How to write a great resume

Having a great teacher resume is essential to getting an interview. No matter your level of experience and expertise, it's crucial that you're able to get your talents across on paper. We asked some experts how to guarantee that your name is on the shortlist for the teaching jobs you go for.

Tes Editorial

How To Write A Teacher Resume

What should I include on my teacher resume? 

Selling yourself on two sides of A4 doesn't come naturally, but writing up a good resume is a crucial skill to learn. Forget fancy fonts, elaborate layouts and online templates that require sophisticated software. The most important thing you should remember when writing your teacher resume is that it should be clear and simple with a great structure.

We spoke to the experts from Smart Teachers to find out how to make your resume stand out from the crowd:

Teacher Resume Top Tip #1: Start with a bang!

It’s important to kick your resume off with a short set of facts about yourself to draw the reader in. Think about what key skills and experience sum up what you have achieved in your career.

Tyson Wood, Australian manager at Smart Teachers, advises: “Provide some quick facts early in your CV so that will draw interest quickly. Subject specialisations, years of experience, registrations and faith alignments (if relevant) should jump out in the first page.”

Read our advice on writing a great cover letter.

Teacher Resume Top Tip #2: Sort the structure

When writing a resume make sure it is structured so that the most important information is on the first page.

“Prioritise information on your CV so the most important bits are visible on page one,” says Sarah McNamara, team leader for New South Wales, ACT and Western Australia at Smart Teachers.

“The subheading ‘Teaching Experiences’ should be on page one. List experiences in [reverse chronological] order so that the most recent experience is first.”

Teacher Resume Top Tip #3: Highlight your achievements

Not putting in enough relevant information could be the difference between getting an interview and being rejected. Ensure you highlight your achievements and accomplishments in the classroom – this is not the time to be modest. In addition to this, highlight how your achievements and accomplishments benefited your school and your students.

“Provide sufficient amount of detail when documenting your work experience,” explains Eloise Healy, Smart Teachers’ team leader for Victoria and Tasmania.

“Most people list the dates of employment, name of school and title of their role at the school. This is very important but add subheadings like key activities and key achievements. Doing so will go a long way to show how you have done the job in such a way that brought benefit to your school”

Teacher Resume Top Tip #4: Include year levels

One area in which some candidates can get tripped up is not being specific enough with their experience. Not including the year levels when writing about your experience is a major annoyance for schools, according to Chris Wilson, team leader for Queensland and Northern Territory at Smart.

Chris says: “When detailing your current and past teaching experiences, candidates should be stating the year levels as well as the subjects. This is one of the biggest hang-ups schools tend to have.

“If they are seeking a Year 11 English teacher, for example, they want to see that the candidate has taught it in the CV. CVs that simply say 'English teacher' are too ambiguous. Yes, the prospective employer can look at qualifications to help them understand a candidate’s academic scope but they prefer seeing it in experiences and on page one so they can quickly move on candidates who match.”

Teacher Resume Top Tip #5: Be concise

When writing a resume it’s essential that you are clear and concise. Make sure it isn’t longer than two sides; this is not the time to be writing essays about your career so far.

“At Smart, we want candidates to write short, punchy sentences that make them jump out as someone who understands how to do the job in such a way that will bring benefit to the school. This is not a cover letter so keep it to one or two lines and get to the point fast,” says Healy.

Teacher Resume Top Tip #6: Choose the correct referees

Including the wrong referees, such as colleagues or friends, can make potential employers apprehensive about inviting for an interview. When writing the referees' section of your resume, make sure you choose principal or deputy principals.

Wood adds: “Listing referees, and the correct type of referees, goes a long way in filling your potential employer with confidence. Avoid listing referees who are colleagues or friends as this can leave potential employers with concerns. Instead, list principals or deputy principals.

“If your application is confidential and you are willing to release referees later, make this clear.”

Now you know how to write the perfect teaching resume, it's time to find the perfect place to send it. You can browse the latest teaching jobs across Australia here.

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