USING RÉSUMÉS: 5 Classroom Activities

Free sample résumés are available online. Consider some possibilities these free resources create for intermediate and advanced students:

  • Q & A: Copy different sample résumés for the class (1 for every 2 students). Ask students to work in pairs and hand out one résumé to each pair. Students should form 8-10 factual questions based on their fictitious candidate’s experience. They should use both past and present tenses. Pairs exchange sets of questions along with the accompanying resumes. They now answer the questions they received in full sentences. The work is corrected by the authors of the questions and reviewed later by the teacher.


  • VERB TENSE REVIEW: Copy different sample résumés for the class (1 for every 2 students). Ask students to work in pairs and hand out one résumé to each pair. Challenge students to find examples of past and present facts. You can have them record their findings in chart form, using complete sentences. Offer them a model:



  1. (simple past)  – Maria worked in a doctor’s office for two years.
  2. (past progressive) – In 2006, Maria was working and taking a computer course at a community college at the same time.
  3. (past perfect) – By 2007, Maria had completed her computer course.
  1. (simple present) – Maria has a degree in accounting.
  2. (present progressive) – Maria is presently working for a software company.
  3. (present perfect) – Maria has been an accountant for three years.


  • PRACTICE WITH Used To (be) and Used to (being): Copy enough sample résumés for everyone in the class. Try to copy résumés from one job category, e.g., Administrative Assistant or Computer Technician. Students may work as a whole class or in smaller groups if the class is large. If they work as a class, the teacher will play the role of a head hunter and the students will be job candidates. If they work in smaller groups, one person in each group can be assigned the role of a head hunter. Explain who a head hunter is. Prepare a set of job requirements or qualifications that the head hunter can search for: people skills, knowledge of a foreign language, team player, etc.  Job candidates must first skim their résumés to gain familiarity with the experience listed. When the head hunter states a requirement or qualification, the candidates can scan for applicable details. Challenge job candidates to offer information using one of the used to constructions. Model: (Head hunter) “I’m looking for someone with good people skills.” (Candidate) “I’m used to talking to people and helping them solve their computer problems.” / (Head hunter) “I’m looking for someone who can speak another language.” (Candidate) “I used to work in a bilingual office. I can speak Spanish.”


  • MOCK INTERVIEW – Select a number of general interview questions and list them on the board. Copy enough sample résumés for everyone in the class. Working with a partner, students can take turns playing the role of a job candidate and base their answers on their assigned résumés.


  • RÉSUMÉ WRITING – Free templates are also available, making it easier for students to write their own résumés. For older students who already have work experience, bringing their résumés up to date is useful professionally and serves a meaningful writing practice. Younger students might interview an older friend or relative and base the résumé on that other person’s experience.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. trangtciki says:

    Thank you very much for your excellent work, but words are too small to read.

    1. englishwithjennifer says:

      I’ll look into using a larger font, but have you tried hitting the control key and scrolling to magnify the screen? Thanks for posting your comment!

  2. This is really nice Post, right from the Basics of Resume information is available here.

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