’t forget to write a brief explanation in the body of the email, telling the employer who you are, the position you’re applying for, and that you are attaching a resume and a cover letter.

    Pair your resume with a convincing Cover Letter

    You have your resume done and ready to be sent! Good job!

    Wait! Not yet!

    You need to write a convincing Cover letter to show your passion and enthusiasm for the position you’re applying for.

    I’ll share some advice with you based on my experience: Don’t focus on yourself when writing your cover letter. 

    It is not time to shine. 

    Any potential employer wants to know how your abilities will help the company or organization.

    It’s not about you at all; it’s all about the business.

     You must persuade the hiring manager that you are the best candidate to contribute to business growth.

    Conclusion: How to write an effective English resume. 12+ Proven Tips.

    Having better English skills can certainly open up more opportunities for higher-paying jobs. Many companies require strong English proficiency for their positions, particularly in fields such as business, finance, and technology.

    Additionally, being able to communicate effectively in English can also increase your chances of getting promoted or advancing in your current job. Improving your English can also help you to network and make connections in your industry.

    You can check my website English Study Helper. I offer recourses and tips that helped me during my English learning journey. These proven strategies might help you too, dear Reader

    One of the main components in the job searching process is the resume.

    A resume is a personal summary of your professional history and qualifications. A resume includes anything a person wants to express about Career goals, Education, Experience, Activities, and Honors.

    A resume is a marketing tool that should be well-written, well-organized, and error-free.

    If you wonder how to sell your skills, make sure to create a compelling, powerful resume first! Focus on the impact of work. No one is interested in what you did if you can’t talk about your results and achievements.

    You can write an effective resume by conducting preliminary research, choosing the right type and format of resume, using active verbs, and other specific grammar and vocabulary requirements.

    In summary, a well-written, powerful resume can increase your chances of getting an interview and getting hired by communicating your qualifications and skills effectively and making a positive impression.

    I hope my blog post will inspire you, to write effective English resumes and find your dream job.

    Good luck!

    Thanks for reading!

    With love and respect,


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