Writing a Resume for a Teaching Job

Perspective educators need a resume that makes them stand out from the competition. With that said, their resume shouldn't be so voluminous that an administrator passes it over simply due to sheer volume. I was always taught that your resume should fit on one page. As a young educator it did fit on one page, just with a 10 point font and seemingly no margin at all. Fast forward to 2017 and the general expectation seems to be a two-page resume with a cover letter.

As both a principal and district-level administrator, I have reviewed thousands of resumes. I have specific "look-fors" when doing a resume analysis, but there are a few non-negotiables. With that said, there are certain things about your resume that perspective educators CANNOT change. You can't change where you went to college and you can't change your teaching certification. However, you can choose what to highlight and what to minimize when putting the resume together.

Common mistakes:
--Fluff. Supplement lack of experience by highlighting useless things like "Attended a workshop on..." Generally speaking, most administrators don't care what workshops you have gone to or speakers you have seen. Ironically, I would care more about a special talent (are you a musician, do you bowl, can you speak another language) a lot more than this!
--Typos! For some administrators, this is an absolute deal breaker, especially if you are seeking an English/Language Arts job. For me, I will certainly circle any mistakes, in fact, I might actually bring it up if they make it to an interview. It is a superficial thing for people to kill a candidate's chances on, however, with so many fish in the sea, it just may be the only difference between two qualified candidates when deciding who to interview.
--Gimmicks. I have seen a ton of attempts to set some resumes apart from others. People have put full-color pictures of themselves, quotes in the margins, used glossy paper, or even written their resumes in non-traditional formats. Don't do this. However, I do appreciate when I see candidates who have prepared materials online and include a link on their resume. I like that there is more to learn about them, but I don't have to shuffle through it on my desk. Plus, the websites show a technical proficiency that I like in a teacher.

A good resume is plain, simple and to the point. It should highlight your schooling and experience, even if it is limited. Include date wherever possible, unless you feel that they work against you. Use horizontal rules or bold headings to easily let the eye separate the sections of the resume. If you make it to an interview, don't be afriad to ask for resume feedback. Share with your friends, even if you are vying for the same jobs. Consider using fiverr or a more professional resume review service as you may get a return on your investment in the form of a job!

Some things some candidates don't think about:
--Make sure the printout is done on a laser printer. 40 pound paper, embossing, etc. are not important, but a good clean copy is essential.
--Don't forget to include your certification or license status. Administrators need to know what you can teach and when you can teach it.