It’s often said that teaching isn’t “just a job.” It’s undeniable that the best teachers boast both the ability and passion to truly transform their students’ lives for the better. They don’t just teach their students book smarts, but also how to be lifelong learners and valuable members of society. The following quote by Albert Einstein eloquently sums up this entire sentiment: “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
It’s certainly a big responsibility for any teacher to uphold. The responsibility may be particularly hefty for elementary teachers given that grades 1 to 6 are considered by many to be the most formative years of a child’s life. After all, elementary school is where children learn everything from reading and writing to social and other fundamental skills.
It’s therefore no wonder that getting hired as an elementary school teacher isn’t a walk in the park. You need to compete with hundreds of other candidates who may be equally educated, dedicated, skilled, and experienced.
In fact, projections show that landing a job is only going to get more competitive. While employment opportunities will differ based on region and school setting, the Bureau of Statistics (BLS) projects that overall employment of elementary school teachers will grow by 3 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is slower than the 5 percent average for all occupations.
So what’s the best thing to do if you’re an elementary school teacher looking for a new job? You need to create a resume that highlights that you have what it takes to step up all the challenges this role entails.
If you’re ready to get noticed by a principal or school hiring manager, take a read of our elementary school resume writing guide below. It highlights everything you need to do in order to put together an impressive resume that gets you noticed. You’ll learn:
- What resume format and layout experts recommend
- How to beat the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
- Which skills you should feature on your resume
- How to create a powerful resume objective or summary
- Tips for including your certifications, hobbies, interests, and volunteer experiences
1. Multiple Template Examples
2. How to Write an Elementary School Teacher Resume That Will Get You the Job?
How do you format your resume?
One of the secrets to creating a strong elementary school teacher resume is selecting the right format. Your resume should focus first and foremost on painting you as a candidate who has the necessary experience to guide your students to success.
This is why experts recommend using a reverse-chronological format. This format emphasizes your professional experiences and presents them in a logical order. To be specific, it positions your most recent job first, followed by the rest of them in reverse-chronological order (i.e. from most to least recent).
Once you have your resume’s format worked out, you’ll also need to perfect your resume’s layout. To shed a light on the unspoken layout rules principals and school hiring managers are expecting to see, we’ve outlined the most crucial ones to pay attention to below:
- Number of Pages: 1 page max.
- Fonts to Use: A font that you would use to write a serious letter to class parents, such as Cambria and Trebuchet MS.
- Fonts to Avoid: Any fonts your students may use to brighten up their creative projects, such as Splotchie and Gold Panda.
- Margins: 1 inch on all sides.
- Line Spacing: 1 or 1.15.
- Header size: 14-16 point size.
- Text size: 11-12 point size.
What principals and school hiring managers will look for
Principals and school hiring managers are looking for elementary school teachers who offer a combination of relevant:
- Education, training, and certifications
- Hard and soft skills
- Professional teaching experiences
It is important to note that the operative word here is relevant.
Principals and school hiring managers are responsible for ensuring that the teacher they hire meets or exceeds the particular criteria they have set for a given job. Given that every school, classroom environment, and group of students is unique, it’s crucial to look for a teacher who is the ideal fit for each specific job.
By implication, it’s not good enough for your resume to show that you’re well-educated, possess a variety of useful skills, and have impressive teaching experiences to your name. Your resume needs to make it crystal clear to a principal or school hiring manager how the qualities you offer as a teacher have direct relevance to the specific job you’re applying for.
As long as you follow our expert tips below, you’ll be able to create a resume that effectively does this.
How do you get your resume past ATS?
It’s already challenging to convince a principal or school hiring manager that you’re a teacher who ticks all the boxes they’re looking for. So getting your resume past ATS is yet another hurdle you’ll need to overcome to get hired.
If you’re now thinking, “What on earth is ATS?” - here’s a breakdown of what it is. ATS stands for Applicant Tracking System. It’s a software used by employers, including schools, to sort through candidates’ applications. Among other things, ATS will search your resume for keywords to determine if your resume should pass or not.
Keywords is a term used to describe the words in a job ad that represent the skills, knowledge, education, training, attributes or experiences an ideal candidate for that job should have. If your resume uses too few of these keywords or does not use them correctly, your resume will not get past ATS.
