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A Comprehensive Guide to Teacher Resumes

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Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2021-08-26

Teachers don’t have it easy when applying for jobs.

Often, the best positions can require long commutes or moves, and competition can be fierce. That’s why you need more than just an average teacher's resume example or simple word template.

Job seekers today need to create an application plan that’s as well-thought-out as a great lesson plan.

Always tailor your application to the school. Too many applications end up being discarded due to lazy errors, so at least get the school name right. Make it hard for them NOT to interview you...
- Eugene Spiers, NQT mentor and assistant headteacher, John of Gaunt School, Trowbridge

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about creating a teacher resume:

 ✔ Choosing the right resume sections.

 ✔ Finding the perfect teacher resume layout.

 ✔ Crafting a header that makes your resume stand out from the very top.

 ✔ How to write a resume objective or summary that grabs the reader’s attention.

 ✔ How to pick the most important skills out of a job description and add them to your teacher resume.

 ✔ Why the way you frame your teaching experience makes all the difference.

 ✔ The value of adding a bit of personality to your teacher resume.

Try one of our 2 FREE teacher resume templates:

  1. Substitute teacher resume examples
  2. Professor resume examples

Creating the ideal teacher resume outline

You’re a teacher, we don’t need to sell you on the value of a good outline.

  • Objective
  • Teaching Experience
  • Education
  • Certifications
  • Soft Skills
  • Interests
  • Favorite books
  • References

How to pick the right resume layout for your needs

As a teacher, you’ve had more first impressions than you can count. But you know they’re still tremendously important.

That applies just as much to teacher resumes. The layout you use will speak volumes before anyone has read a word.

teacher resume templates
  • Basic layout - Let’s say you want to create a substitute teacher resume with no experience. This layout is better for anyone who doesn’t have a lot to include on their resume but wants it to fill a page and look great.
  • Professional layout - Just because this is our standard layout doesn’t mean it’s not going to get the job done. If you’re a typical teacher with a few years of experience to show, this is an ideal choice.
  • Simple layout - If you’re looking to create a more experienced teacher resume, this layout fits more experience on one page without looking cluttered.
  • Creative layout - Being a great teacher is a lot about personality, so a layout that shows some is always a good choice. This layout emphasizes modern, eye-catching design.

On the whole, this is what you should be thinking about when choosing a teacher resume layout:

  • Be sure it sends the right message about your personality, passion, and approach to teaching
  • It should be easy on the eyes (the person reading 100 resumes in a day will thank you)
  • It should present your most important teaching experience and qualifications at the top
  • It should work with ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems)
  • It should be sent as a PDF

Nail all of these things, and you’ll be on your way to getting that interview (and the job!)

What should you include in your resume header?

This is one of those teacher resume elements you could describe as “deceptively simple.”

But before you put in your name, email, location, etc. and move on, stop to consider how you can make the first section a resume reader sees more effective.

A teacher resume header should have:

  • Your name and certifications: Teaching certifications vary tremendously by state, but putting any relevant ones right up next to your name gives your entire resume a certain gravitas and professionalism. If the license is simply an acronym, best to put it next to your name at the top. If it’s longer, put it below in your title.
  • Basic and important information: This is going to vary based on the type of teacher you are but something like the subject you specialize in, sports you might like to coach, or anything else you’d like the reader to learn right away.
  • Ways to get in touch: Consider how you’d like to be contacted and how the person reading your resume might want to contact you. Generally, a professional email and phone number are sufficient.
Olivia Jackson
APT licensed elementary school teacher specializing in math education

Website/Link

Salt Lake City, UT
RIGHT
Olivia Jackson
Elementary School Math Teacher

Website/Link

Salt Lake City, UT
WRONG

Notice how the first example makes Olivia seem more professional, qualified, and confident right away. That’s a first impression that can really make a difference.

PRO TIPCertain schools, states, and countries have policies about whether you can include a photo or other personal information on your resume. To make sure you follow the rules, check online or call the school to confirm what their policy is.

Writing the ideal resume objective or summary

One of the most important things to show as a teacher is your motivation and passion for the work.

That’s where a resume summary or objective can come into play.

Think of this as the movie trailer to your resume: short, sweet, and it gets you ready to read the rest.

For example:

Summary
An elementary school math teacher who studied at the University of Utah, has 4 years experience, and is looking for a new teaching position.
WRONG

Notice how that summary only gives you very basic information you can easily find elsewhere on the resume? It also doesn’t grab your attention and make you want to continue reading.

Now let’s see that same summary written differently:

Summary
After 4 years teaching 1st grade math at Backman Elementary School I’m looking to fulfill a lifelong interest in Montessori teaching methods at the Montessori School of Salt Lake. I’m particularly interested in using these methods to build better counting and basic addition skills.
RIGHT

But what if you’re a teacher with no experience?

Summary
A recent University of Utah Education graduate with a teaching certification looking for a high school history English or Writing teaching position. I’m a passionate writer who’s been published in 2 literary journals and who has a desire to allow students to use writing to get ahead in life the same way it helped me.
RIGHT

A teacher resume summary or objective should:

  • Show passion or motivation when possible
  • Explain your educational or experience background
  • Mention the subject and position you’re interested in
  • Be specific
  • Say something about who you are and what you’re good at
  • Be addressed to the specific job you’re applying for

How to show your teaching experience on a resume

The way you include your experience for a teaching job has to be tailored.

Emphasize test prep and scores to a school that resents the focus on testing in modern education, and you won’t be sending the right message.

If you’re applying to a school with another focus, make sure you highlight how your experience makes you qualified to address it.

Your teacher resume needs to focus on demonstrating that you’re the perfect teacher for that role, not necessarily that you’re a great teacher in general.

These examples show what you can do to make your teaching experience more effective.

Teacher resume experience examples: