Regardless of whether you want to become a high school, middle school or elementary school teacher, or whether you’re applying to your first teaching position or looking to step up to a better teaching job, your resume should go a long way towards impressing hiring managers. School hiring managers sift through endless amounts of job applications, so making sure your teaching resume stands out and catches their attention in today’s competitive job market is vital. However, crafting the perfect teacher resume requires careful planning and attention to detail.
We’ll walk you through these practical writing guidelines for writing the perfect teacher resume. We’ll share the top hard skills, soft skills and action verbs to highlight so you can craft the perfect professional resume. We’ll also cover some tips and guidelines on applying to teaching jobs and making the most of your job search.
When writing a teacher resume, it’s always helpful to first do some research online and review examples of teacher resumes and cover letters. Looking over some teacher resume samples will help you get a basic understanding of how they’re generally formatted and written.
Make sure to pay particularly close attention to the following sections and how you can apply them to your resume:
When crafting your resume, you should always aim to have your resume reflect the correct resume formats, which depend on your particular skills and level of experience.
The resume format most hiring managers prefer is the traditional chronological format, where your work experience is displayed in reverse chronological order, with your most recent teaching experience first. You should make sure to use clearly defined sections and clear subject headings so your resume is easy to scan.
The education field is highly competitive, so it’s important for your resume to be eye-catching while highlighting your ability to learn and grow as a teacher at the same time.
In order to present yourself as the perfect candidate for the position, your resume should highlight your:
If you’re just starting out as a teacher or have limited years of experience, make sure to include any relevant volunteer positions or extra-curricular activities that involve teaching in your resume.
You should always make it a habit to tailor your resume for the particular position you want and are applying for. Slightly customizing your resume for each teaching job application to better reflect the requirements from the job description can go a long way. For example, if you’re looking at a science teacher position, emphasize your knowledge and ability to teach science subjects.
Be sure to showcase your skills throughout your resume by including your most relevant teaching methods and skills, making sure to take the time to match your qualifications to the job you’re applying for.
Don’t shy away from highlighting your accomplishments as a teacher, either. Your resume should showcase why you’re unique. Instead of simply listing your job duties for each job, showcase your most significant accomplishments and how you achieved them.
Make a habit of including numerical values to showcase your achievements and results whenever applicable (e.g., “Taught 5 honors classes of 30+ students”). This can include percentages and actual test scores if highlighting your success in improving student performance and test scores.
For more help crafting or updating your resume, use our resume builder.
Teachers are required to possess a variety of skills to carry out their jobs effectively. Below are the top seven teacher skills to highlight that schools and principles value.
1. Effective communication
Being able to communicate effectively both verbally and using the written word is arguably one of the most essential skills for teachers at any grade level.
Verbally communicating effectively means presenting lessons and concepts to students in relatable and easy-to-understand ways. This is especially true in early childhood and elementary education.
Teachers also require excellent written communication skills to effectively communicate lessons visually or when providing feedback on tests and assignments. A great way to display your written communication skills is to be concise and use punchy bullet points whenever possible in your resume.
Effective non-verbal communication is equally important for classroom management. Teachers need to display positive body language, making eye contact and speaking in a tone that displays confidence yet makes them appear approachable. This is particularly important for teachers in special education.
2. Critical thinking
Possessing strong critical thinking skills is imperative for teachers, as they are often teaching students how to be able to think independently and break down problems. Teachers who think critically are routinely analyzing and evaluating daily activities and long-term teaching goals for their students.
3. Organizational skills
Today’s public school teachers often teach in large classrooms. Therefore, to be effective, they need to manage teaching materials and assignments in an organized manner.
Teachers who excel in organization maintain an orderly classroom free of distractions, with all the required materials needed for students in an easily accessible place. By being organized, teachers become better at time management and can efficiently teach all the subject areas of their lesson plans.
Teachers are often naturally perceived as leaders by their students and therefore need to display strong leadership skills in the classroom. Demonstrating strong leadership skills serves as a model for the type of behavior students need to develop, as well as a dedication to learning.
Teamwork helps teachers effectively and positively collaborate with other teachers and school personnel. Teachers often collaborate with colleagues when developing the school’s curriculum and classroom practices for students. Therefore, working as a united team with a common goal is crucial.
6. Technological skills
Schools are incorporating technology into the classroom, so teachers need to be highly skilled with various forms of technology. Teachers often incorporate digital media in the classroom to make their lesson material more relatable and engaging to students. Teachers often present presentations to their students, so they should be skilled in Microsoft Office, and other teaching software.
7. Conflict resolution
Conflicts and disagreements in the classroom often happen, so teachers need to know how to effectively and positively resolve them. A teacher with strong conflict resolution skills has patience and works to lessen conflict while also getting students to cooperate.
Landing the teaching job of your dreams requires preparation and homework. The first step is to create a list of classes and activities you have taught and use it to seek out schools that have programs for them.
Next, make a list of school districts you’d like to work in and target certain schools. Resources such as EdJoin.org are a great place to learn more about schools and their school districts. Once you have the school in mind, explore and learn more about the area.
When applying, send your teacher resume and job application to the district office and the principal. Finally, practice for potential job interviews with a friend or family member and have answers prepared for the commonly asked interview questions such as “What are you passionate about?”.
Some common interview questions you may encounter during a teacher interview include:
There are three types of resume formats often found on teacher resume templates: chronological, functional and hybrid. Each may suit you depending on your work history and skills, though most hiring managers prefer the reverse-chronological format. For more on how to choose the right format, visit our resume formats page. You can also look at resume examples on ResumeHelp for inspiration and guidance.
Ask questions that will help you learn more about the job title and the school you’re looking to join. You should also ask questions regarding classroom sizes, lesson plans and what type of support is available for new teachers.