Job searching can be daunting—or even downright difficult at times. And education can be an especially competitive field. Teachers today are an incredibly important part of our society. They help set up children to be successful citizens of the world afterall.
All that’s to say, school boards and administrators take hiring new teachers seriously. In order to even land an interview, you need a top-notch teacher resume.
In this writing guide, we’ll cover what it takes to create a resume that’s guaranteed to stand out. We’ll include template examples and go into great detail about how to write the perfect teacher resume. Throughout this guide, you’ll learn:
- How to properly format your resume
- What recruiters, school boards, and principals look for in a teacher’s resume
- What skills you should mention (and how to demonstrate them correctly)
- What achievements you should include on your resume
- Things you should avoid mentioning and other common resume mistakes
- How to write a great resume objective or summary section
- How to list teaching association memberships
- How to list certifications, licenses, volunteer experience, and other interests
- How to write a teacher resume if you have little to no experience
We’ll also give you top tips and tricks for ways to tweak your resume for each school and position you apply to. You’ll be equipped with all the knowledge to write a resume that is sure to stand out and land you an interview.
Let’s start with some teacher resume template examples.
Multiple template examples
How to write a perfect teacher resume?
There are many things that go into writing the perfect resume. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as just word-dumping onto a piece of paper. It takes time and thoughtful effort to write something that will catch a recruiter’s eye.
To do so, you need to show why you’re a competitive candidate with concrete, creatively crafted words. Typically, teachers should plan to highlight their relevant teaching experience, education, credentials, certificates, and position-specific skills.
Though it might be tempting to send the same resume out to each position you apply to, you should think twice about doing this. Every position is as unique as the school and district it’s at. Tailoring your resume for each job application will make you a much more competitive candidate.
Writing a perfect resume also means writing about your accomplishments, not just your job responsibilities. It’s certainly important the hiring managers get a sense of what you do—and what you were responsible for—but that’s not enough.
Recruiters don’t just want to know what you do. (They know what teachers do. Who doesn’t?) They want to know how well you can do it. A teacher who does the bare minimum won’t bring nearly as much value as a teacher with a long list of classroom accomplishments.
Don’t sell yourself short. Focus on what types of change you brought at your previous places of employment and include them on your resume. What you write can make or break your candidacy.
Once you’re happy with the content of your resume, start thinking about formatting.
How to format it
A resume that isn’t formatted properly is a resume that will get tossed in the trash. Though it used to be common practice to create a resume in Microsoft Word, that’s now an outdated way to format your resume.
And it’ll stand no chance against resumes that were professionally-designed with formatting in mind.
A properly formatted resume should include the following sections:
- A header section that includes your name, phone number, and email address
- An objective or summary section demonstrating why you’re the right person for the job
- An experience section that highlights your previous teaching positions and accomplishments
- An education section that includes your college or university as well as your degree
- A skills section that shows you have the tools needed to succeed
As a general rule of thumb, your resume should never be more than a page in length. If you’re struggling to condense your content, try using a resume template. They’re designed to maximize space so you can make the most of every word.
And speaking of words, your text should always be easy-to-read at a 100% zoom level. Meaning, a recruiter or principle shouldn’t have to zoom in on your resume in order to be able to read it.
And lastly, remember that your resume should always be sent in PDF format. Otherwise, the formatting can get messed up when it’s opened on a new device.
Those are the basic rules of resume formatting. Next, we’ll review exactly what recruiters look for in a teacher’s resume.
What recruiters will look for
Recruiters want to hire someone they know will succeed. That being said, there are certain things they’ll look for in a teacher’s resume.
They want to see what you can accomplish. Here are some accomplishment examples teachers can add to their resume:
- Improved student tests scores by 8% from the previous year
- Developed a new science curriculum that resulted in a 13% improvement in state testing scores
- Improved overall pass rates from 78% to 85%
- Teaching awards
- New programs and the results of those programs
It’s best to demonstrate your achievements numerically whenever possible. Doing so adds to your credibility tremendously.
Recruiters also want to see that you’ve tailored your resume to the job. And trust us when we say, it’s clear if you don’t. Your resume should demonstrate why you’re the right teacher for the position, not just that you’re a great teacher in general. There are lots of great teachers. That doesn’t always mean they’ll be a good fit culturally. Or that they have the necessary skills to succeed in this specific position.
Read the job description carefully and tailor your resume based on the required skills and responsibilities. But don’t make the mistake of adding the obvious. For example, you don’t need to say that you did lesson planning. Every teacher does lesson planning. All that says is that you do your job. And that is already a given (or at least it should be).
We’ll go into more detail below about the best ways to target your resume for each application. But first, let’s talk more about which skills recruiters will look for.
What skill to mention and how to do it correctly
Your teacher resume should feature a skills section. In it, you can include both soft skills and technical skills that teachers frequently use. Typically, soft skills are a focal point, but sometimes schools use specific technology in their classrooms. If that’s the case, it’s best to add them to your resume.
Here is a list of common teacher skills to add to your resume:
- Classroom management
- Student advocacy
- Conflict resolution
- Behavior Management
- Microsoft Office
Soft skills are best demonstrated through real-world examples. Explain in 2-3 sentences how you used these skills in a classroom setting. It’s much more impactful than just adding them to a list.
What achievements to mention and how to do it correctly
Including achievements on your resume is another great way to make you a more competitive candidate. Include certifications you’ve earned as well as any teaching awards you’ve won.
This can be a standalone section on your resume or it could be included elsewhere.
What to avoid mentioning
Avoid mentioning anything that’s irrelevant or obvious on your resume. Whether it’s previous jobs or interests that are unrelated to teaching, if they don’t add value to your resume they aren’t worth including.
Every word on your resume should add value. If it’s there just to fill space, it doesn’t belong. Find something else to add or use the extra white space to your advantage.
How to write a resume objective and examples of this
A great resume objective shows your personality, passion, and career-related goals. It should be short and sweet—just two to three sentences. And it should make a recruiter want to keep reading the rest of your resume.
All that’s to say, there’s definitely a right and wrong way to write a resume objective. Here are examples of both:
Elementary school science teacher, graduate of the University of Iowa, with 2 years of teaching experience seeking a new teaching position.
This summary gives only very basic information. And a recruiter can gather all of this from other sections of a resume in about 5 seconds. It doesn’t make you want to read more. And it certainly doesn’t add any value.
This summary section, on the other hand, is much more engaging and makes a recruiter think, “Wow, we have to hire this person.”
Elementary school science teacher with 2 years of teaching experience. I’m passionate about cultivating STEM knowledge in students and encouraging girls to explore careers in science. I’m seeking a new position where I can improve test scores and launch a GirlsWhoCode club.
This resume objective is much more engaging. You get a much better sense of the person and their goals. It incorporates specific details about the candidate and shows administrators exactly how their school will benefit if they hire this person.
This is a resume objective that is much more impactful.
How to write a resume summary and examples of this
If you don’t want to write a resume objective, you can opt for a resume summary instead. It really depends on personal preference and whichever option you think can better communicate why you’re the right person for the job.
An objective is more focused on your goals while a summary tends to focus more on your experience and accomplishments. Just like a resume objective, your resume summary should focus on the specific details that set you apart from other candidates.
Writing a vague summary adds little, if no, value to your resume. Here are two examples of resume summaries (both bad and good):
Math teacher with 4 years of experience teaching algebra.
This summary could apply to hundreds, if not thousands, of math teachers. Meaning, it won’t help you stand out. It could even be the decision factor in whether or not the recruiter decides to keep reading.
Compare that summary with this summary, which is much more specific.
High school algebra teacher with 4 years of experience. My students average in the 80th percentile for state-wide tests and I’ve increased school passing rates from 70% to 85%.
This summary goes into much more detail about what kind of value you can bring to a school. It gives real-world examples of accomplishments and it’s anything but vague.
This kind of summary is what’s going to catch a recruiter's eye.
How to list teaching association memberships
To list teaching association memberships on your resume, you can create a specific section called Memberships. Below it, be sure to list the organization name and your title (especially if it’s something other than a member).
And be sure to include any contributions to the membership. This could include fundraising, event planning, communications, etc.
If you’re not a current member, but still want to add it to your resume, you can list yourself as a “former member.”
How to list any additional details, like certifications, hobbies, interests, volunteer experience.
Certifications and licenses are especially important for teachers to list on their resumes. They can vary state-by-state, but many times they’re required. They should be listed in an easy-to-see spot on your resume.
Consider adding them to your resume header underneath your name as a kind of subtitle.
If you have extra space, you can also consider adding hobbies, interests, or volunteer experience. Just be sure they’re relevant to teaching or working with children. Otherwise, use that space for something else.
How to write a teacher resume when you have no experience
If you’re a recent grad who has no teaching experience, don’t worry. You can still create a compelling resume that will land you an interview.
Go into detail about your student teaching experience and show how it prepared you for the next step in your career. Include examples of successful classroom management, your ability to handle stressful situations, and how you can effectively think on your feet.
Be sure to include certifications or licenses as well as any relevant coursework you completed in college. Have you ever substituted? Be sure to add that. Did you work with kids outside of a classroom setting? Include that experience too.
How to target your resume for each application
It’s incredibly important to target your resume for each job application you submit. To most people, this sounds like a lot of work.
