If you’re a new teacher, figuring out what to include on your resume to boost your appeal can be difficult. But, if you’re an experienced teacher, narrowing down your numerous qualifications can be just as challenging.
After all, having several years of professional experience won’t get you the job by itself. Tailoring a well-crafted resume that boasts your accomplishments takes some work. Simply listing your teaching positions by themselves won’t get the attention of a principal or school district hiring committee.
As you search for your next teaching position, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
DO Make A Powerful Introduction
Below your contact information sits the part of your resume that can make or break it. This is where the person reading your resume gets his or her first impression of you and what you have to offer.
If you have extensive experience, you’ll want to write a resume summary statement. This type of statement allows you to tie together an overall theme of your work.
This type of opening statement also is perfect for someone who has experience in a field other than education, because it allows the applicant to highlight accomplishments from a previous career that would be relevant to your new teaching career.
A resume summary statement should:
Be about one to four sentences in length
Highlight your most relevant strengths and accomplishments
Include specific examples or experiences that will impress the principal
Be tailored to the specific job listing
It should not use overused words like “team player,” or be too general. Providing pieces of information to back up why you’re the best candidate is key to a successful resume summary statement.
Executing a punchy opening statement is the perfect way to highlight your experience while instantly grabbing the attention of the person doing the hiring. For more information on what should be included in a resume summary statement, read our article, What Is A Resume Summary Statement?
DON’T Be Passive Or Inconsistent
As you continue to craft your resume, use action words or active voice throughout. Use words such as:
This allows you to not only highlight responsibilities, but instead, go into detail about what you accomplished with those responsibilities.
While you’re working on using active voice, don’t forget to use perfect grammar and punctuation as well. Even teachers make mistakes, so if you’re not confident in your ability to proofread your own work, get help from a friend or family member, head to a school career center, or hire an online service.
Lastly, consistency is key to having a well-formulated resume. Pick a style and stick to it. Don’t have a resume that is a hodgepodge of different styles, especially fonts. Teachers must be organized, so the last thing you want to do is give off the first impression that you aren’t.
DO Tailor Your Experience To The Position
As a teacher, you likely have a wide variety and several years of experience that you can put in your resume. Narrowing down what you should include can be challenging.
In addition to including the schools and dates in which you taught (starting with the most recent), it’s important to list accomplishments that are relevant to the new position you are seeking.
For example, if the job posting is for an elementary school teacher position, emphasize any experience working in an elementary classroom or with elementary-aged children. If the job posting is for a music teacher, emphasize any musical background that makes you qualified for this position.
When tailoring your experience on your resume to the position you are seeking, keep these tips in mind:
List accomplishments - not duties. Accomplishments show how you went above your duty. As mentioned above, use active words, and be as specific as possible.
Incorporate important skills. If you’re applying for a position in a district that has a high percentage of English as a Second Language (ESL) students, including experience that shows how you have collaborated with ESL students or how you used fluency in another language is a must.
Don’t forget everyday responsibilities. But, don’t dwell on them either. Experience such as developing lesson plans and overseeing standardized testing can be included. But, you want this section to be less about an itemized list of work experience, and more about showcasing what makes you stand out above the rest of the applicant pool.
DON’T Forget To Include All Your Certifications And Education
You’ve worked hard for your education, so it’s important to include in your resume. If you have an extensive work history in teaching, your education credentials may go toward the bottom of your resume.
You’ll want to include:
The name of the institution
Location of the institution (city, state)
Your degree and year of degree
Any relevant certifications or minors
If you received your certification(s) separate from your bachelor’s degree, such as through ECAP, include this as well. Listed by bullet point, include all subject test(s) you have passed in Texas that make you eligible to teach.
Other certifications that may be requirements of the specific school district should be included in your resume as well, such as CPR or first aid training.
DO Include Experience Outside The Classroom
One of the things that makes you a great teacher is the experience you have gained beyond working with kids.
Items you can work into your resume include:
Your knowledge of teacher evaluation processes
Any experience you have with school budgets
Coaching or out-of-school mentoring
Your understanding of Texas state standards
Any professional development conferences or workshops you have attended
Professional memberships, and any leadership positions within these organizations
Including impressive knowledge and background such as the items listed above can make your resume stand out even further.
DON’T Forget To Take One Last Look
Before submitting your resume to a principal or hiring manager, give it one final look to make sure you’ve included the do’s listed above and avoided the don’ts. Seeking a second opinion from a fellow teacher or professional may provide additional feedback, or prompt a recollection of an accomplishment you forgot to include.
With the experience you already have gained as an educator, you’ve set yourself up as a qualified candidate. While you know this, your resume’s job is to ensure others know it as well.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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