Substitute Teacher Resume Samples, Expert Tips & Analysis

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You’re about to read one of the best substitute teacher resume guides online today!

You might not have a permanent teaching job at a school.

But you’ve got all the teaching skills needed to make any classroom a great learning environment.

Ready each morning to get the call at a moment’s notice.

Able to leap to the front of any classroom and bravely take control.

But none of that’s going to happen without a great substitute teacher resume.

And that’s why you’re here.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

“At any moment in time, as many as 10% of the teachers standing in front of US classrooms are subs.”

This guide will show you everything you need to create your substitute teacher resume.

  • Choose an appropriate substitute teacher resume template for your experience level
  • Include teaching skills that reflect the job description
  • Pay special attention to crafting a substitute resume summary or objective
  • Even a teaching resume with no experience can (and should) showcase relevant skills
  • How to use the job posting to create your list of skills and experience to match

Not a substitute teacher? Here are some other resume examples that you might like.

Great substitute teacher resumes start with a great resume outline

Not sure what the right components of a substitute teacher resume to include?

We’re going to start with a resume outline because it shows you all the information you need to put on your resume.

It’s going to help you save time when you write.

Here’re are the sections of your resume outline

  • Objective

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Soft Skills
  • Technical skills
  • Interests
  • References
  • Obviously education and experience are going to be the most important sections of your resume. But there are other areas where you can show what you can do in the classroom.

    You’re going to stand out from all the other teachers by putting the right amount of emphasis on sections like soft skills, technical skills and interests. Doing these right will let the hiring team see that you’re the “right fit” for their school.

    Remember, there’s no “one size fits all.” Your potential employer will, of course, want to see a document that is crisp and orderly.

    Choose the resume layout that will work best for your substitute teacher resume

    Delivering the correct resume layout for your experience level and type of company you apply for will make all the difference between just being skipped over and being selected for an interview or the job.

    So, before you begin drawing up your resume, take some time to consider the right substitute teacher resume layout.

    • Basic layout - A lot of teachers who are recent graduates and don’t have much experience get their first work as a substitute teacher. This means you’re not likely to have enough experience as a teacher to really fill up a resume. This single column design works well when you have less content but want it to look great aesthetically anyways.
    • Professional layout - If you’re looking to make an established and experienced impression this layout is going to help do that. It shows that you’ve had a great start to your teaching career, but are looking to achieve more.
    • Simple layout - If you’re a substitute teacher with a lot of experience, this more compact layout is ideal. It manages to fit a wide variety of details without looking cluttered. The result is a substitute teaching resume that’s not showing off, but has plenty to show.
    • Creative layout - If you’re a teacher who lights up the hallways with your unique and creative personality, this layout is perfect. It shows you’re not going to bore the class, but instead engage them, while avoiding anything too flashy or out there. This is especially a great layout for teaching jobs that are creative in nature, such as art, music and theatre.

    Important things to consider for your substitute teacher resume layout:

    • Chose a resume layout that does not center your text. Any text that is centered interrupts the flow of the document. You want the school employers to move smoothly down the sheet.
    • Choose a font and a size and stick with it. Please, no fancy fonts - education can be fun, but it’s a serious subject and deserves a professional typeface.
    • Use keywords. Avoid unnecessary jargon, but keywords are universal signifiers that are used in your profession. Especially with teachers
    • Keep any bullet sections under two lines. Remember, you want your resume to be a single page. Do everything you can to ensure that.

    Resume layout is important but even a basic black and white substitute teacher resume, can make recruiters say: "Wow. I'd better give this resume a careful read!"

    And this is all about the content - so it’s time to focus on it!

    How to create the best resume header for a substitute teacher resume

    So you chose the right resume layout?

    Cool, now let’s start making a resume!

    Your substitute teacher resume header becomes the first point of contact with the hiring manager.

    Use this section of your resume to make a positive, professional first impression. The resume header is at the top for a reason!

