Teach Me to Have a Great Resume

Want to work with kids and educate them for a lifetime.

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If you’re currently in school to be a teacher, just graduated or are maybe looking to change school districts, it’s imperative that you have an outstanding, up-to-date resume that sets you apart from the rest.

Principals receive hundreds of applications per year, and with your resume being the first thing they see, you want to get noticed.

Tips for writing an outstanding teaching resume

While some may be apt to ask “How much money will make you happy?” keep the bigger prize of a rewarding career in mind.

Among the things to focus on:

  • Develop a cover letter – Cover letters are of utmost importance in the field of teaching. Your cover letter is where you can show how passionate you are, how caring you are and how you’ll be able to impact the students for the better. Resumes state facts; cover letters show who you are as a person. This is your chance to separate yourself from all the other applicants. Get the reader to like you via your cover letter.
  • State what you’ve accomplished – Instead of simply stating on your resume that you’ve “Worked in the teaching industry for 10 years,” focus on what it is you’ve accomplished. “Advanced students from the third to fourth grade for the past five years” or “Developed challenging new lesson plans each year, improved students’ test scores on a yearly basis and mentored other teachers’ regularly” is much more specific. All teachers taught, but what is it that you specifically accomplished?
  • Be clear and concise – Stay focused on the end goal of your resume—which is to land you an interview. As easy as it can be to write in paragraph format or be extremely wordy, avoid this. Use bullet points and make your resume easy for the reader to move from one topic to the next. If a resume is too wordy, there’s a good chance it will get overlooked.
  • Use keywords – With today’s use of high-end technology, most school districts have you submit your resume online and then use a scanner to find the best resumes. This means yours needs to stand out not only to an individual, but to a computer screening system as well. Do your research and include words that are used commonly by the school district and found in the job posting itself. Common keywords for teaching resumes include: creative lesson planning, discipline strategies, curriculum design and development, technology integration and more.
  • Have someone proofread it – This goes without say, but a resume with grammatical or spelling errors will most likely never land you an interview. It can be easy to overlook simple mistakes from your own work, so ask a trusted friend or professional to proofread your resume for you. They may catch an obvious mistake that you overlooked—even though you proofread it a thousand times before.
  • Keep it current – Finally, we recommend taking a look at your resume yearly to make sure it’s current. This prevents you from forgetting something important you may have accomplished five years ago. Add accomplishments, awards and achievements as you go—making it easy to keep your resume up-to-date.

Remember, every career field is extra-competitive now. With the job market the way it is, landing a job is difficult.

Do your part by searching for jobs daily, showing passion and interest in the field and having an outstanding, one-of-a-kind resume.

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer in Charlotte, NC. She writes on careers, personal finance and travel.