Teachers need jobs, and that means they need a teacher resume. Also, like any other field, that resume is your first chance to make an impression with hiring decision-makers, from administrators to in some cases, other teachers.
The main person you need to impress, though? The Principal.
If you want to leave a lasting impression that eventually lands you your own classroom, it’s critical you take special care with every aspect of your application. Items to focus on include the cover letter and any required forms … but especially that curriculum vitae.
To that end, here is what your resume should include and then 10 awesome tips to put you at the top of that list.
Typical Components of a Teacher Resume
No matter who you are or where you’re applying, you must include certain elements crucial for any resume. Fill out each of the following areas with your most standout accomplishments, and do restrict your resume to a single page. Unless you’re a medical researcher or a CEO, you really don’t have enough to justify more than that.
1. Education: Where you went to school isn’t everything, but it does matter. If you have multiple schools and certifications, only include the most recent and/or relevant. Ideally, you’ll include your undergraduate and certification programs, as well as any other pertinent educational experiences, such as a post baccalaureate degree in a certain educational subject, like math.
2. Work Experience: If you’re a recent graduate of an education program, you don’t need to worry about educational work experience per se, though it always helps. Prospective employers are mostly looking for long-term tenure and stability in your jobs, so include the ones that show you in that light.
3. Credentials: Here’s where you put additional certifications, awards, skills and specialties. If you have many, choose judiciously – only the ones that relate to the teaching profession.
Tips to Make You Stand Out
Now that you have the basics down, its time to pull away from the herd. If you don’t take care to showcase your outstanding skills, you’ll get tossed into the slush pile, never to be revisited. The following seven tips will help you ensure that doesn’t happen.
1. Include a Cover Letter: A cover letter is critical to your good impression, so make sure it’s well written, to the point, and more about how you can help the school than how it can help you.
2. Emphasize Your Skills Relevant to Teaching: It’s especially critical you emphasize any skills relevant to teaching, especially if they’re the kind other teachers won’t have. Think language skills, special needs certifications or subject qualifications that might make you suitable for pull-out specialist duties.
3. Emphasize Your Awards: Awards are a big deal. They show you’re a cut above the rest; not only have you earned your degree or certification, but you earned it with distinction. Make sure they stand out.
4. Show Off Your Technology Skills: No school today can get by without tech-savvy teachers. Demonstrate your solid technology skills through descriptions following your bold job and educational headings, and don’t be afraid to reiterate in your credentials section, if you have room.
5. List Recent Jobs Only: As stated above, only recent jobs are relevant. However, if you have to go a bit farther back to find educationally related jobs, go ahead.
6. Ensure Clean Formatting: Properly formatting a resume means separating education, work experience and credentials, either with different font or with a line to break them up. Use consistent fonts throughout, no more than two and preferably one. Bold main items, such as a school or a skill, then keep the rest of the information short and sweet, in normal font. Use the same formatting throughout the entire resume, and check out some samples if necessary.
7. Use Perfect Grammar and Punctuation: This should go without saying. If you’re not confident in your ability to proofread your own work, get help from a friend or family member, head to the school career center, or hire an online service.
Once you’re sure you’ve completed all these steps, set your resume aside for a few days. Then go back and take another crack at it, going through each one again. That will help you spot any slips you made upfront and correct them, as well as tweak the final result to best effect. Be careful not to get too caught up in the minutiae, however; that’s just a way to stall when you should instead work on submitting applications.
As soon as you think your resume is as perfect as it can be, send it to someone you trust – a parent, a professor, a current teacher or one of your peers. Take their feedback with a grain of salt, as resumes change through the years, and some advice may not mesh with modern expectations.
Once complete, look for those teacher job openings and send those resumes in!