Teachers are people who make a big difference in the lives of young people. On a bigger scale, teachers may well be one of the most influential people in the world. Teachers must possess the ability to control the thinking ability of young people as well as perform some kind of educational magic by showing them that they can do things they never thought they could do. That being said, developing a teacher resume is quite a challenge. It takes highlighting the right combination of education, experience, and knowledge as well as including the right qualifications in order to deliver a resume that will land interviews and, eventually, a job. In such a competitive field as the field of education, you would want your resume to deliver a clear and concise message about your professionalism. Malala Yousafzai once said, that "One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” We believe that one well-written resume can change a teacher's life.
What to Include onto a Teacher Resume?
Regardless of whether you need a substitute teacher resume or an elementary teacher resume, there are common requirements in regard to content and credentials listed in the document. So before trying to figure out what kind of information should be listed on your resume, study the job requirements first. Usually, every job ad has sections about the summary of the job, daily responsibilities, requirements, and desired qualifications. You need to analyze this information very carefully because essentially this is your potential employer saying what they need. It is important that your teacher resume is actually built around what your potential employer wants. So pay special attention to the requirements section. It is common for the teacher job opening to have the following requirements:
- Education: bachelor's/master's degree in teaching (certificate in education)
- Previous experience as a teacher (might be a certain number of years)
- Knowledge of teaching practices - Knowledge of educational guidelines
- Compliance with the school’s policies/procedures
- Excellent soft skills
- Creativity and commitment
- Instruction skills
- Knowledge of CPR
If the job you are pursuing has these requirements, it is imperative that you address them all on your resume and cover letter. Once again, it doesn't really matter if you are writing a preschool teacher resume, teacher assistant resume or special education teacher resume - employer's needs and wants must drive the entire process. So before starting to write anything, make sure you know the job requirements. When you are done identifying employer's needs and wants, it is now a good time to write down what will possibly be the content of your resume. Here are some of the things to jot down:
Education. We recommend placing your educational credentials above the experience section. Most teaching jobs require specific degrees and certifications, and therefore, this section.
Teaching Experience. If you are after a teaching job, include all relevant experience. If you don't have much to offer, then consider including volunteer and other activities that involve teaching in one way or another.
Accomplishments. Listing your duties on a resume is fine but it is not enough to make one stand out. "Developed lesson plans", "delivered instructional activities", "prepared classroom and materials", etc... - these all cliches will not position you as a strong candidate. While you can use some of the duties, emphasize your accomplishments ("Implemented new curriculum, improving students' test score by 41%").
Summary. Based on your experiences and skills, write a powerful summary section for your resume (it is best to position this section right after your contact information). We think that doing that in the form of bullet statements is the best way to go. This is where you should present your unique self as well as list what you can do for your potential employer. Summing up your professional skills isn't easy but this is how you can set yourself apart from the competition. Focus on the value you can bring into the school based on your skills and past achievements. You can check the teacher resume examples online or see our sample teacher resume below.
These sections should serve a good foundation for a powerful self-marketing tool. You can either write a resume on your own, use a little bit of third-party help (find a decent template online or a resume maker), or have the experts do it for you by placing an order with a resume agency. Regardless of the option you choose to go with, it is important that you understand what an effective resume is about before starting to work on one.
Teacher Resume Keywords
Just like sales managers, marketing specialists or nurses, teachers should include education-specific keywords in their resumes (by keywords we mean industry-specific acronyms, terms, words, and phrases). Today more and more companies tend to use applicant tracking software and the education sector is no exception so those pursuing a teaching career should be mindful of this tendency. We say that because there is a good chance that one's resume will be scanned, sorted, and prioritized in the computer database using keyword analytics. We live in times where districts require resumes to be posted online so they could scan them and if your resume happens to contain no keywords, your chances of landing a job are close to zero. Here is the list of keywords that is relevant to the field of education: teaching, learning, curriculum development/planning/design, lesson planning, K-12, tutoring, mentoring, special needs students, ESL/ESOL students, teacher-parent relations, technology integration, student success, student assessment, classroom management/monitoring/discipline, student/parental involvement, instructional activities (instruction), lead teacher, teaching across the curriculum, interdisciplinary teaching approaches, in-service leadership. Please note that the given list above is generic and is not tailored for a specific teaching position. It is rather meant to demonstrate that there are way more keywords to be used on a teacher resume than just "curriculum design" and "classroom management".
Teacher Resume Sample
As you can see on this sample teacher resume, the content is relevant, the summary section is clear, the accomplishments are emphasized, the document has a good keyword density, and the overall layout is clean and easy to follow. This sample is somewhat generic - it was not tailored for a specific job opening and, therefore, doesn't have job specific terms. We chose this generic format just to demonstrate how one can draft an effective resume; obviously, to specific jobs before it can be sent to potential employers.
Cover Letter for Teachers
Many applicants underestimate the importance of a good cover letter but the truth of the matter is that it can mean the difference between getting rejected and landing the interview. When we say a good cover letter we don't mean copy-pasted content from a resume. Also, we don't mean generic text found somewhere on the Internet. Instead, tell a story: how come you became a teacher and why do you think you are a good one (based on your previous work experience and skills)? One thing needs that employers are after when seeking to hire an educator is passion for teaching. A cover letter is a perfect tool to use to demonstrate how passionate you are about teaching and student success. The best way to do it in a cover letter is to 1) incorporate your teaching philosophy 2) emphasize your teacher's achievements 3) show your are willing to learn new things Don't treat your cover letter as just an afterthought - this letter is so much more than a another page of your application. Try not to sound boring - it won’t help you much and most likely it will hurt your chances. Finally, make sure that both your teacher resume and cover letter are not filled with typos and grammatical errors because it will unlikely inspire the hiring authorities to give you an interview call.