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What to Include in a Teacher Resume
If you’re currently a preschool teacher and you’re applying for another teaching position at a preschool, your resume will differ from a middle-school teacher applying for a high school teaching position. In the first case, a chronological resume style would absolutely work best, and in the second, a functional resume could be considered (although the former format might still be more appropriate).
The chronological resume is the most commonly used style and is the most familiar to hiring managers. If you have no gaps in employment and are seeking a similar position, this format is recommended. Your jobs will be listed in reverse chronological order with accomplishments listed for each position. The basic sections of a chronological resume are:
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume Summary
- Work Experience
If you have gaps in employment, are changing careers, or are an entry-level teacher without much experience, you can present your qualifications by using the functional format without drawing attention to your limited or spotty experience. You successes and accomplishment can be highlighted in an added section called Accomplishments, which will include details about your achievements without identifying specific employers. The sections of a functional resume are:
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume Summary
- Accomplishments (new section)
- Work Experience
You can find teacher resume samples in both formats that will help you decide which is best for you.
How to Write the Teacher Resume Summary Statement
Avoid the first-person voice. Instead of writing I taught a second grade class comprised of 15 students, simply say Taught 15-student second grade class. The technique of using incomplete sentences, called gapping, presents information clearly and concisely. You’ll have an opportunity for more detail in your work experience or accomplishments section.
In addition to the teacher resume samples you’ve identified, following are two resume summary examples for your review:
Bilingual elementary teacher with experience instructing grades 2-5 and class sizes of up to 25 students. Created innovative activities that measurably improved student literacy and math levels. Identified students needing extra help as well as those ahead of the curve, and developed individualized plans to better meet their needs. Trained four new teacher’s aides.
High school math teacher with over 10 years experience teaching courses in algebra, calculus and geometry to students from grades 9-12, including those in the advanced classes. Contributed to a 15% increase in students’ scores in math standardized testing. Developed individualized lesson plans for students identified as requiring specialized teaching methods. Acted as both math and chess club adviser.
How to Write the Teacher Education Section
Under Certifications, include your general teaching certificate and content-specific certification, or when you anticipate receiving them. National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential that complements but does not replace a state’s teacher license, but if you have it, state it clearly.
The next sub-heading, Education, will reflect your academic achievement level, and for teaching grades K-12, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required. The format should be simple, including the school attended and the degree obtained, with your highest level of education listed first. If you pursued a course of study that relates to the job you’re applying for, like early childhood development, by all means include that information. You should also include any student teaching experience in this section.
Review the education sections of teacher resume samples for formatting options that suite your style, but keep in mind that you want to be professional in your presentation and you want your resume to be visually appealing.
How to Write the Teacher Work Experience Section
If you’ve decided to use the chronological style resume, the work experience section should have clearly stated and simply formatted headings for each position held, and they should be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the employer, city and state, period of employment, and job title. Under each job, list 3-6 bullet points that focus the potential employer’s attention on what you’ve done for others and what you can do for them. Resist the urge to say “Responsibilities included:” and instead list your accomplishments, using action verbs. Show the positive impact of your work in a quantifiable way.
In the functional style resume, you’ll be listing your achievements in the accomplishments section rather under each job heading. Here you’ll use the same strategy of using action verbs and pointing to measurable successes. While it may be tempting to list what you believe are your most impressive achievements first, you should refer to the job description to see what’s most important to the potential employer. Match your accomplishments to their requirements first. Then you can fill out your list with the rest. Using 6-8 bullet points will focus the employer’s attention on each of your abilities. After you’ve detailed your accomplishments section, you can simply list your previous employers in the work experience section without the detail.
Volunteer experience should be included no matter which style you choose.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Teacher Work Experience Section
For more action verbs that may apply to your experience, take another look at the teacher resume samples you’ve identified.
How to Write the Teacher Skills Section
Don’t claim skills you don’t actually have, but mirror as many of the appointed job requirements in your list as you can honestly claim. If applicable, you might consider including skills similar to the following:
- Smart board familiarity
- MS Office proficiency
- Individual education plan development
- Project based learning experience
- Critical thinking
Relationship building, creativity, and strong communication skills are important as well. You can get additional ideas by reviewing teacher resume samples.
How to Format the Teacher Resume so it can be Scanned Effectively
As a test, give a hard copy of your resume to a friend for 90 seconds and then ask them what stood out. Could they identify any of the achievements you want to be noticed? Were they aware of your education qualifications? If not, edit accordingly.
Should I Include References in my Teacher Resume
On the plus side of not including them, when you get a request from a potential employer, you’ll know for sure they’re interested in you. You’ll also be able to contact the people on your list to alert them to be expecting a call, and if you ask them to let you know after they’ve been contacted, you can find out what kind of questions were asked.
You references should be professional educators or school administrators with whom you’ve worked, and a school principal will look good on the list too. You should have no fewer than three and no more than five references, and before you put anyone on your list, make sure you have their approval.
Teacher Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- If you speak the preferred language of the institution you’re applying to, they’ll be comfortable with your approach. Do they refer to modules, units, or courses? Do some research. It pays off, and it shows.
- It doesn’t matter what you teach, you’re a teacher. You understand the English language and how to communicate clearly. If you have errors in grammar or spelling in your resume, it could end up in the reject pile.
- Don’t tell the potential employer the kind of school or school district you want to work for. You’re submitting your resume, so you’re clearly stating you’d like to work for them. What’s important in this process is to get them to want you.
- You may be pretty good at embedded tables and graphics, but if the school system uses an applicant tracking system, you could be doing yourself a disservice by confusing the system. Keeping it simple helps both the human eye and the ATS scanner to see what’s important.
Job Prospects in the Teaching Industry
Employment for kindergarten and elementary teachers as well as middle school teachers is projected to grow 12 percent, which is only slightly better than for all occupations. The student-teacher ratio is expected to decline slightly, meaning teachers will be responsible for fewer students, requiring more teachers to teach the same number of students. Enrollments in kindergarten and elementary schools is expected to increase as well. Middle school teachers with education or certifications in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Special Education teachers will see increased job opportunities.
Projected employment growth of high school teachers is 6 percent, which is lower than the average for all occupations. The modest growth is because of the decline in student-teacher ratio; however, enrollment growth in high school is expected to be slower than in other grades. Overall enrollment will vary by region, and employment is dependent on state and local government budgets. Attrition will provide employment opportunities as teachers reach retirement.