You’re aware of how much patience it takes to educate young minds. And you know how hard it’s to earn students’ respect when you spend only a finite amount of time with them.
And yet, some principals side-eye you, especially if you’ve done lots of short-term gigs.
With so many folks jumping into subbing during the pandemic, principals rarely consider you to be as all-in as full-time teachers.
How do you prove you’re more than capable to rise to the occasion? With a well-crafted resume. Our guide will:
- Show you a substitute teacher resume example that will get your writer’s creativity flowing
- Teach you how to craft a resume, even with little to no experience
- Help you organize your rich work history in a streamlined and clutter-free way
- Coach you on how to showcase the impact your teaching skills have on students
We’ve also prepared plenty of examples of whole resumes and individual sections to help you on your writing journey!
Before you dive in, if you'd like to peruse other relevant resume guides, be sure to bookmark the following ones:
Substitute teacher resume example
What makes this substitute teacher resume stand out?
- Regardless of which section you look at, the applicant has weaved in their attitude towards child development and education.
- Each entry in the experience section is supported by data, proving the candidate is diligent and invested in what they do.
- What’s more, all the claims in the work history part are supplemented with the respective awards and achievements in an adjacent box.
- The candidate has introduced some character into the resume through its overall design without going overboard.
How to format your substitute teacher resume
Despite the multiple resume formats available nowadays, you must be careful which layout you choose.
Formatting is crucial for a few reasons:
- You must present your experience clearly and concisely.
- Before they reach anyone’s desk, resumes are vetted by ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems).
- Educational institutions often rely on platforms, such as EDJOIN, to search for candidates. Check for if there’re extra rules you must follow before selecting a format.
If there aren’t any special criteria you must fulfill, keep in mind these resume writing best practices:
- Use the reverse-chronological resume format – it’s intuitive to read and showcases your most recent achievements
- Impress recruiters with an eye-catching resume header. If you have a LinkedIn profile or a personal website displaying your work, add them.
- Keep it short. Don’t make your resume longer than two pages, even if you have extensive work history.
- Unless otherwise stated, save your resume as a PDF file. It’ll preserve the design and style of the document.
Having to keep your resume under a page is very tricky. Especially if you have lots to share. That’s why it’s important to leave enough space for each of the must-have resume sections:
How to write your substitute teacher resume experience
As its name suggests, this is the part of your resume where your achievement and history have to prove you’re the best person for the job.
But talking about them can be challenging, depending on how your career has progressed so far.
If most of your substitute teaching gigs have been long-term commitments, your focus should be on detailing them as separate job entries.
However, if you’re just covering a particular school district as a short-term sub, it’s recommended that you group the schools together.
In this case, the focus would fall on your teaching efficiency and overall impact on students’ life.
Compare the following substitute teacher resume examples:
- Organized career meet-ups.
- Helped with field trips.
- Founded literature club.
- Helped 9 students with their grades
- Achieved 89% graduation rate for specialty school students by organizing career advice meet-ups with professionals from the arts and entertainment industry.
- Volunteered and coordinated with other staff members on the safety of 120+ students for annual school field trips.
- Implemented a poetry and prose exchange program with more than 50 participants, where students could get feedback from their peers about their writing skills.
- Helped 9 troublesome students correct their behavior and raise their grades by following the full-time teacher's classroom behavioral system.
Although the samples pertain to the same person, notice the difference in presentations. The reasons the second experience section example works are:
- Helen’s job title indicates her employment was a long commitment. This proves not only that Helen is good at her job, but also works well with other teachers.
- She used the company description field to share the school’s mission and academic focus. Thus, Helen draws attention to what has motivated her to be a sub at that specific school.
- Listing the institution’s website offers hiring principals the opportunity to check how the candidate’s previous place of employment views their work.
- Finally, each of the bulleted entries features a professional accomplishment and some context for further information on why it’s important.
How to demonstrate you take your job seriously on your resume
Granted, you can’t put a number to all your achievements. But you can show that your work affects others positively as long as you provide the right context.
By now you must have seen that proving you’re not just going through the motions when being called upon to sub is key to a quality resume.
Think about how your actions affect your students and other staff members:
- Have you considerably changed someone’s life?
- Have you inspired your students to pursue their dreams?
- Have you accommodated a student with special needs by adapting your teaching plans?
- Have you managed to deal with class disruptions and troublemakers?
- Have you founded a club or organized group activities that have filled an academic void at your school?
- How do other teachers view your work? Are the full-time teachers you’re substituting for happy with your work? Do they have comments on your regular reports?
- Have you won any awards and recognitions while representing your employer?
- How else do you help your colleagues when not teaching?
How do I write a substitute teacher resume with no experience
If you’re just starting out, but have no experience as a sub:
- Consider your work history so far - internships, field work, private tutoring, etc.
- Evaluate the relevance of each individual gig
- Choose the hybrid resume format as your layout
- Highlight pertinent accomplishments
- Share any related transferable skills, depending on the position you’re applying for.
How to list your hard skills and soft skills on your resume
To make an impression as a substitute teacher, you must have an exceptional skill set. After all, you’re usually called in at the last minute to save the day.
As such, you must present a good mix of your technical and social abilities, also known as 'hard' and 'soft' skills’.