That’s why it’s crucial for you to naturally incorporate the keywords you identify in a job ad throughout your entire resume. The most straightforward way to go about doing this is to use the keywords you find as a basis for selecting and writing about your skills and professional experiences.
What skills should you mention and how can you do this correctly?
You should never select the skills you mention in your resume at random. As we explained in the section directly above, you need to use the keywords you find in a job ad to guide your selection.
To show you how to do this, let’s run through an example together. Try to find the keywords in the following extract we took from a real-life elementary school teacher job ad:
- Preferred candidates will have knowledge and experience with differentiation and inclusion.
You should have identified the keywords “differentiation and inclusion”.
If you possess the skills represented by these keywords, as well as any other keywords that apply to you, you will need to include them in a number of sections in your resume:
- “Skills” section: List 6 to 8 skills-focused keywords you possess.
- “Work history” section: Focus each achievement around one or two keywords (be sure to also focus on other keywords you find).
- “Resume summary” or “Resume objective”: Mention at least one or two skills-focused keywords you particularly want to draw attention to.
It’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t write out full sentences in your skills section like this candidate did:
- I offer many relevant hard skills including assessing students effectively and strong lesson planning ability. I also possess useful soft skills including my ability to give clear directions and time management skills.
Instead, just create a list of them, like this:
- Assessing students, lesson planning, ability to give clear directions, time management...
Speaking of hard and soft skills, it’s critical to include both in your resume. If you’re unsure of what the difference between them is, think of hard skills as technical abilities and soft skills as interpersonal or communication-based abilities. Below are some common examples of each that we identified in real-life job ads:
- Lesson planning
- Implementing rich learning activities
- Adapting learning activities based on students’ differing needs
- Ability to follow curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices
- Technology integration skills
- Developing relevant sequential assignments
- Coordinating developmental programs and student activities
- Completing appropriate reporting requirements
- Providing constructive feedback to students
- Time management
- Relationship building
- Establishing a rapport with children
- Behavior management
- Organizational skills
- Creative thinking
How to list your education
Both public and private school elementary teachers typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Be sure to list yours as well as any other relevant degrees in the “Education” section of your resume.
For each degree, state:
- The name of the degree
- The concentration of your degree (if relevant)
- The name of the college or institution you obtained it from
- The state the college or institution is located in
- The years studied
Childhood Education, BS
Concentration in Biology
Pace University, NY
Pro tip: If you have the space to do so, you may wish to list a selection of coursework you undertook under the subheading “Relevant Coursework”.
How to write a resume objective and examples of this
Are you an entry-level teacher who wants to get their foot in the door? If you’ve just graduated from your teaching degree or are looking for full time work after working as a substitute teacher, a resume objective can be just the thing that lands you the job.
After all, your resume objective is an opportunity to explain to a principal or the school’s human resources department in 2 to 4 sentences why they should entrust a classroom full of children with you, even though you don’t have much or any full-time teaching experience.
Before you begin, take a look at the following example of a bad resume objective to see what you should avoid doing:
- Substitute elementary teacher with 6 months of experience is looking for a full time elementary school teacher role. Like all teachers, I am passionate about teaching and hold all of the necessary skills to be a teacher my students look up to.
This resume objective would definitely not impress a principal or school hiring manager. We’ve outlined the most pressing reasons why below:
- It is not personalized for the given job.
- It lacks keywords.
- It doesn’t specify which skills the candidate holds.
- It doesn’t convey the candidate’s enthusiasm for the job.
- It doesn’t clearly explain nor provide examples of why the candidate is a good fit for the job.
So what should you aim to do instead? Take a look at the following example of a good resume objective:
- Highly-organized substitute elementary teacher with 6 months of experience is strongly interested in the full time elementary school teacher role at Smithsville Elementary School. I strive to establish a rapport with all students I teach by differentiating learning based on students’ unique needs when lesson planning. Awarded Substitute Teacher of the Year by one of the schools I currently teach at.
Have you worked out why it sounds so much more convincing? Here are the main reasons:
- It’s written with the needs of the given job in mind.
