As a teacher, regularly updating your resume – and LinkedIn profile – is always useful, even if you’re not currently job hunting. It will help you to keep track of your achievements, and if an exciting teaching opportunity does arise, you’ll be ready to apply.
The most important point to remember is that a teaching resume is marketing you to a potential employer. It’s not simply pages of employment history. You’re a teacher after all, so it goes without saying that excellent command of language will be expected.
In the coming year, institutions around the world will be on the hunt for only the brightest teachers, and competition is getting tougher. Here is our advice on how to upgrade your resume to stand out.
Concentrate on key skills
A good teacher resume should represent who the applicant is and why they’re great at teaching. This means that skills should be the main focus and continue to be referred to throughout. If you’re applying for a specific role, ensure you include the key attributes the job requires. If a posting makes a point of asking for candidates with experience of working with a certain computer program, for example, make sure you clearly state your ability to use the software.
On LinkedIn, use of keywords in your profile summary can optimize it in search results. If a teaching institution is looking for teachers with a specific ability, qualification or skill, you could rank as number one in their results. Also, ensure that your skills section is accurate and work on your endorsements.
Emphasize your accomplishments
Resumes can be easily refreshed by adding more depth to role descriptions. Employers are looking to see what you have achieved so far as a teacher, not a long list of your classroom duties – they’re aware of what teaching involves! Rather than simply stating that you taught science to high school students and demonstrated experiments, explain how you inspired your pupils to engage with difficult topics or assisted a challenging class to reach their targets. Include which areas of your experience you particularly developed further in each role.
Have international appeal
When applying for a teaching job abroad, make sure your resume is in a standardized, international format. Read the application guidelines in the posting carefully and follow them. Research typical resume layouts in the countries of interest and organize yours accordingly. If a resume is presented in a familiar way, a prospective employer will find it easier to read and navigate, making them more likely to take notice.
Keep it short and sweet
A new teaching position means another paragraph on your resume. However, in general a resume should never be more than two pages long, and this rule still stands even if a candidate has several years of experience. Whatever you do, don’t try and cram it all into two pages by choosing size 6 font or making drastic changes to the page layout. Be ruthless and remove the least relevant or most outdated role if length becomes an issue.
If you are highly experienced, it may be worth creating a separate biography, detailing all of your past roles and experience for your own reference. Some institutions may want to go through your entire teaching history but they will generally only ask for this at a later application stage.
Get it proofread
A teacher resume littered with spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar is not going to make a good impression. It’s likely you’ve read through your resume hundreds of times checking for errors, but sometimes this is counterproductive. Computer spell checks don’t always pick up on names, places or grammar. Ask a friend or family member to read over it for you. They may spot mistakes you’ve missed or have advice on how to improve the overall flow and tone. If you can get another education professional to check through it, even better.
Best of luck with your teaching career in 2014!