Because hard skills will prove you know how to operate essential classroom tools and technology.
On the other hand, your soft skills demonstrate you have the necessary skills to manage a classroom with no problems.
To achieve the perfect balance, you must learn how to describe each of your talents first. All you have to do is:
- Think of a professional challenge you’ve had to overcome.
- Explain how you’ve solved the problem at hand.
- Share what was the outcome of your work and how it improved the situation.
- Add data and numbers where possible to support your claims. Tying data to social skills is comparatively harder, so take into account the impact you have on others around you.
Can’t think of any relevant skills to add to your resume?
We’ve compiled two lists with the top technical and social talents you can list to get you started.
How to list your certifications and education on your resume
It goes without saying that you must have the proper academic qualifications and credentials to become a substitute teacher.
These vary between states - some have stricter rules than others. So you must be extra careful when applying for hybrid or out-of-state positions.
That’s why when filling out the educations section:
- Ensure you have all the documents required in the job ad
- List the name of your degree or specialization
- State the name of the issuing institution
- Include a date of course completion or projected obtainment
- Add a date of validity, if applicable
Remember to use the same date formatting conventions in each resume section.
Here is a sample on what the final look of your education and certificates section should be:
- Achieved a 96% approval rate by students and staff, while being an intern at Binford Middle School.
- Devised a comprehensive teaching program, focused on diversity and inclusion, which was later submitted for review to the Virginia School Boards Association.
If you have doubts about listing a certain certificate, check out the table below with some of the most sought-after credentials in the education industry.
How to write your substitute teacher resume summary or objective
What’s the difference between a resume summary and an objective?
- Resume objectives emphasize your skills, when you don’t have much experience teaching. Highlight how your career goals, and as importantly, how they align with the school’s mission.
- Summaries are for tenured professionals so they can feature their top professional milestones.
Regardless of which one you choose to write, make sure your love for teaching shines through. Explain how your work can be beneficial to both your prospective employer and the students.
If you’re a recent college grad and definitely want to continue on this career path, outline how you envision your further professional progress.
Take a look at the following examples:
Both samples are written by college grads. Yet, the second one is undoubtedly better than the first for a few reasons:
- The candidate has started off with their qualifications. They've also added a clear explanation on what they are after as a job seeker.
- Instead of relying only on credentials, the applicant has listed very specific skills.
- The individual has added a personal statement which outlines their motives to pursue a career in education. Which means this isn’t just a job to pass the time.
- A valuable certificate has been listed at the end to summarize all the extra expertise the candidate brings to the table.
Additional sections for a substitute teacher resume
Extra sections on a resume are a blessing to those with little to no experience. They are a good way to show the special steps you take to improve as a professional.
Some of the sections you can add to stand out among other candidates are:
- Association memberships (for example, the National Education Association)
- Teaching materials, books, textbooks, workbooks, relevant academic publications, etc.
- Awards, prizes, and special recognitions
- Relevant passions and hobbies, such as photography or painting
How to boast you have published a book on a resume
Being a peer-reviewed and recognized author is no small feat. Especially if your book can put a spotlight on your professional expertise.
- Include the name of your book, publisher and date of publication. You can also list a timeframe, depicting how long it took you to finish writing it.
- Link to your or the publisher’s website so that prospective employers can review your book.
- Provide a brief description on what your book is about and how it relates to your job application.
How to tailor your substitute teacher resume to the job description
As previously mentioned, read job descriptions carefully. While offered positions may have the same title, it’s worth reviewing the duties and requirements section under each job ad.
These will tell you:
- How to modify and adjust your resume before submitting it to the respective school
- Which skills and personal qualities are considered a plus for candidates
- What experiences are valued, even if you don’t have a diploma to show for it. For example, if emphasis is put on community building, share your volunteering experience.
- What your prospective employer aims to achieve in the long run
So to make to align your resume with the job description:
- Read the duties and requirements section
- Ensure you have all the necessary documents to apply
- Check for important keywords, relating to tools and talents
- Look into what ongoing project the school is involved in
Cover letter matching your substitute teacher resume
No resume is complete without a powerful cover letter!
Some states have relaxed the minimum requirements to qualify as a substitute teacher. This means sometimes it all boils down to your personality and aspirations.
What motivates you to pursue a career in education? What is your teaching style? What goals have you set yourself and how do you make sure you achieve them?
Keep these questions in mind when building your cover letter.
If you find it difficult to put your thoughts into words, here is a short step-by-step guide you can reference:
- Divide your cover letter into three sections
- Highlight your top career achievements in the first paragraph. Don’t worry if they overlap with what you already have included in the resume summary.
- Elaborate on your skill set and how you’ve applied your talents. Provide specific examples if you can.
- Thank the principal for reviewing your application. Mention when you’re free to discuss your candidacy.
Check out the example substitute teacher cover letter below for more inspiration:
- Choose a resume that best reflects your work history;
- Link to your teaching portfolio in the resume header, if you have one;
- Make sure your love for teaching is evident in the resume summary;
- Group your experience by geographical location, if your gigs are short;
- Reserve the talent section for skills you haven’t mentioned anywhere else on your resume;
- Add some personality to your resume by including your passions or books you’ve published;
- Explain what motivates you to be a substitute teacher in the cover letter.