6 tips to get you on your way to a killer resume
Okay, you’ve got your degree (or are about to graduate with your degree). Now it’s time to make that application and resume shine.
A teaching resume is different from other types of resumes.
It may be two pages if you have that many amazing things to say about yourself. Your resume should be either one full page or two full pages, nothing in between. If you do have a two page resume, never print on both sides of the paper. Purchase good quality resume paper, print the two pages and staple them together.
You want your resume to look clean and professional so it gives a positive impression of you at first glance.
According to The Purdue Owl (note: The Purdue Owl is a resource you should be using often if you aren’t already), an employer will peruse your resume for no more than 35 seconds before putting you in the interview pile or the trash.
There are various ways to format your resume, but a teaching resume should generally include an objective, educational experience, classroom experience, testing (GRE, Praxis, etc.) and certification, and additional job experiences. It may also include products or presentations made, recognition and awards, and additional leadership experiences.
Play up your experiences
Whether you’re just out of college, a stay at home mom going back to work, or a tax executive looking for a new career, there are ways to play up your experiences on your resume.
If you ran meetings at a previous job, list that under leadership experience. If you taught others new skills, list that under educational experience (regardless of whether you taught new employees or your own children). If you have any first aid qualifications (CPR, AED) they’ll want to know, so make sure you include that as well.
Make your experiences work for you by giving them the proper slant with your descriptions.
The best way to do this is to use strong verbs and up-to-date buzz words. Verbs are so important! Use words that employers are looking for like: led, controlled, maintained, facilitated, observed, assisted, taught, implemented, administered, organized, promoted, etc. Also, include the same types of buzzwords on your resume that you would use in an interview.
These words include, but are not limited to: engagement, student centered, differentiation, achievement gap, higher order thinking, learning styles, standardized testing, scaffolding, performance based assessment, objectives, and rigor. (Index of education buzzwords!)
So where do you start?
- Make a list of experiences you’ve had that might be of interest to an employer. Even if you have very few classroom experiences try to think back to any time you did anything that had to do with teaching. For example, I was a tour guide. Tour guides use multitudes of teaching skills. If you’ve ever tutored, include that. Have you volunteered at the library? How about a museum? Include your student teaching and any other in classroom experiences you completed while getting your certification or degree. Even if you’ve just waited tables, make sure to include that. Employers want to see that you have held down a job in the past, so they know you are reliable.
- Find a template. Many word processing programs have a resume builder built in. These programs are great to help you get started with formatting, but you may have to change some of the headings for an education resume. Or you can message me at @ATeachersGuide and I’ll send you my template for free.
- Your addresses (mailing and email). Make sure to provide a current address and a permanent address if you are a student, or are planning on moving soon. Also make sure you have a professional email address. No firstname.lastname@example.org. Create a professional sounding email if you don’t already have one. For example, email@example.com.
- In most cases you are going to include an objective, especially if you are a first time teacher, career switcher, or you want to land a job in a specific content like Spanish, Dual Enrollment, or dance.
- Link it up: It doesn’t hurt to provide links to your online persona including LinkedIn and/or links to any relevant papers, websites, or blogs you’ve contributed to.
- Keep the font reasonable. I wouldn’t stray from somewhere between 10-12 font for the majority of your text. You may want to have larger headlines if you’re getting creative.
The following resume is a modified-for-your-purposes version of my resume just out of graduate school. Obviously you won’t have the same experiences, and therefore, will have to come up with your own titles and descriptions, but you can use this resume as a guide. It does the job, but it is not as aesthetically pleasing as it could be. If you really want to stand out, consider making your resume using a resume template that provides a more modern, reader friendly look.
If you’re still in school, check to see if someone in the career center specializes in resumes. I thought mine was stellar, but when I took it in for a once over I got enough advice to knock my ego down a notch and take my resume to the next level.
Below is an example of a non-standard format resume. It is not an education resume, but it might give you some inspiration if you want to think outside the box.
Featured image by: http://www.amtec.us.com/
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