    A good substitute teacher resume header has:

    • Your name with relevant teaching certifications after it like ETS (Educational Testing Services) or ECE (Early Childhood Education).
    • Your title which can be specific to what you’re applying for like “Substitute Teacher” or to your area of educational skills such as “English Teacher”.
    • Your contact information which needs to appear professional, so make sure to use a professional email address and to include your phone number.
    • Don’t include any personal websites or social media unless you feel it shows your passion for the teaching profession and education.
    K-12 Teacher and Substitute Teacher

    The second example really shows you’re only doing the bare minimum. Note exactly what schools are looking for in a teacher. Now, the first one provides a detailed job title which says “I’m experienced and know what you’re looking for” and also shares a blog that is about education.

    Now that’s someone who loves being a teacher!

    pro tip icon
    Pro tip

    A good resume header is key to getting contact info past the hiring software.

    Making the best substitute teacher resume objective

    Your resume summary or objective is a critical component of your resume.


    Well, it’s the one place on your resume that you can state what you’re passionate about.

    With all the experience and skills being equal it’s your personality and passion that will set you apart from the other teachers applying.

    This is where you express all of that.

    A teacher who is ready and willing to be called any day to substitute teach.

    Wow. This doesn’t really say much does it. It doesn’t give the hiring manager anything that he wouldn’t already know, does it? You can imagine them rolling their eyes and putting your resume on the “no pile“ can’t you?

    A passionate and dedicated educator with 5 years of K-12 teaching in the state of Oregon. Currently looking for a substitute teaching role where I can bring my abilities to engage with students to bring the best out them in a fun learning environment.

    Those 44 words really say a lot about that teacher don’t they? It says they’re experience, passionate and eager to do the best they can for the students as the newest substitute teacher at their school.

    Lastly it shows that they’ve worked in the state they’re applying in which means they know how the local school boards work.

    A recent graduate with 8 months of substitute teaching experience in K-12 classrooms. Looking to bring my strong desire and ability to engage with students and to be a part of a great educational team as a substitute teacher.

    So you don’t have experience? You’ll see above that that doesn’t mean your resume objective can’t be great! It shows that you’re a go-getter and a team player while proudly displaying your short, but meaningful experience in a way says you can jump in at a moments notice and do a great job.

    In short here’s what your substitute teacher resume objective should include:

    • Express your long term goals for your teaching career
    • State your teaching communication style
    • Make sure your dedication to education comes through
    • Talk about your versatility to handle whatever class is in front of you

    This information will help recruiters decide if you’re a good culture fit for the school and whether they can rely on you when they need you most.

    How to make your substitute teacher work experience easy to read and powerful

    You're a substitute. You might be just starting out or maybe you are just looking for temporary work.

    That means the experience section on your substitute teacher resume doesn't matter.


    Absolutely not.

    Even if you're not experienced, you still have to prove that you can do the job.

    Luckily, there's a way to do just that.

    List your most recent experience first.

    But the best way to list substitute teaching on a resume?

    Look at these two samples from resumes for substitute teachers:

    Substitute teacher resume experience examples

    Here are two substitute teacher resume sections, but only one will make the recruiter invite you for an interview.

    Substitute Teacher
    Kennedy Elementary
    Portland, OR
    • Taught 14 classes with an average of 44 learners each
    • Led 6-15 year old children in all types of general education courses
    • Conducted grade 7 state testing
    • Volunteered at as an assistant field hockey coach

    See how the results from this experience stand out? You can see the number of classes, the age of children being taught and even volunteering in extra curricular activities - you can get a much better perspective of the candidate and how dedicated they are to teaching children.

    Now check this one that only list responsibilities

    Substitute Teacher
    Kennedy Elementary
    Portland, OR
    • Substituted 14 times
    • Kept students in line and orderly
    • Delivered lessons based on course plans provided

    Remember, avoid responsibilities.

    Using responsibilities gives the appearance that you are just phoning it in.

    You are doing your potential employer a huge favor by sticking to tangible achievements in your substitute teacher resume. These types of experience points are what they’re looking for when making their short list for the posting.

    What makes substitute teacher resume experience effective?

