For many educators and teachers, one of the most daunting aspects of looking for a new job is working out how to write a stand-out resume.
A resume is your first impression, which can be the difference between landing your dream teaching job or settling for something else. Simply put, it's a one- to two-page document that sums up your work qualifications, experience, skills and teaching philosophy.
Often, centres are swamped by hundreds of applications, and a manager may only have a few minutes to scan each one.
The resumes that attract the most attention (and ultimately land interviews) are those that outline your achievements and experience in a short, sharp and proactive way.
They include the most relevant information up top, so you must make your resume concise, easy to read, and follow a reverse-chronological order - that is, list your most recent job history and education first.
Employers will be looking for the below critical information about you, so remember to check each off the list!
- Contact details
- Career strengths
- Employment history
- Education and training
our step-by-step guide to writing a winning teacher resume
your contact details
Your name, address, phone number and professional email address should be displayed prominently at the top of your resume. Using your full name (not a nickname) is the best practice.
This is a chance for you to detail in one or two short, concise sentences what your career aspirations are and how they relate to your current qualifications.
Explain why you are looking for work (for example: you want a new challenge, your passion in teaching etc.), what you are looking for in your next job (list the actual job titles) and why you are qualified to apply for these roles.
A common mistake is forgetting to include the 'what's in it for the centre - this is your chance to sell yourself and outline what is unique about you and the benefits your potential employer will gain if they hire you.
- Having worked within the early learning industry for (x) years, I have extensive experience working as (job title). I am currently seeking a new challenge and exciting work environment where I can utilise my skills (list your skills here) and knowledge (in the areas of x, y z) to achieve (x,y,z outcomes).
Along with your formal qualifications, the personal qualities and skills you have make a big difference in landing a teaching job. This section of your resume should be in dot-point (up to 10 points) and outline your essential skills and attributes, such as 'effective communicator', 'organised', 'energetic'.
- If you are struggling to develop ideas for your skills, search on the Randstad jobs board for educators for a job title that matches the ones you are looking for. Usually, job descriptions include a 'candidate attributes' or 'responsibilities' section. If you can check your skills to those required for the job, you will be much more compelling to your prospective employer.
This area is usually the most important and should include all your recent and past employment history, including paid and unpaid work. Use strong, precise wording to speak for your teaching experience and always be prepared to back up what is written on the resume in your interview.
An excellent teacher resume format to follow is:
- Job title
- Name of employer (and the address or suburb of where it was located)
- Dates of employment
- List of key responsibilities and achievements (Hint - try to put yourself in the mind of your potential employer - what type of keywords and critical responsibilities would they be looking for as they scan each resume? Make sure you not only list your day-to-day duties but also how the centre you worked for benefited from your contribution)
- Any awards or recognition you may have received during your time at this company
education & training
Don't underestimate the value of outlining your education and qualifications - particularly for those with limited job experience.
Your education and training section can cover anything from university degrees, TAFE diplomas and certificate courses plus any other professional training you may have undertaken.
An excellent format to follow is:
- Name of degree/diploma/certificate etc
- Name of an educational institution
- Location of an educational institution
- Graduation date
- Any course credits or key achievements about this course (e.g. Finished in the top 5% of class with high distinctions)
Do you belong to any industry associations or hold memberships that pertain to the role you are applying to? If so, you can list these here - e.g. Member of the Early Learning Australia Association.
An excellent format to follow is:
- Name of association
- Your role/title within the organisation
- Years/months active within the organisation
- Any honours received
hobbies and interests (optional)
Many centres now look at your skills and experience and how you would fit into the team. For this reason, it is sometimes worth including a short list of your hobbies and interests to give them a sense of who you are and what you enjoy doing outside work hours.
Whatever your hobbies, if you do indeed decide to include this section, be careful in terms of what you want to divulge - there is always a chance that this section could work against you if the reader dislikes or is threatened by the activities you list.
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References and referees are usually listed at the end of your resume. This can be a list of approx. You have worked with two to three people in the past or present - usually your managers or ex-colleagues. It is preferable to include at least one individual who has directly supervised you in a teaching position. Always ask for permission before listing someone as a reference.
An excellent format to follow is:
- Full name of the referee
- Job title of referee
- Company name of the referee
- Location of company
- Phone number of the referee
- Email address of a referee
Sourcing good references (both written and verbal) is an essential aspect of your job search. The people you list will be called and asked to provide information on your relationship with them and indicate how you performed in your role when they knew you.
Usually, contact details for referees are not required until the very latter interview stages. So you can provide their reference details on your resume or include a line in this section saying 'references available upon request.
Many employers in early learning now look to LinkedIn - a professional social network, to find potential candidates. Uploading and maintaining an active profile is just as important as your resume.
You can also use the platform to connect with current and former colleagues, research prospective employers and link to people you meet at industry events. It's also a great place to hear about job postings.
In conclusion, crafting a strong resume is vital for securing teacher jobs. Highlight relevant teaching skills, qualifications, and experiences. Customise it for each position and use a clean, professional format. Proofread thoroughly and seek feedback. Stand out and secure your dream teaching job! Want to learn more about how to nail a job interview? Check our interview articles for more tips.