- It naturally incorporates relevant keywords from the job ad.
- It specifies the candidate’s soft skills (highly-organized and an ability to develop a rapport with all students) and hard skills (the ability to differentiate learning and lesson planning).
- It conveys the candidate’s enthusiasm for the job.
- It clearly explains and provides examples of why the candidate is a good fit for the job (e.g. the candidate’s relevant teaching award).
How to write a resume summary and examples of this
Experienced teachers are strongly advised to include a resume summary because it provides an insightful overview of your most relevant and attractive attributes as an elementary school teacher.
If you’re wondering why this is even important to do, keep in mind that research has found that candidates’ resumes are usually only looked at for seconds. That makes it crucial to capture a principal or school hiring manager’s attention immediately.
That means your resume summary shouldn’t end up looking like this candidate’s:
- Elementary school teacher with 4 years of experience who loves their job. I am seeking a full-time position at Carmel Del Mar School because I want to learn more about how to integrate technology into the classroom with your school’s amazing Educational Technology Plan. I don't have much opportunity to use technology at my current school so I would appreciate the opportunity to develop my skills.
This resume summary won’t put the candidate in their good books because:
- It’s written in a very vague way.
- It focuses on what the candidate will gain from being hired rather than what the school will gain if they hire them.
- The candidate states that they’re lacking in a fundamental skill (technology skills).
- The candidate doesn’t make it clear what attributes they have to offer.
Meanwhile, the following candidate’s resume summary would be a hit with any principal or school hiring manager:
- Student-centered elementary school teacher with 4 years of experience who is known for creating engaging lesson plans, providing clear directions, and implementing positive reinforcement strategies. I believe I would add value to Carmel Del Mar School, particularly in helping to implement your amazing Educational Technology Plan, given that my mathematics lessons involving iPads have helped low-performing students to improve their test scores by 3x.
There are numerous things this example gets right, with the most pertinent being that:
- It’s written in a detailed manner with specific relevant information about the candidate.
- It focuses on what the school will gain if they hire the candidate rather than what the candidate will gain from being hired.
- It showcases the candidate’s soft skills (providing clear directions and implementing positive reinforcement strategies) as well as their hard skills (creating engaging lesson plans, mathematics and technology knowledge and teaching).
- It shows that the candidate has done their research about Carmel Del Mar School (by mentioning their Educational Technology Plan).
- It quantifies the candidate’s achievements and skills by providing a clear and measurable example of the positive impact they have had (the fact that the candidate helped low-performing students to improve their test scores by 3x).
How to list any additional details, like licenses, certifications, hobbies, interests, and volunteer experiences?
Including additional details on your resume may help improve your chances of being hired. However, it is crucial that the information you include is directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’re unsure of which additional details are worth including, consult our expert tips below:
Licence and certifications
As the BLS highlights, all teachers working in public schools are required to be licensed or certified in the specific grade level that they will teach, while teachers working in private schools do not typically require licensure. Some teachers may also be required to complete professional development classes in order to maintain their license or certification.
If you hold any mandatory teaching licenses and/or certifications, it is critical to list them correctly on your resume. It’s also wise to list any certifications you’ve obtained that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, a certification to teach students with special needs, a certification showing proficiency in a foreign language, first aid training certification, and so on.
To list them on your resume, create a “Licence and Certifications” section (if you hold more than once licence, change the heading to “Licenses”).
For your teaching license, list the:
- State you obtained it in
- Name of the license (e.g. Teacher Certification)
- Year you obtained it in
- California State Teacher Certification, 2020
For any other licenses or certifications, list the following information for each one (as appropriate):
- The name of the license or certification
- The name of the issuing institution
- The state it is valid in
- The date you obtained it
Hobbies and interests
In most cases, hobbies and interests can be left off your resume. The only circumstances we’d recommend including them is if you’re an entry-level candidate who lacks professional experiences or if your hobbies and interests further strengthen your commitment to teaching.
An example of a relevant hobby to include is coaching an under 7’s soccer team. If you’d like to include hobbies and interests in your resume, create a separate “Hobbies and Interests” section and list a handful out. You don’t need to provide any details; if a principal or hiring manager wants to learn more, they’ll ask you at a later date.