    • As a teacher, your job is to educate others, so think of your resume as you educating people about you. Thinking this way will make your bullets specific and to the point.
    • Teaching is about affecting the lives of others - so make sure you talk about how you did that. And be specific!
    • When possible, add numbers to demonstrate your impact and show your achievements.
    • Use keywords and teaching terminology to show you’re proficient in the field.
    • Don’t opt for the easiest or dull vocabulary - use active verbs, strong and uncommon words.
    • Talk about your experience as lessons learned and skills gained that you will be bringing to this new position
    pro tip icon
    Pro tip

    To leave an impression and stand out, make sure you use active verbs. For example, rather than saying “Taught the class in a way that changed their view of Shakespear.”, change that verb to “Engaged with`` or'' “Transformed”. This will make your resume experience section much better.

    Educators must remain engaged and autonomous in order to do their jobs well and avoid burnout.

    Ashley Lamb-Sinclair from Why Teachers Need Their Freedom

    How to make a substitute teacher resume with no experience

    So you think you don’t have experience?

    Well, this is not exactly true - substitute teachers can get experience from many different places.

    Here are a few quick tips you can use:

    • Make a list of all the job duties and classes you have had. Getting a teacher degree in some countries requires a lot of time spent in university. Make a list of the experiences you had during your time there. Did you do an internship? Work as a Teaching Assistant (TA)? Lead any team events or programs?
    • List all of your volunteer experience.Did you volunteer at any schools or with any youth programs? Take part in tutoring or summer school programs? Maybe you gave lessons to your neighbors child. All of these are valuable experience for your resume!
    • Soft skills are critical. So even without proper substitute teacher experience, you can still show them. Things like team projects in university can be included as teamwork on your resume.

    So, when applying for a substitute position, you may not have the exact experience being asked for, but you can certainly see that your resume gets considered.

    pro tip icon
    Pro tip

    Give all of your experience the detail it deserves. By expanding the level of detail on even a few weeks at different schools or a couple volunteer positions can give your resume a lot more power.

    Making your substitute teacher’s education section stand out on your resume

    Education is extremely important on a teacher’s resume.

    Yeah, that’s kind of obvious, right?

    Well, you’d be amazed at how education on a teacher resume gets ignored or taken for granted.

    If you take education seriously, then you need to take your resume’s education section serious too! Here are some basic and some often overlooked details every substitute teacher resume should include in their education section:

    Education sections for a substitute teacher resume - samples and templates

    Here are two very different education sections for a substitute teacher resume.

    But only one is a winner.

    Certificate of Special Needs Education (Career Development)
    South Carolina State University
    • Certified educator of children with special needs
    Certificate of Special Needs Education (Career Development)
    South Carolina State University

    You’ll see in the “right” example above that they take pride in their education.

    And so you should! You worked hard, took out student loans to graduate from all of your teaching courses.

    So tell the world!

    There is no value in assuming the hiring manager knows what details are involved in getting a degree or certification. So don’t leave it to chance - give them details that they need!

    If you had an above average GPA in university or teacher’s college it is incredibly valuable to tell them that. It shows them that you take your challenges seriously and work hard to achieve results. Those are the traits they want in their classrooms!

    Lastly, mentioning awards or honorable mentions is a great way to stand out from the rest of the teachers you’re competing with. You may think that their not a big deal… but not every teacher received them, so now isn’t the time to be humble.

    pro tip icon
    Pro tip

    Make sure your teaching education and experience are in reverse chronological order. Hiring managers are wanting to see your educational story from today back to the beginning and will get confused if you present those details the other way around.

    Important substitute teacher skills to include in your resume

    To get hired as a substitute teacher, skills are everything.

    On one hand, you might not have enough experience so you’re going to need to put a lot of emphasis on your technical teaching skills and soft skills on your resume.

    On the other hand, schools are looking for something extra from their substitute teachers. They’re usually air-dropped in at a moments notice and expected to adapt to their students, surroundings, and course plan in mere minutes!

