A resume is your most important marketing
tool. Therefore, prepare to spend some time developing several
drafts until you have created the most effective representation of your
strengths and experiences. Don't put off writing the first draft
until your last semester!
Students and alumni may email
their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org for
review and critiquing. Also, please contact
email@example.com for an individual
appointment to discuss your resume and other employment-related issues.
A resume is a summary of the strengths and experiences related to your
career objective and the employer's needs. There are MANY
opportunities to use your resume throughout the application process:
To give administrators and teachers you meet during
To share with interested teachers/administrators at an
in-service day or professional conference
To provide to a reference as he/she develops a letter of
recommendation for you
Resume writing is a crucial stage in job-hunting, not only because of
the importance of the end-product, but the self-assessment stimulated by
reflecting on your strengths and experiences is foundational to the
entire job-hunting process. By examining your background and
developing inventory of your strengths, you will be better prepared to:
Draft a cover letter that summarizes and emphasizes
major skills, accomplishments, and experiences on your
Begin targeting employers that meet your needs,
interests, and values.
Respond effectively to interviewers who are evaluating
your self-awareness, maturity, judgment, communication
skills, and personal attributes.
Formulate a skills and experience summary to respond
succinctly to job fair representatives.
There is not a universal format or formula for organizing a resume, but
here are some guidelines to follow:
Don't edit too much in your head. Initially,
develop an inventory of related experiences (i.e.
teaching, interacting with children, etc.) and a list of
other experiences, such as leadership, extra-curricular,
professional associations, awards, service, and
volunteer activities, etc. This secondary list may
be helpful to round out your skills and qualities.
Keep it concise, factual, and positive.
Consider the Relevancy Test: the information on your
resume should support your career objective, AND it
should be pertinent to the employer.
List accomplishments, not just responsibilities.
Provide evidence of skills, not a list of duties.
If possible, list outcomes--what did YOU accomplish or
contribute in a particular experience?
1. Develop a list of the Top Ten Skills you bring to the classroom.
What are your strengths? What are the unique skills and qualities
you bring to the classroom?
Consider feedback you've received in other experiences, e.g. field
experience, volunteering in your church or community, student teaching.
How would faculty and classroom teachers describe you? Also,
consider results from objective assessments such as Career Direct,
Strong Interest Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Indicator. (If you
want to explore any of these assessments, contact
2. Develop a list of the Top Ten Skills and Qualities the prospective
employer is seeking. Do your homework--consider general skills a
teacher needs, as well as any particular needs of the school district to
which you are applying. Some helpful resources: a)
skills, abilities, etc., required for various occupations, including
teachers; b) AASPA, American Association of School Personnel
key skills school districts seek in the ideal teacher.
3. OK--you have 2 lists: a) Your Top Ten Strengths and b) the Top Ten
Skills and Qualities the employer is seeking in the ideal candidate.
Review both carefully. Where do they intersect? These are
the skills, experiences and interests you want to highlight on your
If you simply list your strengths without considering what the employer
is looking for, the employer may not consider your resume pertinent to
his/her needs. One the other hand, if you develop a resume for a
particular position, you may be tempted to manipulate information by
using flowery language that is unconvincing and canned. However,
if you have done your homework and developed lists from both
perspectives, you will position yourself well for writing an authentic
resume. Additionally, you will be well-positioned for writing the
cover letter and describing relevant strengths and experiences in the
Resume formats vary depending on the information you are highlighting.
Here are some sample resumes for your consideration. Please
contact Education Career Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and to receive feedback on your resume.