By Teachers, For Teachers
Whether you are a new teacher looking to get a teaching job or an experienced teacher looking to get a teaching job, you can benefit from polishing your resume. A polished resume will help you attract the best job opportunities on the market. Instead of scouring the Internet for hours, searching for how to stand out above the rest, just follow these seven teacher-tested tips that have been known to get teachers in the front door for that essential teaching interview that will help them get a teaching job.
The first step to capturing the attention of a potential employer is to make your resume easy to read. Think to yourself, if you were one that had to sift through piles of resumes, what would capture your attention? Would a resume that was clear and concise with bold headlines and a readable font capture your eye, or a resume that was long and boring?
It’s the 21st century, which means we are in the midst of the technological era, so use it to your advantage. Many school districts are now asking their interviewees to submit an online resume. If you really want to stand out above the rest, then instead of just emailing a basic resume, create something unique. Venngage is an online website that allows you to create your resume in an infographic. You can add your skill set, experience, references, and even your picture in a modern and unique way that will definitely stand out to employers.
This is the most important tip that you can get. The last thing that you want is to not get an interview because you didn’t proofread your resume. If you think that the employer would overlook something like that because it is a little mistake, think again. You are trying to become a teacher who will teach children, so something as little as forgetting to capitalize your college name can be penalized.
Ask several knowledgeable people to help you proofread your resume before you send it in. Make sure to look for things like school names, degrees and how they should be written on a resume, educational buzzwords, and anything else that is essential on a resume. You do not want a silly typo to cost you the interview you have been waiting for.
Some school districts are known for hiring experienced teachers, while others are known for hiring teachers right out of college. Whatever your status may be, capitalize on that and don’t try to be something that you are not. For example, if you are right out of college and you know that the school district that you are applying for is known for hiring experienced teachers, don’t try and alter your resume so that you look like you have more experience. Do not feel insecure that you don’t have the experience just yet -- the school districts know that everyone has to start somewhere. Just focus on being the best you, and capitalize on that.
Oftentimes prospective teachers forget to mention the students in their resume. While a resume is meant for showcasing your own skill sets, it is also meant for highlighting what your experiences have been with children. Don’t forget to talk about the students that you have taught and the experiences you had with them. When the hiring committee is sifting through a pile of 30 resumes, who do you think will stand out -- someone who only talks about themselves, or someone who mentions the strengths and talents of the students they taught?
Learn and know the school district that you are applying for. Essentially, become an expert for each school that your resume will be going to. Learn their mission statement and what they are known for. Learn their culture, goals, and challenges they have been through, the technology they use, their sports teams, or anything about them that can give you an advantage. This knowledge can, and will, help you have a leg up on the competition.
Most of the time, prospective teachers write their resume only once, then make a bunch of copies to send out to all potential employers. They think that the cover letter is the only place where they have to be specific and tailor their words to suit that school district. While this is an OK thing to do, don’t you think if you tailored your resume to suit the school district that you are applying for would make an even greater impact on you getting an interview with them? Find out what the school is known for, the books, programs, and technology they use, and if you have an experience with any of the same things as them. Then add it to your resume. This can be just the advantage that you need to get your resume to the top of the pile.
Your teaching resume is how you get your foot in the door. It is the piece of paper that showcases your experience, talents, skills, and all of the hard work that you have endured thus far. Make sure that this essential document represents you, when you are not in the room to represent yourself.
Do you have any resume tips for teachers? What do you think is essential to include in your teaching resume? Please share your tips in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.