The advice below as it relates to the sample educational resume (linked to here), represents one way (not necessarily THE way) to compose a resume. You are encouraged to peruse the other resume styles listed on the Resume Resources page and choose a style that best reflects your graphic design sensibilities. Of course, your resume will be superior to the sample educational resume in every way. Why? Because your resume will showcase teaching, child development, and general work experiences that are unique to you. Thus, the sample educational resume is provided simply as an educational model that is intended to help you understand the key components of a resume. Your resume may have additional information that isn’t modeled here. And that’s perfectly OK.
What Kind of Paper Should I Use? White or off-white paper without borders, shading, or background design is the best choice because it is not only professional looking, but also produces “clean” photocopies. A photocopy of a resume printed on even a slightly marbled-looking background is likely to produce a mottled appearance. Since your resume and cover letter will be reviewed by a search committee, it’s likely that your materials will be photocopied. Your resume and cover letter should be printed in the same font family on the same paper.
Is It OK For a Resume to be Two Pages? A two-page resume is perfectly acceptable, provided that the information you provide about your work history and experiences is generally relevant to teaching or aspects related to teaching, such as coaching or coordinating extracurricular activities.
Should I Fold My Resume? Since your resume and cover letter will be mailed with other documents (such as the application and a transcript), mail all documents unfolded in a large manila envelope.
What about listing hobbies, interests, etc.? A resume can feature a heading for hobbies and interests, but you are advised to consider what messages you may be inadvertently sending about yourself. Listing “paintball” as a preferred activity on a teaching resume, for instance, may not be advisable, since schools are institutions concerned with violence prevention and paintball — however harmless — involves, at its core, “shooting” others. Since public schools are intended to be secular institutions, a heavy emphasis on religious activities and interests (to the exclusion of anything else, for example) may invite questions about your ability to separate church from state in the classroom. Listing club or organizational involvement that is political or religious in nature may unintentionally alienate the reader who may not share the same political or religious philosophy. Even if you believe the club/organization affiliation is important to your identity, remember that teaching in a school is first and foremost about other people – your students and the parents of your students. Your own agenda, however noble it may be, should be de-emphasized in the application process. Non-traditional applicants with families can, of course, reference supporting their children’s extracurricular activities because the underlying messages relate to themes important in teaching: stability, child and family orientation, and nurturing, to name a few. In general, consider listing activities that portray you positively in the context of teaching. And, be prepared to answer questions about the origins of your interest in the hobby/pursuit and perhaps how participation in the activity shapes your thinking about teaching or life.
What Should I Write for a Heading? The heading should include your name, mailing address, phone number where you can be reached with reliability, and an e-mail address. If you are using a Yahoo or Hotmail address, consider whether or not the name within the address connotes professionalism. If your address is a non-intuitive nickname followed by a jumble of numbers, perhaps you might consider listing your UMF e-mail address (which is probably more self-evident, i.e., first name.last email@example.com) or creating a new Yahoo or Hotmail account that more closely captures your name, thereby making it easier for those doing the hiring to remember.
What Should I Write for an Objective? The objective is one aspect of the resume that changes with each use, because the objective should be written specific to the teaching position for which you are applying. If you are writing the resume for use at a job fair, in which case the available positions may not be known in advance, then leave the objective off. The objective should be kept to a line and reference the name of the organization and position for which you are applying. Avoid focusing on yourself in the objective, e.g.: “Seeking a position in which to utilize my good computer and communication skills.” Instead, try to pattern your objective after the sample resume, focusing on the school, students, and parents, rather than yourself. Reference the name of the school and the title of the position for which you are applying.
What Should I Write About My Education? The order of information should be listed by reverse chronology, which means you should first list the school with which you are currently identified (UMF!), followed by your high school. Middle and elementary schools need not be listed on your resume. A good pattern for giving information is evident on the sample resume: Name of school, geographic location (town, state), B.S. in your degree program (academic major) and the date of your graduation or anticipated graduation. Listing your school certification is important, too. It probably will appear elsewhere on your application, but it’s easy to see on the resume and an important detail worthy of repetition. You are encouraged to list academic honors under the heading “Education,” so you can layer a message about academic success while the reader is digesting information about where, when, and for what degree program you attended college. Listing your GPA isn’t required because it will appear on the transcript, which probably will be an application requirement. However, if you have attained a high GPA, why not layer that message here? Latin honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) are italicized because they are foreign language terms. Refer to the UMF catalog to learn the GPA requirements associated with each honor. Because high schools are generally not program/degree specific, you can simply indicate that you earned a diploma.
How Should I Title My Resume Headings? Rather than lumping all of your work history (teaching and non-teaching) under the rather generic heading of “Work Experience,” consider breaking your work history up into smaller, more digestible blocks of information and grouping your work experiences by theme. For instance, all teaching and teaching-related work experience (tutoring, for example) should go under the heading “Teaching Experience.” Non-teaching experience that is related to child development, such as working as a summer camp counselor, can be listed under the heading “Child Development Experience,” and this category can be expanded to “Human Development Experience” if the work experiences comprise both children and adults. If you wish to be considered for a coaching position within your district, you may want to break out all coaching experience, regardless of the age group, under a separate heading titled “Coaching Experience.” When you provide the information in smaller, more easily digestible amounts, you make it easier for the reader to glimpse your experiences by relevant themes, rather than force the reader to plow through a lengthy list of activities in order to find what he/she finds most relevant. Other common resume headings include “Professional Development Experience,” for workshops and conferences you attended (be sure to include title/theme of the conference, the sponsoring organization, and date); “Leadership Experience,” for leadership positions with campus organizations; and “Computer Skills,” for the various hardware and software with which you are proficient.