    So, let’s take some time and read this section in detail and you’re going to make your teaching resume stand out among the competition.

    Substitute teacher technical skills examples

    Although a lot of a substitute teacher’s work involves people, you’d be amazed at how many technical skills they rely on!

    The technical skills are usually the keywords that every recruiter will look for in your resume. Or even worse - every Applicant Tracking System.

    So excluding them is a huge gamble.

    How to include technical skills on your substitute teacher resume:

    Powerpoint/Google Slides
    Word/Google Docs
    Cloud storage/File sharing
    Digital research/Source checking
    Web programming
    Social media

    Keep in mind that even if you your skill level is low, don’t be afraid to include it on your resume. Even a little bit of a skill is better than no skills at all!

    top sections icon

    Here's a list of technical skills that can help to inspire you.

    • Recording and editing audio clips for class content (Soundcloud and Clyp)
    • Creating engaging and educational video content (Edpuzzle, Wevideo, Teachem, VideoNotes, Magisto, and YouTube)
    • Developing visually engaging educational content (Piktochart, Canva, and Google Draw)
    • Social networking to connect, discover new content, and consistently grow as an educator (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
    • Creating blogs and wikis to collaborate with students and other teachers (Wordpress, Edublog, Kidblog, Blogger, and Wikispace)
    • Develop educational presentations (Zoho Presentation, Google Slides, Powerpoint, and Prezi)
    • Create fun and engaging online quizzes for students (Riddle, Testmoz, FlipQuiz, Quizalize, and QuizBean)

    Substitute teacher soft skills examples

    Soft skills need a different approach, especially for a substitute teacher. If you simply list them the way you would technical skills, it comes of as if you just threw buzz words on a resume.

    So, we don’t want to do that, do we? I didn’t think so.

    It’s always going to be more effective to demonstrate that you have a soft skills by giving examples for each. Then they’re no longer just buzz words - they’re important bits of value you bring to their school.

    That said, if the job description asks for a specific soft skill like “leadership” be sure to use that word when you describe it in your resume. This is both for the ATS systems mentioned above and that using the word makes it easier for the reader to notice times when you demonstrated these skills and think “great, I can check that off the list.”

    Led over 20 different classes as a substitute teacher in the last 3 months over 6 different subject areas.
    Created 3 unique and engaging online study resources in math, science and history for classes I’ve taught - resulting in a 10% increase in testing scores.
    Led over 20 different classes as a substitute teacher in the last 3 months over 6 different subject areas.
    I speak English, French and Spanish fluently which has enabled me to connect with today’s international classrooms.
    I enjoy making myself available after school to all of my students for extra tutoring - and make it a fun experience for all. I have been a Big Sister for 8 years for 2 amazing young girls.

    Here, you can see that anyone who is scanning your resume can quickly see which soft skills you have and that you’re not just throwing up a list of buzzwords. This is going to separate you from most of the other substitute teaching resumes they’ve seen.

    How to add skills from your job description

    You’re creating your resume for a specific job posting.

    That posting has everything you need to know what to include in your skills section!

    Let’s take a look at a substitute teacher job posting in New York State and how you can extract valuable skills to demonstrate:

    • [[Follow the professional code and policies in the school]], and conduct self in a way that promotes the mission of the school.
    • Follow the guidance of the [[psychosocial and educational staff]] in working with the individual children in different classes as fits each child’s goals.
    • Be present at school every day whether or not another teacher is absent.
    • [[Take over schedule and classes]] as assigned for any teacher across the school who is absent from the classroom for a whole or part day.
    • [[Follow plans]] left by teacher, if there are plans, as well as possible.
    • [[Have alternate activities]] for various grades and subjects in the case of no plans left.
    • [[Follow direction]] of other teachers in the Prep as to the schedule and routine for that prep.
    • Report to teacher upon their return as to what was accomplished during their absence.
    • Follow guidance of Head or Assistant Head if no teachers are absent in ways to fulfill the day.
    • Attend all [[professional development]] days.
    • Attend Friday afternoon [[psychosocial meetings]].
    • Must be able to use [[GSuite]], specifically [[Google Drive]].
    • Perform other duties as assigned.


