Being a teacher is a rewarding career. In fact, I remember the teacher that changed my life: my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Gahr; and I aim to do for students what Mrs. Gahr did for me. As a young fifth-grader, I never thought about how Mrs. Gahr got her job as a teacher, but I knew that was what I wanted to do.
Working through many years of college, undergraduate and graduate, I learned just how tough it is. Then, in the blink of an eye, you have graduated college and are searching for employment. In the current job market, teaching jobs can be not only hard to obtain, but difficult to get an interview for. Creating the perfect teacher resume is one way to grab the attention of the district you apply to and get that dream job!
Emphasize Your Education and Credentials
Your education and credentials will play a major role in getting hired for a teaching position. This is one of the first items that will be checked over by an employer on a resume because they need to ensure you are certified to teach the position you are applying for. This should go near the top of your resume so it is easy to see “at a glance”. Credentials and certifications should be bullet pointed and listed out with the complete title, and your education should have your college/university name, the years attended, the degree obtained, and include your GPA (if it is high), as that showcases hard work during college.
Include All Relevant Experience
It is important to include any experience that is relevant. Any past teaching experience, including prior teaching positions and internships, are important to include. When listing job responsibilities, it is important to utilize bullet points and start each bullet point off with a verb, as this shows action that has been taken. For example, instead of writing “data-driven teaching methods” on your resume, word it using a verb and write “used data to develop tailored and innovative lesson plans based on student needs”. It is the small details that can stand out the most on a resume.
Highlight Your Skills
Employers are looking for well-rounded job applicants, so make sure to highlight your skills. Including skills such as leadership, communication skills, and research skills will grab the attention of employers. Bullet point the skills you have, and when you are including your job experiences in a separate section of your resume, you should be illustrating how you have applied these skills on the job.
Another important section to include in your resume is technology proficiencies, especially with learning as it is today in various models such as hybrid and remote. Be sure to include all things Google, and if you are not proficient in using Google, work toward becoming an expert, as this is imperative to being a successful teacher in our modern day world. This should also be included in your job experiences, and you can “show, not tell” the employer how you are utilizing technology in the classroom. Just as you should have cross-curricular activities in your lessons, your resume should blend together well as a whole, and different sections can work together to make it stronger.
Showcase Accomplishments and Additional Experiences
This section of your resume will help paint a better picture of who you are as a person. You want to show an employer what you bring to the table. Any recognition or awards you have received and any experiences that set you apart from others are important to include. Any major education projects you have participated in, different ways you use social media to collaborate with other educators, and anything that you are proud of should be included. For example, a project that you collaborate on with the State Department of Education or an educational article you publish would be great additions to your resume.
Tailor Your Resume
Before you apply for a specific job, you should tailor your resume to fit that job! If you are applying for a math position, you may want to place more of a focus on math experiences; or if you are applying for a position at an elementary school, you may want to include more about communicating with parents and creating a positive learning environment.
You need to know your audience, so going to a school district’s website and doing some research prior to applying for a job can help point you in a direction with your resume and in your cover letter. Just as students do not all learn in the same ways, districts do not have a “one size fits all” education plan, so becoming familiar with the district mission statement, curricula, and goals are important in creating a resume that will stand out.
Show Your Personality
Make yourself known! The smartest and most-qualified people for jobs are not always the best fit. In order to be a successful teacher, it is important to have the right personality for the job. Show a glimpse into who you are throughout your resume. Employers are interested in the person behind the resume. The resume is the key to the door, but your personality and who you are is what actually unlocks it. Having a well-written resume headline (one sentence that summarizes your experience and expertise) is important to get the attention of a potential employer. Using an eye-catching format and some different fonts and colors can let your personality shine through.
Proofread your resume! Have at least two other sets of eyes look it over as well. This is a snapshot of who you are professionally, so you do not want grammatical or formatting errors on this document. If you do not have anyone to edit and proofread your resume, I would highly recommend paying a professional to do so. They will help you create a piece of art that you will be proud to submit to employers.
Your resume is an “evolution of passion throughout the years of diligent work on the way to becoming an expert.” Your resume should contain all your points of pride, your accomplishments, and your professional experiences. Landing a teaching job is not easy, but a great resume can certainly help you obtain it!