Learn the best practices for creating a stand-out teacher resume.
Whether you’re brand new to education, or a tenured educator looking for a change in pace, navigating the job market as a teacher can be very challenging. Education careers have a lot of similarities, how do you quantify your experience and stand out from other candidates?
Your resume is the optimal tool for opening the door to new opportunities in the current hiring landscape. In fact, most hiring funnels start with multiple rounds of vetting based on resumes alone. That means to even get an interview your resume likely has to stand out through consecutive phases of increasing scrutiny involving several different people and systems. Scary, right? But that can play to your advantage if you know how to build a better resume than your competition.
Here are our 7 tips for creating a high impact teacher resume.
Have you ever found yourself working on your resume struggling to recall details from previous experiences? Get in the habit of documenting your successes as they happen so you have a personal catalog to pull from when the time comes to make or update your resume. When you record events while they’re fresh in your mind you’re able to provide more thorough and holistic information. It’s also easier to chronicle your personal journey while you’re undergoing it. What was your goal at the outset? What challenges did you overcome along the way? How did you reflect and grow after the fact?
Additionally, you can gather evidence of your success in the moment to bolster your portfolio down the line. Capture your process with photos, videos, and audio recordings. Collect materials like feedback from students, parents and peers, assignments, lesson plans, and presentations. Then, store, organize, and label what you collect, in a digital portfolio, so you can easily find what you need later on. When the time comes, you’ll have a cache of media to prove your proficiencies. Seeing is believing after all.
Before you get into the proverbial weeds, it’s important to learn about the specific path or position you’re aiming for. The best place to start is a job listing or job description. Take note of the skills, areas of expertise, and other keywords included. Most online job application systems use an ATS (Applicant tracking system) to automatically scan resumes and filter them based on certain keywords and phrases, so you can be ruled out before a human being even looks at your resume if you don’t hit the right notes. This is also a great way to identify knowledge gaps so you can take action to gain the experience necessary with in-person classes, online courses, or certification programs.
Visit the website of the school, district, or company you’re applying for and see what values they advocate and what language they use. Then, incorporate those values and that language into your resume. It’s also worth finding the resumes and Linkedin profiles of teachers currently working for your prospective place of employment, or teachers working similar jobs. Examine what content they include and how they write about their skills and experiences. Recruiters are just as concerned with fit as they are experience, so make sure to demonstrate that you’re a good match for their culture.
If you want to create a high impact resume, you have to make high impact statements. An impact statement, simply put, explains the real-world impact of something you did. Start with the problem you aimed to solve and/or the goal you sought to achieve. Next, explain the actions you took and/or the challenges you overcame. Lastly, describe your results and explain their significance in terms of real-world impact. Aim to tell a compelling story with the bullet points you included in your experience section – you’ll be competing with many others of similar experience so you need your resume to stand out at first glance. Make sure to condense this information as much as possible as to not bloat your resume.
Show some numbers and data to support your impact statements. Did you increase test scores by an average of 10%? Include that. Did you deliver professional learning to 200 local educators? Drop that in. Did you see an improvement of sentiment in the comprehension of materials in post unit assessments? That’s great too. This is also a great opportunity to incorporate keywords from the insight you’ve gathered. As you’re writing your impact statements, consider where you can earnestly frame them in terms of certain keywords.
Seeing is believing, so be sure to include artifacts evidencing your skills and experiences. Don’t include any artifacts in your resume itself, rather, create a digital portfolio to host your artifacts and link to that from within your resume. bulb Digital Portfolios allows you to create multimedia pages and collections and then link them from within our native digital resume builder. Or, you can share your portfolio content publicly or to a select audience on your PDF resume or Linkedin profile. Make sure you provide introductory context and personal reflection around your artifacts so the viewer understands the story you are trying to tell about why you included that artifact. People respond to visuals so be creative with your use of media- photos, screen capture, videos, embed presentations, PDFs, web pages, interactive content like Flipgrid, Quizlets and ThingLink, and more.
Make sure to include your accolades, microcredentials, certifications as well. If you include a certificate, provide some context around how/why you received that certificate and even add evidence of what you had to do or produce to receive it. Providing testimonials- such as a picture of a thank you card from a student or email from a parent or something written from an administrator on an evaluation will add a layer of legitimacy to your resume and portfolio.
Feature any and all expertise in relevant technologies and software. Having a comprehensive understanding of a certain learning management system or academic software can be beneficial.
Remember, recruiters and hiring managers may not delve into all this evidence in the first few rounds of their hiring funnel, but the further your resume takes you the more relevant your portfolio will become.
On average, recruiters spend 7.4 seconds looking at an applicant’s resume, so you need to make the strongest impression you can in the fewest words possible. To start, ensure that your resume is well organized so it’s quick and easy to navigate. Typical sections include about me, work experience, education, and skills. You can also add additional sections such as volunteering, certifications, or awards, but be sure to only include sections that are relevant to the opportunity you’re seeking out and that you have sufficient content to fill out. Create a clear informational hierarchy within these sections – provide a distinct title, aim for 3-5 elements within each section, include a brief description of each element, and add a few bullet points explaining your roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Be selective in what you want to highlight. All teachers plan, prepare and teach lessons. Consider what makes you stand out when it comes to preparing, teaching or planning lessons.
Be mindful of your word count when filling out your resume. Keep your titles and descriptions short, and aim to keep each bullet point to one sentence. Consider how hiring managers and recruiters will parse your resume in each consecutive round. What does a 7.4 second pass of your resume look like? What about a 30 second pass? What about an in-depth exploration in a later round of the hiring funnel? Does your resume stand out in each circumstance? If not, reconsider how you’re nesting your information.
60% of recruiters rate cultural fit of highest importance when making a hiring decision. That means proving that you’re a good fit for the culture of a certain school, district, or company is just as important as demonstrating your qualifications. Think back to the insight you gathered and look for areas where the values you noted overlap with your own values and personality traits. Then, explore how you can highlight those values and personality traits to make the best possible impression.
Consider how you can show that there’s a person behind your resume. You should keep things mostly professional, but you should also search for opportunities to let your personality shine through. Your about me section is a great place to introduce some personal flavor into your resume. What’s a hobby you have? What’s a fun anecdote about yourself? What’s your educational philosophy? If you have a digital portfolio, this will afford you the opportunity to create an about me page much more in depth than what you can communicate in your resume. You can even be creative and try doing an introductory audio or video to stand out.
Always keep in mind that your resume is meant to impress other people, not yourself. Have as many people look at your resume and provide feedback as possible, the more perspectives the better. Look for people adjacent to the opportunity you’re seeking or people involved in recruitment or hiring. Reach out to recruiters and hiring managers who turned you down and ask what you could have done better. Be open to criticism, but also recognize that you don’t need to apply every piece of feedback you get. Look for recurring suggestions and revise your resume accordingly.
Building a teacher resume is different than building a standard resume. As you create content for your teacher resume, consider what really makes a teacher resume. A teacher resume should explore in depth the details of your teaching experience.
Secrets to Writing a High Impact Resume
Tuesday, June 20th from 9:00-10:15 CST