Becoming a Teacher: What Your Resume Says About You (page 2)
Most potential employers want to know the same basic things about you: your name, address, education, certification, and work experience. You might also include your specific job objective, the professional organizations you belong to, and your professional references.
Even if you choose to hire a professional resume writer or resume preparation service to create your resume, he or she will require the majority of this information in order to do a good job creating a resume on your behalf. The same holds true if you purchase off-the-shelf resume creation software for your computer. Keep in mind, the majority of these resume writing tips and strategies apply to traditional printed resumes as well as to electronic resumes that you submit online.
The first section of any resume includes information about how a potential employer can contact you. The details you will want to provide include contact information, job objective(s), work/employment history, and references.
- full name _____
- permanent street address _____
- city, state, zip _____
- daytime telephone number _____
- evening telephone number _____
- pager/cell phone number (optional) _____
- fax number (optional) _____
- e-mail address _____
- school address (if applicable) _____
- your phone number at school (if applicable) _____
If you live at school or if you are thinking of moving soon, include a permanent address as well as your current information.
Do not include personal information in the resume. You could endanger your chances of getting hired if you include information about your religion, marital status, race, or other personal details.
The following questions will help you pinpoint the specific types of information that needs to go into the various sections of your resume and/or cover letter. By answering these questions, you will also get to know yourself better, so you can find the job opportunities you will prosper in and that you will enjoy.
Many resumes begin with a career goal or objective. It doesn't have to be profound or philosophical; just list the job you want to obtain. The purpose of the objective is to assure potential employers that they are about to read a relevant resume.
In the space that follows, write a short description of the job you're seeking. Be sure to include as much information as possible about how you can use your skills to the employer's benefit. Later, you will condense this answer into one short sentence.
What is the job title you're looking to fill (e.g., elementary teacher)?
Now Starring. . .
Your degree(s) and certification(s) are the stars of your resume. Make sure they are easy to find (that is, located near the beginning of the resume) and clearly written.
The first things that a personnel director, supervisor, or principal hiring a new employee looks for on a resume are the degree(s) and certification(s) of the applicant. How the applicant's information matches the hiring needs determines whether the remaining information on the resume will be read.
Educational Background and Certification
When listing your educational background, start with your most recent school and work backward. List your degree or certificate, the name and location of the school, and the date you graduated. Also include special programs or teacher-related continuing education courses you have completed.
List all your experience working with children, even if it isn't specifically as a teacher, such as summers spent as a mother's helper. For career changers, also list all managerial experience you have; every job requires skills interacting with people. Summer employment or part-time work should be labeled as such, and you will need to specify the months in the dates of employment for positions you held for less than a year.
If you just finished your teacher education program, you might feel like you don't have much experience to list in a resume. This is not true! Think back to those grueling college projects. Getting a grade on a project was only half the project's value. You can use it now in place of experience you have not yet gained in the workplace. List special projects with their title, a description, and lessons learned.
Military Service (if applicable)
Hobbies and Special Interests
References are an increasingly important part of a resume. Individuals who are responsible for and directly in contact with students must be carefully screened, so your references will be contacted. Give some thought to the three to five individuals who you list as references. These individuals must be able to attest to your character and to your ability to teach, so select them with care. In some cases, school districts do not expect references to be listed on the resume; at the end of your resume, add "References are available upon request."
Because of the risk of possible repercussions, already employed applicants might not want their current employer contacted until the school district expresses interest in offering employment. If the district requires you to list references and you do not want them contacted early in the interview process, note that fact on the resume or in the cover letter. If there is no reason why your references cannot be contacted at any time, then including them with your resume may expedite your consideration as a prospective applicant. Some personnel directors or administrators may want to call your references before the interview, whereas others may wait until after they have met you.
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