A resume is a snapshot of your strongest characteristics. It should be clear, concise and highlight the most relevant experience that qualifies you for the job. For a soon-to-be teacher or one changing jobs, the interview begins with the resume.
It isn’t rocket science, but writing a teacher resume is different from writing any other. Every aspect of the resume should point to your goal and reinforce the impression you want to make.
Your resume reflects what you can bring to an organization. Here are tips for building the perfect teacher resume.
For best results, open strongly. In addition to accurate contact information, use a professional contact email. That means avoiding personal or inappropriate monikers. A simple first and last name will suffice. If necessary, create an email address specifically for job inquiries and responses.
Also, list your GPA if it’s above 3.0. Employers like to see that you have achieved academic as well as employment success. When listing credentials and accomplishments, lead with the strongest.
Consider using a template for professional formatting and overall look and feel. A good template will provide ample space for your experience, education and skills, plus a brief headliner or introduction. Go with one that conveys your enthusiasm and professionalism.
When creating a resume, many teachers fail to consider that the competition for teacher positions can be quite fierce in some areas. That’s why it’s important that you create one that stands out favorably from all other applicants.
A strong headliner is the easiest way to get the attention of employment decision-makers. Some examples:
• Mayweather School District Teacher of the Year
• Innovative, Research-based Secondary School Educator
• Seasoned School Administrator with 25 Years Experience
Another excellent way to set you apart is to pay close attention to the wording of your bullet points. Be sure to start each bullet with action verbs and highlight your achievements rather than simply giving a historical account of your work.
For example, rather than merely recounting that you “created lesson plans,” you might point out what your particular innovations with lesson planning achieved. If your lesson plan design ensured that children with low scores had significant improvement by the end of the year, you might state, “created lesson plans that improved reading test scores by 40%.”
Properly place your education
When it comes to listing education on your resume, a good rule of thumb is to position that section after highlighting your experience.
In it, list just the facts, including the name of your school or institution, the date you started and completed your education and the particular degree or certificate received. Also, be sure to list relevant extracurricular activities. Those may include entries and prizes in writing or research contests, or success in academic clubs or volunteer organizations.
Take special care with experience
The experience section of the resume may be the most important one. Evaluators will use it to get an accurate snapshot of your skills, abilities and achievements. They’ll especially be on the lookout for ways you are particularly qualified for the job at hand.
It’s always best to organize your experience section in reverse chronological order. Starting with your most recent experience first, list and convey your abilities and completed tasks for each position. Use bullet points to summarize, starting each with an action verb.
Go beyond merely listing tasks you completed at each position, by noting the particular things you accomplished. Show decision-makers that you are more than just a doer, you’re an achiever with significant and unique accomplishments.
Relevant training and skills
Although it may be tempting to submit a teacher resume without listing relevant training and skills, it’s not always the best choice. That is particularly the case when specific certification or training is required.
List continuing education, certifications, advanced certification and even community service to show what you’ve achieved beyond basic education requirements. That’s also a great place to list unique and applicable skills that put your best foot forward.
Polish your resume to perfection
Beyond the basic sections of education, experience and relevant training, a few ways to ensure your teacher resume is polished to perfection are:
• Refrain from using abbreviations.
• Definitely triple check for spelling and grammatical errors.
• Avoid the word “I.”
• Check for bullet points that are verbose.
• Remember, keep it short and to the point.
Last, but not least, make sure there are no gaps in experience. If that is unavoidable, be prepared to give a reasonable explanation during the interview or in your cover letter.