Many flock to teaching due to its relative stability and the long-present notion that getting a teaching job is easy. Such is not the case anymore, reports Kevin Hart for the National Education Association. It is naive to assume that your charming personality and newly minted teaching credentials will be enough to capture the attention of a hiring committee. With so many other applicants likely chasing the same job as you, you need something more. If you are on a quest to capture the attention of a hiring committee, prepare a creative resume to set you apart.
If your resume contains a humdrum list of skills, you have missed a major opportunity to jazz it up. Replace this list with a graph or set of graphs that communicate similar information, recommends Alexis Grant for U.S. News and World Report. Try, for instance, creating a bar graph that illustrates your confidence with each skill, labeling the Y-axis as your confidence level, listing your skills along the X-axis and placing bars above each to communicate this information.
Get graphic with your experience section to make it more engaging. Create a time line on which you list your related previous experiences in chronological order. If you want to take a risk and be cute, have your time line go back to your childhood and list something like, “played school in my garage.”
If you’re nervous that attempts at being creative could make you appear less than professional, play it safe and simply change the font. Step away from Times New Roman, Arial and Calibri and try something a little more reflective of a school teacher, such as a font reminiscent of words written with chalk. Change the font on your name and the section headers only to give your resume some pizazz without reducing the readability. Change the hue of these key pieces of text as well to make them stand out. To ensure that you don’t leave resume readers squinting, stick to nonscript fonts.
In addition to filling your resume with carefully selected verbs and nouns and hoping that these words effectively communicate your passion and dedication, place a few carefully selected pictures on your resume. Put a photo of you, surrounded by students you previously taught, near the top of your resume by your name. Or, create an add-on sheet on which you describe some of your most effective teaching moments and use a few photographs to illustrate your tales.
To really get the hiring committee’s attention, put your directorial skills to the test and produce a video to attach to your resume, suggests Grant. Use footage of some of your college field experiences or previous teaching work. Intersperse this footage with video or audio of yourself describing your goals, explaining what motivated you to become a teacher or speaking about what you hope to accomplish once you find a classroom to call home. Place this video on your personal website and add the web address to your resume. If you want to send a copy of the video with your resume, burn it onto a CD or DVD and attach it.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.