Résumé Writing: Seal the Deal for a Teaching Position

Do you need help with writing a résumé for teaching jobs? 

Your résumé should demonstrate both your professionalism and your passion for teaching. It should showcase your commitment to maximizing students’ achievement through best practices in education. It is your opportunity to highlight your strengths that make you the best candidate for the positions in which you are applying.


Do you need help writing a résumé for teaching jobs? This post will walk you through the steps to writing a traditional teaching résumé that best represents you as a professional. Your résumé should demonstrate both your professionalism and your passion for teaching, showcasing commitment to maximizing students’ achievement through best practices in education. It is your opportunity to showcase your strengths that make you the best candidate for the positions in which you are applying.



THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE PERFECT TEACHING RÉSUMÉ.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath. The fact is there is no singular, perfect way to write a résumé. They are as different as the teachers they represent.  In teaching, there are two main perspectives about how your résumé should look: traditional or creative. Because teaching is a creative profession, there is room for both types of résumés in this field. Tonja from Smart Puppy Learning will address specifics about creative résumés, while I will focus on more traditional résumés. After reading the different perspectives, you can utilize either of our templates to create a résumé that best represents YOU as a professional.

Do you need help writing a résumé for teaching jobs? This post will walk you through the steps to writing a traditional teaching résumé that best represents you as a professional. Your résumé should demonstrate both your professionalism and your passion for teaching, showcasing commitment to maximizing students’ achievement through best practices in education. It is your opportunity to showcase your strengths that make you the best candidate for the positions in which you are applying.


TEACHING RÉSUMÉS SHOULD HAVE PROFESSIONAL AESTHETICS.


Whether you choose the traditional or creative approach to your résumé, it needs to have professional aesthetics. The very first thing that potential employers notice about your résumé is what it looks like overall. Employers at school districts that are in high-demand often use this to quickly weed through the stacks. When they have hundreds of applicants to sort through for one position, employers will scan for a few seconds to decide if your résumé will be sorted into the pile of potential interviews or into the trash.

Don’t let this overwhelm you. This just reinforces how important it is to put your best foot forward on your résumé. Your résumé needs to be clear and easy to read, which can be achieved through “white space”, professional fonts, and precise wording. The formatting should clean and consistent with no errors. It should be printed on high-quality, résumé paper. From a traditional perspective, I like to use classic fonts, black ink only, and white or ivory résumé paper. While I love the crisp look of black type on white paper, my professor in college recommended using ivory résumé paper because it “stands out” of the stack while retaining its traditional look. 

There are many ways that you can create a traditional résumé. I love the free templates offered through Canva website. You can find a variety of traditional and creative résumé examples to modify on that site. You can also create your résumé in Word or any other word processing program. 


Do you need help writing a résumé for teaching jobs? This post will walk you through the steps to writing a traditional teaching résumé that best represents you as a professional. Your résumé should demonstrate both your professionalism and your passion for teaching, showcasing commitment to maximizing students’ achievement through best practices in education. It is your opportunity to showcase your strengths that make you the best candidate for the positions in which you are applying.

In summary, a professionally aesthetic traditional résumé includes the following: 
  • Clean, consistent formatting
  • Classic fonts that are clear and easy to read
  • White space so the page doesn't feel cluttered or visually overwhelming
  • Content with precise vocabulary that is completely error-free
  • Professional-quality resume paper (white or ivory) with black ink


TEACHING RÉSUMÉS SHOULD BE CONTENT-DRIVEN.


While aesthetics of your résumé often help weed out the candidates that districts aren’t interested in pursuing, the content of your résumé is what helps you stand out in the remaining crowd of applicants. The content of your résumé should focus on your professional expertise, specific accomplishments, and relevant experiences. I like to design my traditional résumé in the following order.

  • PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION: Include identifying information such as name, address, phone number(s), email (keep it professional!), and website (if applicable - more on this later!) 

  • CAREER OBJECTIVE: Some people argue that this is an optional part of a résumé, but I think it gives you the opportunity to share your teaching philosophy with potential employers.  This ensures that you are a good fit for the district AND that the districts that select you will be a good fit for you. Yes, you want to be hired, but not at the expense of working for a district that doesn't support your teaching philosophy. You can write a general statement for résumés that you plan to pass out at career fairs. However, when you are applying for specific positions, you can tweak the statement to best represent that listed position. 