Needless to say, don’t try to squeeze this section in if your resume is already packed to the brim!
Research by Deloitte has suggested that including volunteering experiences on your resume may make you “significantly more attractive to employers.” If you’re looking to differentiate your resume from the pack, including your volunteer experiences could be just the thing to do so. This may be especially true if the school you’re applying for emphasizes the importance of student and staff volunteering initiatives or has a strong community focus.
However, similar to your hobbies and interests, you should only include volunteer experiences if they’re relevant to the job and you have the space to do so. An example of a relevant volunteer experience is teaching at a summer school for underprivileged children.
If you wish to include any volunteer experiences, you can either:
- List it under your employment history section: Only list your volunteer experiences in your employment history section if you lack professional teaching experience. Be sure to follow the standard layout for listing professional experiences.
- Create a separate “Volunteer Experiences” section: This is the ideal method to use if you’re an experienced elementary school teacher. In this section, list the name of the organization you volunteered with, your role (if you had a specific one), and the dates you volunteered. You can also share one or two key achievements or a one sentence long summary of your experience.
Pro tip: If you decide to include your hobbies, interests, and/or volunteer experiences in your resume, it’s best to focus them around the keywords from the job ad. For example, if you spot the keyword “improve student outcomes,” you can share how you improved student outcomes over the two weeks you volunteered at a school in Zambia.
How to target your resume for each application
There’s no two ways about it: if you want to get hired, you need to target your resume for each application. What we mean by this is that you must customize your resume in order to address the particular criteria of each application.
Yes – that means you’ll need to abandon the catch-all resume you’ve been using! The good news is that you already know how to target your resume if you read the previous sections about using keywords. To recap, you need to include the keywords in a given job ad that match with your professional skills and experiences throughout your resume.
The reason that using keywords will help you to target your resume is because doing so will allow you to concentrate on showcasing your most relevant skills, training, and professional experiences to the job.
Remember, the whole purpose of a resume is to make it clear why you’re an ideal candidate for the specific job you’re applying for, not every teaching job out there! So focus on emphasizing your most relevant attributes and leave off any irrelevant ones that are taking up precious space.
How to make your resume stand out
If you want to get hired for a job at your dream school and in your dream position, a mediocre resume isn’t going to cut it. Remember, there are literally hundreds of other candidates vying for the same job, so you need to do everything in your power to make your resume stand out. Here are 3 tips to get you started:
- Add a “Publications” section: Do you have any published research papers or articles about children’s education, health, or development? Teachers who have relevant published work to their name should most definitely feature them in their resume. Doing so will further exemplify your commitment to developing your skills and knowledge as an educator. To include your publications, create a separate “Publications” section and list the name of the paper or article, title of the publication, and the year of publication.
- Keep it professional: Your resume shouldn’t resemble one of your student’s artworks. It should look thoughtfully put together and professional. For this reason, we urge you to avoid using any kitschy-looking resume templates or putting together a resume that’s crowded with unnecessary design details. If you’re looking for a resume template that’s designed to impress, select an HR-approved resume template instead.
- Make it flawless: In the same way as you set high standards for your students, make sure to set them for your resume. If you don’t, you could lose out on your dream job due to a glaringly obvious spelling error or an oddly formatted section. As a rule of thumb, don’t hand in your resume until you’ve proofread it multiple times. Ideally, get another person to do so as well. It’s also a good idea to double check that your resume’s formatting stays in place if you open or print it in MS Word.
How do you follow-up on your application and interview process?
Before you start hounding a principal or school hiring manager for an update about your application or how you did in your interview, hold up. It’s essential to keep in mind that the way in which you follow up (and the fact that you follow up at all) can influence how your entire application is viewed.
In terms of following-up on your application, it’s generally recommended that candidates wait for around two weeks before contacting a school for an update. If you wish to do so, it’s best to send the contact or department in charge of the hiring process a well-written and courteous email inquiring about the progress of your application. The Balance Careers provides a helpful template you can use for this purpose.
To follow-up after you were interviewed at the school, it’s considered best practice to write a follow-up email within 24 hours of the interview. Best Job Interview shares some examples to inspire your own. The key is to be sincere when expressing your gratitude for the interviewer’s time and to reiterate your suitability and enthusiasm for the position.