What Should I Write About My Teaching Experience? Your teaching experience is probably the most important aspect of your resume. You can break out your two eight-week student teaching placements as two separate “teaching experiences.” When considering what to say about your student teaching experiences, consider what you believe is important to communicate about yourself AND what a principal/superintendent will find important. As you look at the sample statements on the resume, you’ll note that each statement relates to an important facet of teaching (in order): lesson planning, modifying learning activities for students with special needs, classroom management/behavior modification, communication with parents, integration of content and teaching style, and integration of technology. These, by no means, are the ONLY important facets of teaching you may want to emphasize. But, they are certainly important topics for principals and superintendents. The statements you make about your teaching experiences should reflect variety, so you avoid the appearance of redundancy. And, note how Wendy, the writer of the resume, has given important details (e.g., the duration of the science unit and the size of the class) without being verbose. Each statement is a line in length (preferable, but not required) and conveys enough information for the reader to a) understand the scope of the teaching skill and b) form a meaningful follow-up question in an interview about the teaching experience. The latter part is critical. Keep in mind that whatever you include on your resume is likely to be the topic of an interview question. So, mention experiences you are prepared and eager to discuss in greater detail. If you’re struggling to think of what to write, consider reviewing the Sample Resume Statements for Education Majors page.
Should I Include My GPA? Yes, if you have a solid GPA (e.g. 3.0 or better). The GPA, along with other academic honors (dean’s list or Latin honors at graduation, e.g., cum laude) should be included under the heading for education. Be sure to italicize Latin honors.
Should I Include My High School Under the Education Heading? If you are trying to secure a teaching position in or about your high school, then, yes, you might want to include the high school to suggest that you understand the cultural and socio-economic conditions of the community where you want to teach. If you were academically successful in high school (as evinced by high class rank, GPA, or membership in the National Honor Society) and this was a harbinger of success in college, you may want to include the high school and associated accolades to suggest a broader behavioral pattern of doing well. If you are a nontraditional applicant who has been out of high school for quite a while, then you may choose to leave off the high school information. Of course, if you wish to include the information for personal reasons by all means do so. There is little, if any, downside to leaving it off in either case.
A Note About Resume Diction and Syntax: If you peruse the sample resume, you’ll note that three words (I, me, and my) are conspicuously absent. That’s because resume convention prohibits their use. Just think; if “I” were acceptable, the syntax would be repetitious: “I developed and taught a two-week unit …..” followed by “I participated in the development of an IEP …” The first-person “I” is understood, so you can begin each of your work history statements with an active verb. Use the past tense of the verb if the work that you are describing is over and done with. Use the present tense of the verb if the work that you are describing is ongoing.
A Note About Indicating Dates Associated with Your Work Experience: If you held a summer job over several summers, indicate the length of service in this manner for the sake of being concise: Summers, 2002-2004. Also, if your work history begins and ends within a calendar year, you can note the time frame in this manner for the sake of being concise: Sept. to Dec. 2004. Note that the year (2004) only appears once and abbreviations are OK. Follow Associated Press style on abbreviations: Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, and Aug. Note that according to AP style March, April, May, June, and July are not abbreviated.
Not Sure About What Work History to Include and What to Leave Out? Definitely consider including work history information that relates to teaching and child development, even if the population you worked with differs in age from the population you wish to teach in school. And, when you’re considering how to describe the responsibilities associated with your work history, consider putting a teaching slant on the information. Note that Wendy “hired and trained 18 new employees” as manager of Fellini’s Restaurant. She framed the information in this manner because training is teaching. Someone with lifeguarding experience may emphasize the classroom management aspects of working the pool by writing, “Enforced safety regulations and positively reinforced behavioral expectations for as many as 30 swimmers at a time.” Even if you cannot find a way to put a teaching slant on the information, it probably has some value in portraying your skills and abilities. For instance, Wendy’s ability to plan and price “all aspects of a 75-entrée menu” reveals her organizational skill – which is very important in teaching. If you’re struggling to phrase your work history in meaningful terms, consult the Sample Odd Job Resume Entries page.
Should I Include References on My Teaching Resume? References may be listed on a resume; however, teaching applications usually require letters of recommendation. So, while you can list references on your resume, you shouldn’t list them in lieu of offering letters of recommendation if they are an application requirement.
Do: Be honest. Be consistent in style, e.g. use of the serial comma (be consistent with comma or no comma before “and” in a series). Be consistent with typography, e.g., if you boldface and italicize the first heading, do so throughout. Be flawless. List an e-mail address on your resume that conveys clarity and professionalism. If you plan to use a Yahoo or Hotmail address, just make sure that your username is clear and devoid of inflammatory innuendo that — while humorous to your social contacts — may be unwelcome in a professional context. If you use an ambiguous nickname as part of a Yahoo or Hotmail address, consider creating a new e-mail account that uses simply your first and last name.
Don’t: Don’t use the first-person “I” in the resume as well as personal terms, such as “me” or “my.” Don’t label people; put people first when describing special needs (say, “assisted a child with autism” rather than “assisted an autistic child”). Don’t scan a picture of yourself in the resume.