Sunday, April 3, 2016

Teacher Resume Tips & Tricks

Last year I spent hours upon hours writing and designing the PERFECT resume for new teaching positions. My husband and I were moving, and I knew I needed to spruce up my resume to showcase who I am as an educator.

I know that designing & writing your resume can be super stressful, and that's why I'm bringing you THREE tips & tricks to help you successfully write and design one that represents YOU.

Tip One: Be clear & concise. 
If you've been in the education field for a few years, you know tons of educational acronyms and buzz words. Don't overkill it on your resume! Just because someone knows all of the jargon, doesn't mean he or she is necessarily skillful at it. Instead of making a list of the 25 areas you're knowledgeable in (Rti, IEP, ESL, Guided math, Shared reading, Gifted & Talented... the list could go on and on), pick 3 or 4 that clearly represent you. 

For me, teaching K-2 math is my JAM. I LOVE it, and if I had to pick a strong area for myself, that'd be it. I've been to math conferences, implemented in-depth lessons with district math coaches, created assessments, shared learning with colleagues, and so much more. I knew that when I went to a new school, that would be something I could bring to benefit the school. (For the record, that was a question I was asked in an interview: What skills do you possess that you could bring to our school and share with colleagues?)

Are you invested in gifted & talented services? Are you considered the reading guru at your grade level? Are you the differentiation queen? Be CLEAR about your strengths and include specifics, and don't go overboard by listing everything you can think of! Administrators don't have time (or want to) read page after page of everything you've ever done. 

Tip Two: Stand out while still being professional.
Most jobs nowadays get stacks and stacks of resumes that we all KNOW they don't have time to throughly sift through. You want to make your resume STAND OUT from the rest of them. Are you a talented techie? Add a QR code to your resume that links to an online portfolio or website so administrators can scan it and see you as a teacher. 

For me, I'm pretty minimalist, and I wanted my resume to be crisp & clean with a *pop* of color. That's why I designed mine to look like the template below:
This is a sample of what mine looked like - I don't want my credentials all over the internet!
Your resume should be formatted clearly with everything organized and easy to read. Here a few more examples of templates I love for teachers:
Tip Three: Eliminate typos.
It is absolutely ESSENTIAL that you proofread EVERYTHING on your resume. You cannot have careless grammatical mistakes or spelling errors on it; it could cost you an interview! Ask two or three trusted friends or colleagues to proofread and critique your resume, and be OK with constructive criticism. My husband helped me with mine extensively, and then I had two more trusted teacher friends look over it as well! 

You are a professional, and you can't afford for there to be careless mistakes. And for the love, when you change your cover letter heading as you apply for different positions, DON'T FORGET TO CHANGE THE NAMES! I remember talking to one of my principals who received a cover letter that was addressed to a school a few miles down the road. Seriously people, you can prevent that!

I hope you found a few of these tips and tricks helpful as you dive into the job search! Just BE YOU! 

You can find the templates seen in this blog post by clicking HERE.