The way in which you should keep the conversation going after you’ve sent this initial follow-up email will depend on each situation. If the interviewer has said they’d follow up with you by a certain date and you haven’t heard back from them, wait a few more days before sending a follow-up email. In cases where an interviewer has specifically asked you to follow-up with them, make sure to do so in line with their instructions.
Pro tip: The last thing you want to do is bug the principal or hiring manager! As such, make sure to be patient and not go overboard with following up. If you haven’t received any update about your application in several weeks, you can try to send another. If you still don’t receive a reply, it’s probably wise to put a pause on following up for a while.
3. How Our Resume Builder at Resumebuild.com Streamlines the Resume Making Process
The unfortunate reality of teaching is that there’s a never-ending stream of work and school issues to deal with. As any teacher will attest to, your work doesn’t just magically finish when the school bell rings at the end of the day.
Once you return home, you’ll need to ensure that your lesson planning for the coming days, weeks, and months is all in order. Even once that’s done, you’ll often be faced with unexpected problems to deal with, such as a pressing matter at school or a parent reaching out to you. And that’s not to mention that your mind is ticking around the clock with new lesson ideas and solutions to problems your students are facing!
So it’s a no brainer that you don’t have the time, energy, or motivation to work on your resume. That’s why we recommend giving our brilliant resume builder a try. It’s designed to offer a quick means of making a stunning resume that boasts all of the elements principals and school hiring managers are looking for. All you need to do is provide some key details about yourself and your professional experiences, and our resume builder will do the rest.
Like the thousands of other job seekers who have used it, you may be surprised by just how easily and efficiently you can put together your resume using it. Not only does it streamline the entire resume making process, but it also includes a bunch of handy features, such as pre-made examples and stunning resume templates.
If you don’t want to miss out on an amazing elementary school teacher job you deserve just because you’re too busy to fix up your resume, use our resume builder to create a winning resume.
elementary school teacher
- Constructed and modified teaching methods or instructional materials to equate individual students’ needs and interests.
- Communicated with parents on a regular basis, via annual assessments, quarterly meetings, and monthly phone conversations.
- Attended professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and enhance professional skills and competency.
- Executed discipline strategies as outlined in the behavioral modification plan.
- Administered standardized ability or achievement tests to determine student’s strengths and areas while interpreting results for areas of improvement.
elementary school teacher
- Planned and conducted monthly training sessions for teachers revolving the topic, “Getting Students to Write”.
- Manipulated the use of computers, audio-visual aids, and other technological equipment to supplement lesson facilitating.
- Instituted positive relationships with students, parents, and fellow faculty/staff.
- Conserved the accuracy and completion of student records per district policies, laws, and administrative regulations.
- Cultivated a classroom environment instrumental to academic growth and healthy student/teacher interactions.
elementary school teacher
- Taught 3rd grade and 4th grade.
- Worked as the computer lab resource teacher.
- Prepared lesson plans, following prescribed state curriculum guidelines and requirements.
- Conferred with bilingual assistants to ensure that all students understood the curriculum and concepts being taught.
- Collaborated with school personnel to ensure that students’ academic needs and basic, physical needs were being met.
- Administered all computerized district testing and reading level testing, as resource teacher.
- Participated in professional development opportunities.
elementary school teacher
- Identity possible flat-foot heart deseases conditions in students.
- Teach students using a systematic plan of activities and lectures, discussion, audiovisual presentation, and laboratory, shop and field students.
- Evaluate progress determine individual needs of students and discuss with parents and school officials.
- Prepare and implement remedial program for students requiring extra help.
- Essay the escort accomplishing first place in the school zone competition.
- Arrange camping at natural places.
- Summer courses with yoga for children.
elementary school teacher
- Taught third grade.
- I was the team treasurer for our team of teachers which included coordinating all field trips and bringing in the community to talk with the students. Bringing in the Harlem Globe Trotters was one way of implementing the community.
- I successfully improved student participation in the classroom through integration of creative role playing exercises.
- My third grade students also performed a history/inventions play as part of our school wide performances.