  • CERTIFICATION(S): List your specific certifications and the date they were issued (or the date you anticipate they will be issued). Be sure to include all certifications and endorsements. For example, I am dually certified in Early Childhood (PreK-3) and Special Education (K-12) with Endorsements for General Elementary Grades 4-5 and Reading. If I am applying for an intervention specialist position, I put my Special Education certification at the top; if I am applying for a general elementary position, I put that the top. Again, I tweak my résumé based on the specific position whenever possible. 

  • EDUCATION: Begin by listing the highest level of education you have obtained. For example, I have a Master's Degree, so I begin by listing this degree first. Include the name of your college, where it is located (city and state), and when you graduated. Then list the full name of the degree (example: Master of Education in Special Education OR Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education), as well as minors and/or concentration areas. Including your GPA is optional, but can be helpful for first-year teachers if your GPA is high. 

  • TEACHING EXPERIENCE: If you are an experienced teacher, list all teaching positions you have held, beginning with the most recent position. Include the position, district, grade level(s), location, and duration of employment. Underneath each position, include a bulleted list of achievement statements. An achievement statement includes an action verb + an elaboration + the result. (more details below)

  • TEACHING RELATED EXPERIENCE: If you are a new teacher fresh out of college, you will list all teaching related experiences, beginning with your most recent experience. Again, underneath each position, include a bulleted list of achievement statements. An achievement statement includes an action verb + an elaboration + the result. (more details below) For many of you that are directly out of college, your most recent teaching-related experience will be student-teaching. However, I graduated in December, then subbed for a semester. On my first résumé, I began with my subbing experience, then listed my student teaching placement. 

  • OTHER RELATED WORK EXPERIENCE (OPTIONAL): List any other work experiences, with most recent experiences listed first. Think about any relevant work experience and how it might be viewed from the employer's perspective. Keep in mind that this information is optional, so only list the experience if it enhances your application for the current position. If you have a job that you worked for many years, this demonstrates loyalty and longevity, so it could be a great addition. For example, I worked for 3 years as a Childcare Specialist at a juvenile delinquency facility in one of their therapeutic cottages while pursuing my undergraduate degree. This position demonstrated my loyalty as well as my passion for working with children from difficult backgrounds. It is one of the reasons I was hired to work as a middle school teacher for students that were emotionally disturbed before I was even certified to teach this area. 

  • OPTIONAL INFORMATION: Keep in mind that your résumé should be concise. If you have no teaching experience, keep your résumé to one page. As your experience grows over the years, it is considered appropriate to have a two-page résumé when applicable, but you can also keep it to one page. If you still have space at the bottom of your résumé, you can include other optional information that might be of interest to potential employers. This could include: special skills, memberships, honors, activities, interests, volunteer experiences,  professional development, or other relevant information. Again, look at it from the perspective of your potential employer and only include it if it enhances your overall résumé


TEACHING RÉSUMÉ ACHIEVEMENT STATEMENTS SHOULD FOCUS ON ACTIONS AND RESULTS.

Underneath each teaching position or related experience, include a bulleted list of achievement statements.  An achievement statement includes an action verb + an elaboration + the result. These achievement statements are what will make your résumé content truly stand out from the crowd, so make sure they are high-quality!


EXAMPLE 1
Basic Achievement Statement: Tutored third grade student (action)

Better Achievement Statement: Tutored third grade student (action) in reading strategies (elaboration)

BEST Achievement Statement: Tutored third grade student  (action) in reading strategies (elaboration) to raise his DRA score one grade level in three months (result)

EXAMPLE 2: 
Basic Achievement Statement: Implemented student-led conferences (action)

Better Achievement Statement: Implemented student-led conferences (action) at spring conferences (elaboration)

BEST Achievement Statement: Implemented student-led conferences (action) at spring conferences (elaboration) to achieve 100% parental attendance (result)

Because space is limited, try to use a VARIETY of action verbs and adjectives for my achievement statements. This allows you to make maximum impact in the minimum amount of space. Click here to download my >>FREE GUIDE FOR RÉSUMÉ WRITING<<, which includes a list of verbs and adjectives perfect for resume writing, educational buzz words, and templates!