You put so much time and thought into writing a great first resume, the thought of doing that over and over again for each application sounds like a waste of time. But the fact of the matter is, customizing your resume is critical if you want to show you’re the right person for the job.
The good news is, targeting your resume each time doesn’t mean you need to completely reinvent the wheel. Even if you’re applying to different school districts/positions, there are a number of things you can keep the same.
For starters, you can follow the same outline and overall resume structure. No matter what, you’ll likely keep the same resume sections and some of the content within those sections. For any application, you won’t need to change which schools you’ve worked at, your titles, or your education. Other areas however will require more tailoring.
You’ll always want to update your resume objective or summary statement. This is usually your first chance to capture the attention of a hiring manager. Make sure this part of your resume always matches what they’re looking for. If the school you’re applying to focuses largely on pass/fail rates, be sure to include information surrounding that.
You’ll also want to update the bullets under your job experience. You should try to tailor them based on the needs expressed in the description of the new position you’re applying to. Think about how they measure success and demonstrate similar examples on your resume.
Another section you’ll want to update for each application is the skills section.
How to list only the relevant skills for that specific school/district and position
Updating the skills section of your resume for each school/district and position is so important. Say you’re applying for three different teaching positions with the same job title. Just because the job title is the same doesn’t mean they have the same expectations or needs when it comes to skills they’re seeking.
One of the best ways to only list relevant skills for each position is to print out a copy of the job posting and circle or highlight the qualities and strengths the recruiter is looking for in a candidate. Then, try to match these with your skills section so that you can show exactly why you’re a good fit for the role.
For example, if the position requires a teacher who has experience with Blackboard, you should intentionally include that skill on your resume.
How to make your resume stand out
As you know, education can be a competitive field. To ensure your resume gets picked from the pile, it needs to stand out. Here are some ways to do that.
Add some color.
A splash of color will stand out from stacks of black and white resumes. Adding color isn’t only pleasing to the eye, but it can also highlight different sections on your resume and make it easier to read.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard with it. Stick to neutral colors and make sure it doesn’t become overwhelming.
Use unique fonts.
Yes, Times New Roman is considered professional—and probably even the standard. But that just means you’ll blend in.
Instead, try using a font that isn’t overused. Try using Arial, Helvetica, Georgia, Garamond, or Avenir instead. They still look professional but will stand out from the rest.
Choose a professionally-designed template.
The design of your resume is the first thing employers will notice. Before they even start reading, they’ll notice what your resume looks like. Picking a professionally-designed resume is key to making a great first impression.
Use power verbs.
Begin each bullet with power verbs to emphasize your actionable accomplishments. Start sentences with words like, “increased,” “initiated,” “led,” “managed,” “developed,” and “improved”.
Using power verbs is more impactful than simply stating your duties.
Quantify your achievements.
Numbers will jump out at a recruiter. Determine what metrics your school uses to measure success (test scores, passing rates, etc.) and determine where the baseline was before you started. From there, calculate the difference you made and add it to your resume.
For teachers, it can also be helpful to incorporate numbers to show how many students you’re used to teaching at a time.
Demonstrate soft skills with real-word examples.
You can add classroom management as a skill to your resume, but what does that really mean? Without an example, it doesn’t add much value. Instead, think about a time you had to manage a tough class and how you did it.
How the Resumebuild tool could be utilized for an easy resume setup
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- Teach basic skills such as color, shape, number and letter recognition, personal hygiene, and social skills
- Organized group activities for the children such as field trips, games and story-telling
- Reads different stories to children
- Leads children in group discussion activities
- Establish and enforce rules for behavior, and procedures for maintaining order
- Helps children develop socialization skills through group interaction
- Motivate and cultivate children’s learning abilities
- Independently teach the 13-15 and 16-intermediate age groups
- Design stretching, strengthening and conditioning classes
- Deliver APDA (Australian Physie and Dance) syllabus
- Prepare dancers for competitions
- Explain and enforce safety rules and regulations
- Contact the parents of dancers to provide information and answer questions
- Attend APDA teachers master classes
- Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
- Observe and evaluate students’ performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Judge competitions both locally and interstate
- Creation and maintenance of the club website
- Guide or counsel students with adjustment problems, academic problems, or special academic interests.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, or administrative regulations.
- Organize and display students’ work in a manner appropriate for their perceptual skills.
- Prepare, administer, or grade tests or assignments to evaluate students’ progress.
- Teach students personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, or self-advocacy.
- Meet with parents or guardians to discuss their children’s progress, advise them on using community resources, or teach skills for dealing with students’ impairments.
- Encourage students to explore learning opportunities or persevere with challenging tasks to prepare them for later grades.
- Implement program curriculum
- Manage multiple classrooms
- Facilitate communication with parents
- Aid in building student confidence
- Use positive reinforcement to promote good behavior