Job-hunting in education right now? While schools all over the country are struggling to adapt and bring their classrooms online, we still need great teachers to help students learn both from home and when they get back into the classroom. What follows are some resume tips if teaching is for you.
Regardless of your situation, you’re going to need a stellar resume in order to stand out from other candidates. But resumes are tough and even teachers struggle to get noticed in competitive districts.
Not sure how to highlight your skills in just a page or two? Here are 7 resume tips so you can land your dream teaching job.
1. Keep Your Intro Summary Brief
Your summary or headline introduces you to the hiring manager and provides context for your resume, but it shouldn’t read like your life story. Cover letters and other hiring materials will give you more room to talk about who you are and why you’re passionate about teaching. But on the resume, your summary should be short and sweet—no more than three lines long.
Use the summary to briefly touch on your experience and teaching philosophy. Then, dive right into the body of the resume—your education and work experience.
2. Highlight Your Thoughts on Potential Graduate Degrees You’d like to Pursue
If you’re a young and inexperienced teacher, then your resume could be pretty short if you let it. It’s not a good idea to pad your resume with irrelevant work experience to fill the space, though. Instead, think about your future career goals.
Schools want to see that teachers are motivated and want to keep learning throughout their careers. If you’re interested in pursuing a graduate degree, such as a Master’s in Education or a Master’s in Education Policy, then consider using some of your empty space to mention you’re interested in continuing your education in the future. That ambition shows you’re looking toward the future in the field of education.
3. List Out Accomplishments To Showcase Your Work
A lot of people have trouble talking about their accomplishments, even on a resume. But if you just list your work experience and your job responsibilities, the hiring manager won’t know how your skills and experience have specifically prepared you for a job in the classroom.
When building the work experience section of your resume, stop to think about your accomplishments. Did you improve test scores? Earn any awards? Anything impressive you did that can be measured or described briefly should be included on your resume. Specific outcomes and accomplishments stand out far more than just listing your duties.
4. Be Sure to Note Your Desire to Inspire
Teachers do much more than just impart knowledge and supervise learning. Children attend school during their most formative years, and teachers become role models who have a major impact on their future careers and lives. For instance, an inspiring teacher can encourage a girl to pursue a career in STEM or business or give a student the confidence to push through challenges they may be facing.
It’s important to communicate your desire to inspire students on your resume. Children spend so much time with their teachers and they need to be inspired to stay engaged. Inspiration really makes a difference in student outcomes—demonstrate that you know this!
5. Proofread. Then Proofread Again
We all make mistakes, it’s true. With that said, typos on a resume just come off as sloppy, especially when you’re applying for a teaching position.
One of the most important resume tips is you should proofread your resume several times after you’ve finished writing it, and be sure to have someone else look over it for mistakes as well. After all, it’s easy to miss a tiny mistake after you’ve been working on the same document for hours. If possible, give your resume time to “sit” so you can proofread it one final time with fresh eyes.
6. Imagine Your Dream Job. Then Craft a Resume to Match
Every job is different, even for teachers. The school, grade, subject, and other factors will all influence how you should present yourself on a resume. While it’s not a bad idea to tweak your resume slightly for each application, the most important thing to remember is to write your resume for the job you want.
What’s your dream job? Do you want to use a dynamic curriculum? Are you interested in building up a STEM program? Think about what would make you most excited as a teacher. Then, craft a resume to match!
7. Appropriately Showcase What Makes You Unique
Getting an interview means showing off what makes you unique in your resume and cover letter. That doesn’t mean you should include silly facts about yourself and what you do in your spare time, but it does mean highlighting your unique, relevant experience.
Volunteer work, specialized certifications, and even work in a previous career path are good options. Leverage those qualifications to help you stand out!
Your resume alone won’t get you the job of your dreams. But to get the interview, you need to get your foot in the door—and the resume tips will help.
Andrew Deen has been a consultant for startups in almost every industry from retail to medical devices and everything in between. He is currently writing a book about scaling up business and his experience implementing lean methodology.