When every job site requires you to fill in a huge application or re-create your resume in their own system – field by field, the resume seems to be more irrelevant than ever. However the resume is far from dead. The resume allows you to stand out from the rest – for better or worse!
When it comes to teaching resumes, many educators struggle to make the grade. Teachers often aren’t very good at selling themselves unlike many ‘embellished’ business resumes! When a hiring manager or recruiter is looking over your resume, you’ve got a few precious seconds to make an impression.
Here are some key things that will help make your resume easy to read and allow you to land that phone interview for the teaching job abroad.
Tip 1: Acronyms
Acronyms: Don’t assume the reader knows what all your acronyms are. Every city/state/country has different acronyms for different certifications, school boards, degrees, endorsements etc. Spell them out the first time they are mentioned in the resume. Especially when applying to jobs outside your school board/hometown.
- Speaking of degrees and endorsements: clearly list your certifications with the year you acquired them.
- If the date is in the last two years, add the month as well because teaching experience after certification must be easily quantifiable.
Tip 2: Keep it Simple
Keep It Simple: Anyone hiring teachers knows what teachers do. There isn’t much need to detail all your tasks or responsibilities. We are often first looking for specific qualifications and experience that might qualify you for a position.
- Exact title of your role.
- Subject & levels/ages that you taught.
- list school name, city, state & country
- month & year of time worked (adding the number of years/months also helps): ex: Aug 02 – July 07 (5 years)
- Type of school – public, charter, Int’l, IB, private etc.
Tip 3: Achievements
Achievements: This is where teachers can learn from business resumes. Many teaching resumes can look the same- many years of experience at the same school and it’s hard to differentiate between applicants. However what did you achieve at this job? Did you initiate any projects/clubs? Did you take on additional tutoring/mentoring? Stating you have “Creative Lesson Planning” doesn’t help! Use (very) brief examples and stats.
Tip 4: Keywords
Keywords: These days many resumes get parsed and go into searchable databases. Using keywords relevant to your experience (and desired job) in your resume are important.
- This is where the acronyms can be helpful and hurt you. Be sure to have the full spelling and the acronym in your resume. Taught Special Education? Don’t use “Sp. Ed.” List all subjects taught, certificates, endorsements etc.
Tip 5: Double Check (and triple check)
Double Check: Resumes should be perfect. There is no excuse for typos, errors, formatting problems etc. Especially when you’re a teacher!
Tip 6: Formatting
Formatting: PDFs are ideal. You know the formatting will always appear perfect, no one will have issues printing or viewing it (they are mobile friendly too), and it can be parsed into databases. No more than two pages! Photos are not necessary, and don’t forget your contact information.
Tip 7: Know thy Audience
Know Your Audience: Remember who is reading the resume. We’ve seen very colourful resumes from elementary teachers – however we aren’t 6 years old, and the pink background with ABC blocks spelling your name doesn’t say ‘professional’ to the reader. Know your audience and customize it to the reader.
We are confident that if you apply these tips on your resume, it will earn an A+ and land you that job interview. Good luck!
If you want to see a sample of how to write a resume, visit our handy Teacher's resume guide.