Resumes can be unforgiving. If not careful, what is supposed to show your strengths can end up showing your weaknesses.
Providing the best possible first impression to a principal who is looking at your resume is critical to landing an interview for a teaching position. And, you don’t have much time to do so. In fact, many expertscite a study that shows hiring managers only spend an average of six seconds deciding whether to keep your resume or throw it out.
You need to make a good impression - and fast.
And nothing can stop you from doing that even faster than a resume blunder. Even the smallest mistakes can leave principals and hiring managers with a poor first impression of you.
Here are some mistakes to avoid as you’re crafting your teacher resume with the hopes of landing the teaching job of your dreams.
Writing A Novel
Being descriptive is important on any resume, but not to the point where you’re writing a novel. Most hiring managers agree one page (two pages at the most, depending on your experience) is sufficient. If a principal only spends six seconds looking at your resume, you don’t want this person spending half of it flipping through pages looking for key points.
Overlooking The Importance Of A Strong Opener
An objective statement or resume summary statement can make or break an entire resume. Spend some time creating a strong statement that tells a hiring manager why you’re qualified for the job.
Which type of statement you include in the introduction is based on your work experience and qualifications. Our article, What Is A Resume Summary Statement?will help you decide which is better for your resume. Make sure you keep it succinct and to the point.
Burying What’s Important
Just like with newspaper articles, you never want to bury the lede. Highlight the most important information a principal would want to know. Focus on the achievements that will highlight what you’re capable of as a teacher, and avoid simply listing previous employment duties.
Usingaction verbs such as “executed,” “engaged” and “established” will give your resume some life and separate it from the pack.
Being Too General
In addition to making sure you don’t bury important information, make sure you tailor your experience to the position. If you’re too general, you’ll miss out on a great opportunity to highlight how your experience is perfectly tailored to the position you are seeking.
For example, if the job posting is for a music teacher position, you should emphasize any musical background that makes you qualified for the position.
Don’t forget to incorporate important skills that are relevant as well. If you’re applying for a position in a district that has a high number of English as a Second Language (ESL) students, include any experience you have speaking that language or collaborating with ESL students.
Having A Style Hodgepodge
It’s important to pick a style … and stick with it. There are great resume templates online on sites like Resume Genius, or even in Microsoft Word. But, the key is to pick a style and stick to it.
Avoid crafting a resume with a hodgepodge of different styles, or worse, different typeface fonts. Principals want an organized candidate, and your resume should be orderly to reflect your organization.
Discounting Additional Experience
It can be easy to overlook additional experience outside teaching, but it can be just as useful to put on your resume to showcase what you have to offer. Whether paid or unpaid, relevant experience may include tutoring, camp counselor positions, sports coaching, volunteer work and teaching musical instruments.
Make sure you tailor the descriptions of these experiences to how they are relevant to the position you are seeking.
Forgetting To Spell Check
Nothing will send a resume to the recycling bin faster than a misspelled word or punctuation errors. It’s not enough to spell check either. Sometimes this safety net can overlook misspellings because the word isn’t misspelled, but it isn’t the word you intended to use either (such as “on” instead of “in”).
Even teachers can make mistakes, so if you’re not confident in your ability - or even if you are - it’s never a bad idea to have a friend or family member check over your resume. A school career center or a professional proofreader can offer assistance as well.
With any job opening, a resume is your first chance to make a great impression. If you want to leave a lasting impression that will land you an interview and eventually your own classroom, it’s critical to impress the principal who has received your resume, among others.
With the experience you already have, you’ve set yourself up as a qualified candidate. Now it’s time to showcase it, and an effective and polished resume will do just that.
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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