    • [[Attention to Detail]]
    • [[Maintaining Confidentiality and Privacy]]
    • [[Ethical Conduct]]
    • [[Time Management]]
    • [[Team Work]]

    Now let’s pick out the keywords and skills that someone applying to this job should mention:

    Follow the professional code, take over schedules, follow plans (these can be tailored into soft skills and should be backed up with examples) Have alternative activities, follow direction (these also can be soft skills with examples) Gsuite, Google Drive, psychosocial meetings, confidentiality and privacy (can be listed as technical skills and related to any certifications as well) Attention to detail, ethical conduct, time management and teamwork (These should be backed up with examples)

    Just like that you can be sure you’re including everything they’re looking for in their new substitute teacher and more! Be sure to include more than what they’re asking for as it will only bring more attention to your teaching abilities.

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    Top skills on a substitute teacher resume

    1. Communication
    2. Classroom Management
    3. Compassion
    4. Mentoring
    5. Flexibility
    6. Technology
    7. Organization
    8. Managing ADHD
    9. Patience
    10. Teaching
    11. Strategies
    12. Creative
    13. Thinking Skills
    14. Special Education
    15. Adaptability
    16. School Safety
    17. Teamwork
    18. Grading
    19. Problem Solving
    20. Bullying Prevention

    Top 5 skills on substitute teacher resumes vs job offers

    We conducted our own independent research on, analyzing over 100,000 resumes and job listings to determine which skills were most in demand. Based on this research, these are the top 5 most useful skills for a substitute to include on their resume and how often they appeared on resume and job descriptions.

    If there’s a big gap, that means having that skill will really make you stand out from the competition.

    substitute teacher chart.png

    How to show certifications on your substitute teacher resume

    This can be done similar to your technical skills section, or you can add ECE or GATE after your name at the top if that’s your only relevant certification.

    Just be sure to mention any certifications the job offer specifically asks for or mentions.

    top sections icon

    Certificates for a substitute teacher resume

    • Early Childhood Education (ECE)
    • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
    • English as a Second Language (ESL)
    • Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)
    • Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)
    • Physical Education (P.E.)

    You can see a complete list of different types of teaching certifications here.

    What other sections can you include on your resume?

    There aren’t many jobs where a personality is as important than as a teacher.

    It’s a profession that is based on values like passion and creativity and while skills, education and experience are important, there is a quotient they’re looking for that is all about who you are as a teacher.

    You can let your resume do that in many ways.

    First and foremost, be yourself. Don’t try to be something you’re not.

    Now, that being said, make sure you keep your resume professional.

    There’s a fine balance of professionalism and personality that you can find.

    One way to approach including personality in your teaching resume is to list some educational books that you have read and love. This shows that you’re looking for ways to improve your career while giving them a snapshot into what kind of teacher you are.

    Another option is to include a “day in the life” chart that gives an overview of who you are as a person. Include key things you do in a typical day that demonstrate positive and interesting that you do like exercise and activities or coaching and volunteering. One thing you don’t want to do here is list mundane tasks like running errands or watching TV - remember you’re trying to impress them!

    One way to approach it is to consider culture fit. Emphasize elements of your personality that match with the school. Just like with the experience above, you want the person reading your resume to get the feeling “This person seems perfect for us.”

    For example, if you see the school likes to get involved in local charities, mention local volunteering that you do in your community. Small details like this can help make you feel like the perfect candidate.

    Key takeaways: what makes a great substitute teacher resume?

    • Choose a resume layout that sends the message you want and fits your experience level.
    • Create a resume header that is professional, shows your teaching certifications and makes sure you’re easy to contact.
    • Make sure your resume objective or summary is very specific about your substitute teaching experience, accomplishments, and future goals.
    • Any soft skills you list are backed up with examples.
    • You list all of the technical skills and teaching certifications you have which match the job description.
    • Your resume has a bit of personality designed to show you have the right soft skills and will be an excellent culture fit.

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