Resume Language

Rob - author of the lesson plan   Rob I November 17, 2021
Business English, Speaking Lessons, English for HR
Employment, Work, Human Resources
C1 Advanced
Mixed Grammar
Grammar, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
45 minutes
ESL lesson plan for an online class titled “Resume Language”

Lesson Overview

Make your resume stand out! In this lesson, students will learn about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to resume writing and the best language to use that will get you the job. This lesson features a video that discusses the best words to use on your resume to describe yourself and your work experience. Students will learn and practice three-part phrasal verbs and vocabulary relating to this topic. The lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Grammar: Students will learn and review three-part phrasal verbs relevant to professional settings. They will practice incorporating these verbs into sentences that are structured to effectively communicate their skills and experiences in resumes.

  • Listening: Students will enhance their listening skills by watching a video that discusses optimal language for resumes, including which terms to use and avoid. They will focus on identifying actionable advice that can be applied to their own resume writing.

  • Speaking: Through discussion activities, students will talk about their own experiences with resume writing and job hunting. They will practice using recommended phrases and terms in mock interviews and peer reviews of resumes to enhance their ability to articulate their professional qualifications.

  • Vocabulary: The lesson will introduce vocabulary specific to resume writing and job applications, such as "initiated," "engineered," "orchestrated," "collaborated," "conceptualized," and "audited." These terms will be essential for describing professional experiences and skills succinctly and impressively.

  • Cultural Awareness: Students will explore differences in resume expectations across various cultures and industries. Discussions will include how cultural norms influence the perception of a good resume and what global employers commonly prefer.

  • Homework: Students will complete a series of exercises that reinforce their understanding of resume language. This includes choosing correct terms to complete sentences, matching phrases to their definitions, and using newly learned vocabulary to update or create their own resumes.


Resumes are door openers. They’re your first impression.” Consider the impact of the words you use to describe yourself and your work experience. In this video, you will find examples of persuasive resume action words and words that should be avoided. Want to improve your resume?

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

bottom line [noun]: the most important fact in a given situation
competency [noun]: the ability to do something successfully or efficiently
think outside of the box [idiom]: to think creatively and have new ideas instead of traditional and expected ones
thought leadership [noun]: the activity of influencing other people with your ideas and opinions, especially in business
move the needle [idiom]: to make a noticeable difference
in someone’s wheelhouse [idiom]: in one's area of interests or abilities
collaborate [verb]: to work with someone for a special purpose
sound off [phrasal verb]: to express opinions in a loud or forceful manner
no-no [noun]: something unsuitable or unacceptable
convey [verb]: to pass information to other people; to express thoughts or feelings
lingo [noun]: language containing slang or a jargon
get crafty [verb]: be creative
gig [noun]: a job
pay off [phrasal verb]: to yield good results; succeed
given [noun]: something certain to happen or to be
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