Landing a first teaching gig can be challenging because you must compete against teachers who have more qualifications, experience and seniority within their school districts. Use your resume to highlight student teaching experiences, recent training and research, and a commitment to educating children. Because school districts sometimes rely on major online platforms such as Edjoin.org to post jobs and pre-screen candidates, you’ll need a standout resume to distinguish yourself from the competition.
Showcase Your Background
Your resume should prominently feature your educational background and existing teaching credentials to help you beat out candidates who might not have completed their teacher training programs, or who don’t yet hold preliminary teaching credentials. List your undergraduate degree and teacher training completion date, along with your GPA if your grades were good. If you hold a substitute certificate, temporary permit or preliminary credential, list those here, suggests DePaul University. If you’re teaching secondary levels, state your content area specialty. Don't forget to list the date you passed your content-area exam. Also, list CPR and First Aid certifications as most schools and permitting agencies require this.
Student Teacher Madness
Teaching programs usually require students to teach at least one semester, and sometimes two semesters, under the supervision of a veteran teacher. Most likely, your experience involved more than just watching the master teacher at work. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo suggests that you list the responsibilities you actively assumed, including lesson planning, direct instruction, formative and summative assessment, leading small groups, one-on-one tutoring, and interacting with the families of your students.
Know the Neighborhood
Provide details on areas of expertise you developed as a student teacher or teacher's assistant. For example, you might state that you worked at a low-income, Title I school that included a high proportion of English as a Second Language students or students receiving special education services. Or, you might describe your previous school as a technology-magnet site with ties to area universities, specializing in STEM education, gifted education and project-based learning. Potential employers want to know if you have worked with bilingual classrooms, at-risk teens, pre-K or performing arts-based environments.
Use your resume to cite personal experiences that can make a compelling case for being hired. For example, if you’ve traveled extensively this might make you a strong candidate to teach international studies. Although you might not have a bilingual teaching credential, principals might be impressed that you studied in Peru as an undergrad and speak conversational Spanish. Teachers with a passion for fine arts, yoga, basketball, debate or grant-writing can parlay these additional skills into opportunities to supervise an after-school club or join a school-site committee. Child-related volunteer work can also be relevant, according to Teacher Prose.com.
Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.