How to Write an A+ Teacher Resume
So, you’ve done the work, passed your tests, and you are officially ready to become a teacher. Great! Dreaming about your future job as a teacher is exciting. But getting there can be daunting and downright overwhelming. Crafting a beautiful and thorough teacher resume is an extremely important step in the interview process. Without a great resume, there is little chance of an interview at all.
Maybe you’ve applied for every teaching job within a 50-mile radius and you’re still hearing crickets. Perhaps you are ready to apply but have no earthly idea how to write a teacher resume, never mind a cover letter or the terrifying teacher portfolio people keep talking about. You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll explain how to get employers to notice you. We’ll unlock the secret to standing out among that giant stack of applicants sitting on the hiring manager’s desk.
Most of the time, your resume is your first impression. If you make a great first impression, you’ll get noticed, and there’s a good chance you’ll get an interview. Relax. You’ve got this, and we can help. Go grab yourself a cup of coffee, get ready to take some notes, and read these valuable tips on how to write an A+ teacher resume.
Let’s start with the basics and assume you’ve never written a resume in your life. An easy way to start is to take at least 20 minutes to brainstorm. Think about any relevant skills and experience you’ve had that would make a potential employer interested in you as a teacher. Are you a good problem solver? Can you communicate well? Do you have experience with public speaking? Have you worked with children before? Write it all down! Include everything from tasks you’ve accomplished in volunteer roles and freelance positions to previous jobs you’ve held.
When thinking about your past job experience, focus more on accomplishments and how you improved things for the employer rather than simply listing job duties. For example, instead of just listing “communication with parents” talk about how you streamlined a process for communicating with parents, and note any achievements or recognition.
Once you have a good-sized list, take a sip of coffee, and congratulate yourself on getting the hardest part out of the way. This list will be what you’ll pull from for the main content of your resume.
Determine How You Will Format Your Teacher Resume
Now that you’ve got the foundation of your resume established, the next step is to figure out how you will structure it. There are a million and one resume template tools you can use to make this process easy. A very simple and customizable resume builder I like to use is Microsoft Word templates. They offer some clean designs that are beautifully formatted, and they make it easy to plug your information into the template.
To use this tool, open Microsoft Word, and from the File menu, select “new from template.” A few suggested templates will show up initially. If you enter the word “resume” in the search bar on the top right, you will see many more options for layouts to use. Many of them even include matching cover letters.
There are several formats to choose from that will highlight different aspects of your job experience, accolades, or education. Here are some of the most common teacher resume layouts…
Chronological Resume Format
When writing a teacher resume, hiring managers prefer a chronological resume format with the most recent job experience shown closest to the top. This format is easy to read and is the most common format hiring managers see. One benefit to using a chronological teacher resume format is that it can be easily read by the software many HR departments use to automate and manage the hiring process. There is one drawback to using a chronological resume format. If you have large gaps in employment history or have been out of the workforce for a while, it could raise some questions for potential employers. If that is the case for you, you may want to consider an alternate resume layout.
Here is an example of a chronological teacher resume:
The main sections that should be included in a chronological teacher resume (in order of importance) are:
- Contact Info
- Employment History
- Special Skills, Accolades
Functional (Skills-Based) Resume Format
An alternative to the chronological resume format is the functional teacher resume, also known as a skills-based resume. This layout draws more attention to your relevant job skills over your employment history. If you are a recent grad and new to the workforce or have large gaps in employment history, this may be the best format to consider.
However, keep in mind that the chronological format is ideal for getting your resume to pass through the initial applicant tracking software. Hiring managers do not recommend using a functional resume format for your teacher resume unless there is a compelling reason to. If you go this route, a well-crafted cover letter can help explain some of the gaps in employment history and supplement a functional resume.
The main sections that should be included in a functional teacher resume (in order of importance) are:
- Contact Info
- Special Skills (grouped into categories related to the job you are applying for)
- Certifications, Accolades
- Employment History
Identify Your Strengths to Include in the Skills Section of Your Teacher Resume
Look at the list you made when you started brainstorming and pinpoint anything that could be considered a skill. This could include hard skills like computer programs you are experienced with or lesson planning techniques. But don’t limit it to measurable skills. Keep in mind, you can also list any relevant soft skills you possess like compassion or a positive attitude.
Here are the top 10 skills to include on a teacher resume (according to Indeed):
- Critical thinking
- Imaginative thinking
- Time management
- Technological skills
- Conflict resolution
Click here to read a more in-depth explanation of each of these skills.
Include Your Certifications
When applying for a teaching job, an employer will want to know right away if you have the appropriate certifications required to teach. To view certification requirements by state, take a look at this list from Certification Map.
Still need to get certified to teach?
If you want to be a teacher, but don’t have the certifications yet, there’s no need to be discouraged. It’s not too late. iteach is a nationally accredited alternative certification program that can help you get certified quickly and affordably so you can be eligible to start teaching in a matter of weeks. You will have access to online, self-paced curriculum. Plus, 90% of the program cost is deferred until you are successful in getting hired as a teacher. To learn more about getting certified to teach through iteach, choose your state and get started here.
Tailor Your Teacher Resume to the Job You Are Applying For
Carefully read the job posting and be sure you understand what it entails. When listing your career experience for your former jobs, put the most relevant closest to the top. For example, let’s say you are applying to a job as an English teacher and one of your past roles required you to manage the budget as well as proofread and edit blog posts. You would first list proofreading and editing since it is more applicable to what you may be expected to do in your new role.
Don’t Forget the Cover Letter!
A cover letter is a great way to wrap your resume up in a bow with a personal introduction to you that highlights why you would be a great asset. Watch this helpful video on how to write the perfect cover letter for teaching from Kathleen Jasper.
For even more tips and tricks, visit our Resume Builder, where you can download a resume worksheet and resume templates.
Teacher Job Board:
Once you have your A+ resume crafted, you are ready to apply for jobs and secure that interview! Check our job board frequently to see who is hiring teachers.
Become a Teacher. Change Lives.
If you are passionate about impacting the world around you there are few places where you can influence the future as much as a teacher. Teachers have the ability to build students up and set them on a positive course that can have a ripple effect for future generations.
If you are interested in becoming a teacher, check out our online teacher certification process and you could be teaching in a matter of weeks.