There comes a point in every career, when you must decide if the job you currently have is still the right fit for you. As many of you start to fill out your letters of intent, it can be scary to think of giving up what you know, in the search for something better. Just the thought of having to update your resume can be daunting, not to mention going through the interview process. Don’t even get us started on moving your classroom! We are here to help though! Here is some solid advice for getting your resume up-to-date and helping you land that interview.
Resume Best Practice Tips:
#1 Resume Advice:
Our best advice to you is, try and look at your resume through the eyes of the person hiring. Chances are they are an overworked administrator, who doesn’t want to have to wade through four pages of your career history. They might even have a high volume of resumes to sort through. Therefore, you should make yours easy for them to read and keep it focused on the most important things in relation to the job you are applying for.
This is the thing that everyone seems to get caught up on. We recommend keeping your resume between 1-2 pages. Honestly, the difference between 1-2 pages doesn’t matter as much as the fact that they will probably only look at the first page. That is why it is imperative to put the most important information on the first page. What is the most important information?
Information to Include:
- Name and contact info
- Certification: subject, grade levels, and state
- Previous professional experience (most recent first)
*Make sure that you are only including information that pertains to the job that you are applying for. The administrator looking at your resume, probably doesn’t need to know what your high school job was if it doesn’t relate to the position you are applying for.
The font you choose on your resume can say a lot about your personality that you don’t even realize is being conveyed. According to research on the psychology of fonts, stylized serif fonts like Times New Roman are interpreted as reliable, traditional, respectful, and authoritative. Sans-serif fonts such as Arial are interpreted as stable, clean, modern, and objective. Business News Daily reports that resume and career experts suggest the following fonts for resumes: Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Didot, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica, and Times New Roman. Whatever font you choose, it should look clean and be easy to read. Keep in mind you want to choose a font that shows up as well on screens as on paper, and to never shrink the font below 12-point.
Buzzwords are a part of any industry and especially education. If you have special training or have attended a professional development or conference in an area related to a buzzword, DO make sure to include that in the skills or job experience part of your resume. DON’T use buzzwords or vocabulary you are only vaguely familiar with to try and sound smarter or impress. You may end up using the term incorrectly and it could hurt your chance at an interview.
We recommend using this section to showcase your focus on students. This is a great place to integrate the main points of your teaching philosophy, so that “who you are as a teacher” shines through. If you have a cover letter that you feel covers this thoroughly, then you could eliminate this section of the resume for a cleaner look.
Everyone wants to make their resume stand out. You must stand out to get an interview. We just want to give a gentle reminder that it’s YOU who needs to stand out, not the resume. Be sure to include any certifications, awards, or additional education you have. Research what small additional certifications are needed in your area. Attend a workshop, or get that TESOL certification or Reading Endorsement you’ve been thinking about. Those types of things will help you stand out over your resume.
If you are short on time or money, and getting an extra certification or endorsement just isn’t in the cards, we recommend dropping your resume off in person. Be careful to time it right. Don’t show up when a principal is in the middle of getting 700 students on the buses and expect to be well received. Call ahead, find a time that the principal can see you. Dress professionally, introduce yourself, hand him/her the resume, give a firm handshake, and don’t stay more than 5 min.
Making your resume stand out:
If you just want a little something extra to make your resume stand out, the following ideas may accomplish the task. We recommend only using one idea from the list below. If you have too much going on, it will just make your resume seem busy. Remember you want it to stand out, not overwhelm:
- Color paper: The paper should still be high quality resume paper and really just have a slight tint. Bright colors will only make it difficult to read. We recommend a tint that gives a nod to one of the school colors.
- Colored Ink: Keep the paper white, but use a colored ink for your headings. Again, one of the school’s colors works great for this, but it should always be easily readable and friendly on the eyes.
- Two Fonts: Choose two complimentary fonts and use one for the header and the other for the body.
Once you have your resume completed. Go back though and edit at least 3 times. Look for the following:
- Make sure your resume is focused. Use bullet points where possible, they are easier to read. Ask yourself:1. Is there anything on here not related to education/teaching? 2. Is there anything on here not related to the specific job title I am applying for? Make some “cuts” if at all possible, save the details for the interview.
- Your resume should be written in first person, but should NOT include Pronouns. This will help your action verbs stand out. Choose strong action verbs.
- Make sure your skills section is specific and quantify where possible.
- Check for words that you might have misspelled but spell check didn’t catch (i.e lose vs loose, their vs there, etc…). We recommend you have at least two trusted individuals proofread your resume before you send it out.
- Double check and make sure all links are working and always send your resume electronically as a PDF, so it is readable on all devices.
As you start to write or edit your resume, check out our two sample resumes HERE. We recommend working on your resume for short stretches, taking a break and then coming back. This helps to clear your mind and helps you see it through fresh eyes. Always come back to the question, “if I were the person looking at this, is it easy for me to read and find the most pertinent information?”. If you have any great resume tips comment below, we’d love to hear from you!