TRADITIONAL TEACHING RÉSUMÉS CAN BE SPICED UP WITH CREATIVE ADDITIONS.

While I have always used a traditional résumé when applying for teaching positions, I also like to add creative elements to help myself stand out even further. Feel free to be as creative as possible, but these are some of the creative additions I have tried or heard of others trying. 

  • Business Card - A teaching business card is so helpful to have on hand, especially when you are searching for a job. You never know who you might meet or where! It would be helpful to include your name, certifications, contact information, and a mission statement or tag line. You could even use a QR code that scans directly to your personalized, digital portfolio website. 

  • Brochure - A trifold or bookmark brochure is a great addition, especially if you turn in your résumé in a résumé folder. You could also visit local schools and give your brochure directly to the principal to express your interest in a position. The brochure should be colorful, including the most important details about you as a candidate: certifications, brief teaching philosophy, and contact information. It can even include direct quotes from your letters of recommendation about your specialized skills.  

  • Landing Page - A landing page is a simple website that helps potential employers get in contact with you. It could include a photo, your certifications, mission statement or tag line, and any contact information you are comfortable including on the web. You can also upload a web-specific resume with a professional email address to contact you (in lieu of your address and telephone number). 

  • Video Introduction - Your landing page or website portfolio could include a brief video introduction where you can share your passion for education and why you are a strong candidate. This would indicate proficiency in 21st-century, technology skills as well as give them an opportunity to get to know you better.

  • Digital Portfolio - You could create a digital portfolio in a variety of ways: Dropbox (or some other cloud service), burn to a CD-Rom/DVD, or copy to a flash drive. Dropbox/Google Drive/other cloud service is definitely your cheapest option! Just make sure that your documents are well-organized in identifiable folders so they can navigate with ease. You could even shorten the referral link with Bitly (shortened web link) to track how many clicks it gets. You could also link it to a QR code that you include on your business card, brochure, or résumé.  

  • Website Portfolio - There are so many websites out there that let you create for free. I chose to use Weebly for my digital portfolio. It is incredibly easy to use and looks very professional! I was even able to upgrade for password-protected pages that included photos of my students in action. I even uploaded all my important documents, such as letters of recommendation and my résumé. It gives such a comprehensive view of who I am as a teacher to anyone that is interested in looking. My previous principal even shared it with my future team mates so they could check it out over the summer to get to know me better. Keep in mind that whatever you put online is out there for the world to see, so be sure to password protect any pages with student photos, obtain appropriate permissions, and adjust documents to exclude incredibly personal information like your address or phone number. 
Do you need help writing a résumé for teaching jobs? This post will walk you through the steps to writing a traditional teaching résumé that best represents you as a professional. Your résumé should demonstrate both your professionalism and your passion for teaching, showcasing commitment to maximizing students’ achievement through best practices in education. It is your opportunity to showcase your strengths that make you the best candidate for the positions in which you are applying.


Don't forget to click here to download my >>FREE GUIDE FOR RÉSUMÉ WRITING<<! It includes a list of verbs and adjectives perfect for resume writing, educational buzz words, and templates, which I KNOW will be a huge help to you while you are writing your resume. Also, be sure to click on the picture below to check out Tonja's perspective, including templates for a more creative spin on your resume! 

  


Be sure to return NEXT MONDAY for practical ideas on how you can get ready this summer for your new teaching position! Until then, come sign up for our private >> Facebook group << and say hey! 




Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers

Are you getting ready to head into your first year teaching? Are you simultaneously more excited than ever AND completely overwhelmed with no idea where to start? Don't worry. That's completely normal! We've got you covered. Backstage Pass to Teaching is a blog series written especially for YOU. We will be posting every Monday this summer with a topic specifically related to you. Even better, you are going to get two entirely different perspectives on that topic!

Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers by Adventures of a Schoolmarm and Smart Puppy Learning

On behalf of the worldwide teaching community, let me say... 

Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers by Adventures of a Schoolmarm and Smart Puppy Learning

My name is Beth, and I am so glad you are here. You are going to have an amazing year! You have been preparing for this for years, and are about to embark on a life-changing journey. My friend Tonja from Smart Puppy Learning and I are very much looking forward to sharing ideas with you along the way. I am confident that if you stick with us through this blog series, you will be even more prepared for the year. This week, we are sharing a little bit about our own teaching journeys so you can get to know us better! 

Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers by Adventures of a Schoolmarm and Smart Puppy Learning
Tip #1: Get someone to take a better picture of you on your first day of teaching than I did! 

I have worked in a variety of settings for the 12 years I have been teaching, but I will NEVER forget that first year. I began my career in Indiana as a middle school special education teacher for students with emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities. To be honest, it wasn't originally a part of the plan. I had an elementary education license, but was hired on an emergency license with the contingency that I get certified in those specific areas within two years.  Even though I was terrified that I wouldn't be prepared enough to do the best job, I am so thankful that I was placed into that situation! I learned so much from my first students about the importance of individualizing instruction so that everyone was engaged. I also learned that LOVING your students trumps any level of expertise. When in doubt, just LOVE THEM. 

Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers by Adventures of a Schoolmarm and Smart Puppy Learning
The time in which I convinced my entire class that I met up with Justin Beiber one evening after school. 

After 5 years in that setting, I really missed my family, so I moved back to Ohio. I taught for two years in a VERY small, rural school. I was 30, single with no prospects, and working in a village... Hence, the nickname "Schoolmarm" was born! I worked as an intervention specialist again for one year,  which was so much fun. The district was really supportive of giving my students opportunities for hands-on, real-world experiences that would be meaningful to them. The grant funding that position ran out, so my second year, I was moved into 4th grade Math and Science. I channeled my best British accent to make coordinate planes and decimals more interesting. Whatever works, people! 

Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers by Adventures of a Schoolmarm and Smart Puppy Learning
Ok, so I didn't actually love this moment. That's my window. In a million pieces. 

Budgets got cut, and so did I, which brings me to my current district.  I began teaching third grade at a 100% poverty, Title 1 elementary school. Being a teacher is hard no matter where you work, but friends, teaching amidst extreme poverty brings hard to new levels. Wait-- Why would I want to tell you this? Aren't things all supposed to be all rainbows and sunshine and Pinterest-Perfect your first year?! NO. I promise you that it most definitely will NOT be. I want you to know that up front so that when it gets tough, you know that there isn't something wrong with you. It's completely NORMAL. I have been there. I have come home crying every night for weeks. I have been robbed (literally), beat down (figuratively), and to the edge of exhaustion like I've never experienced before. I have felt demoralized, defeated, and like nothing I do really makes a difference. I have asked myself if I went into the wrong profession. I have wanted to just quit. But the beauty of the mess is that it brings people together to strive towards a common goal, and together we achieve more than we ever could have on our own. If you come to that place this year, PLEASE, reach out. Connect. I promise that you are not alone. (We made a >>Facebook group<< especially for you to do just that!)

Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers by Adventures of a Schoolmarm and Smart Puppy Learning
Spring = Dandelions by the handful. 

During those three years, I was blessed enough to be selected to mentor several new teachers. Once our district decided to hire mentors full-time, the teachers I mentored told me I really needed to apply for that job. I thought for sure they would pick someone that had been teaching longer than 10 years, but they hired me! I have been working full-time as a mentor to new teachers in our district now for two years. I do miss having my own classroom and students, but I love being able to encourage them, help them try new strategies, and be a listening ear when they need to vent.  I am so humbled that I get to be a part of so many other classrooms. I consider it such an honor to help teachers stay motivated and encouraged amidst the current culture that seeks to defeat them. I love, love, LOVE it!

Thank you again for joining us on this journey. Before you go, you definitely want to click on the photo below to get to know Tonja better! 



Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers by Adventures of a Schoolmarm and Smart Puppy Learning

Also, be sure to stay tuned for next week's post all about writing a résumé! We will tackle both traditional and creative ideas, as well as provide free templates! Until then, come sign up for our private >> Facebook group << and say hey! 
Backstage Pass to Teaching: A Blog Series Especially for New Teachers by Adventures of a Schoolmarm and Smart Puppy Learning || Resume Writing Tips - Traditional and Creative Resumes for Teachers (includes free templates!)
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