Teachers don’t have it easy when it comes to applying for jobs.
Often, the best positions can require long commutes or moves, and competition is fierce. That’s why you need more than just an average Teacher resume example or simple word template if you want to stand out from the crowd.
Job seekers today need to create an application plan that’s as well-thought-out as a great lesson plan. In this guide, we’ll show you how to hit all the right notes in order to land the perfect teaching position.
““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
You’re a Teacher—we don’t need to sell you on the value of a good outline. But in case you’ve been too busy grading your students’ exams, here’s a quick reminder of what your resume should probably include:
A good resume combines all of these into a seamless template that looks great and is easy to read.
How to choose the right Teacher resume template:
As a Teacher, you’ve probably had more first impressions than you can count. You probably know just how important they can be.
The same applies to your resume: the layout you use will speak volumes about you before anyone has so much as read a word of text.
Basic layout - Let’s say that your experience is limited, and you want to create a Substitute Teacher resume that looks great. This layout is perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a whole lot to include on their resume, but wants it to fill a page with the right spacing.
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 Teacher with a few years of experience to show, this layout 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 show it. This layout emphasizes modern, eye-catching design, giving you room to show who you are.
On the whole, think about the following when choosing the right 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 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 System)
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 to include on your Teacher resume header:
It may seem obvious, but your resume header needs to communicate as much information as possible about who you are in the limited space that you have.
Let’s think about it for a second: before you put your name, email, and location on there and call it a day, stop to consider how you can make the first section in your resume the most impactful it can be.
A Teacher resume header should have the following:
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 may vary based on the type of Teacher you are, but always think about the importance of your passions. It may be the subject you specialize in, the sports you might like to coach, or something else—but if you can fit it in, it’ll go the extra mile.
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.
Elementary School Math Teacher
Salt Lake City, UT
APT licensed elementary school Teacher specializing in math education
Salt Lake City, UT
Notice how the second example makes Olivia seem more professional, qualified, and confident right away. That’s the kind of 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.
How to write the ideal Teacher resume objective or summary:
One of the most important things to show as a Teacher is your motivation and passion for the job.
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 to the point.
It should also set the stage, and pique the interest of whomever is reading your resume. In short: it should get the hiring manager ready to read the rest.
3 Teacher Resume Examples - Objective [2 + 1]
An elementary school math Teacher who studied at the University of Utah, has 4 years experience, and is looking for a new teaching position.
Did you notice how this summary only gives you very basic information you can easily find elsewhere on the resume? It also doesn’t grab your attention or make you want to continue reading.
Now, let’s see that same summary, but written slightly differently:
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.
But what if you’re a Teacher with no experience? Check out this example:
New Teacher Resume Summary Sample
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 has been published in two literary journals and who has a desire to allow students to use writing to get ahead in life the same way it helped me.
A Teacher resume summary or objective should do the following:
Show passion or motivation whenever possible
Explain your educational or experience background
Mention the subject and position you’re interested in
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:
It’s obvious: the way you include your experience for a teaching job has to be tailored to the kind of school to which you’re applying.
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 specific role—not necessarily that you’re a great Teacher in general.
These examples show what you can do to tailor your teaching experience more effectively:
This kind of vague experience listing isn’t going to fit any schools at all.
If your Teacher resume includes a bullet point about creating lesson plans, it may as well point out that you showed up for work every day and did your job. It’s too obvious—so make sure to leave it out.
Additionally, the other bullet points are vague and totally subjective to the point that they’re devoid of meaning.
The result is an experience section that falls flat.
Ultimately, no Principal or Superintendent is looking to hire a Teacher who will do the bare minimum. Teachers are expected to make a difference—so it’s vital to show that on your resume.
Your experience section should be where you demonstrate how impactful you can be.
PRO TIPBesides tailoring your experience to the exact school and position you’re applying to, be sure to only include what’s relevant. The person reading your resume is probably as busy as you are, so don’t waste their time.
What if I’m looking to become a Substitute Teacher but have no experience?
You don’t have any formal teaching experience or certifications, but you really want to be a Substitute Teacher. What can you do to show that you’re actually qualified?
In short: you need to focus on demonstrating that you have the right temperament, skills, and availability.
Try mentioning examples of instances where you demonstrated an ability to manage kids, handle stressful situations, think on your feet, and generally be flexible. You may have never been a Teacher, but your experience can still show that you’re ready to be a Substitute Teacher.
How to show your education on a Teacher resume:
A more experienced Teacher may not need to focus so much on their education—but if you’re an entry level Teacher with only a few years of experience, your educational section should be a pillar of your resume.
Here’s what you can add to your education section:
Relevant courses (related to your subject, or teaching in general)
Any relevant clubs or organizations in which you participated
Your GPA (if relevant)
Here’s an example of a Teacher resume education section:
Good Teacher Resume - Education Samples
Bachelor of Science, Science and Social StudiesOhio University Patton College of Education
Why not include more specifics about your education? Simple: these details just aren’t as relevant anymore 10 years after you graduated. New certifications, as well the skills that you’ve gained through your teaching experience, are usually what hiring managers are after.
Here’s an example of an entry-level Teacher’s education section:
Bachelor of Science, Science and Social StudiesOhio University Patton College of Education
Worked with Professor Haroldson to co-author a paper on the impact Ohio vocational schools are having on science education in the International Journal of Science Education
Spent 2 semesters in a placement program teaching science at Edison ElementarySpent 2 semesters in a placement program teaching science at Edison Elementary
Graduated with a 3.78 GPA
This example shows your drive, focus, and passion in just three bullet points. This person may not have any formal work experience as a Teacher, but they clearly have what it takes to hit the ground running.
The best skills to include on a Teacher resume:
Are you familiar with anti-plagiarism software? Do you build websites in your free time? (Most school ones could use a refresh.) Were you in theater back in university?
There are myriad skills a Teacher can have, and a lot of them are extremely useful. So, how do you choose what skills to include?
Choosing the right technical skills for a Teacher resume:
You may not associate technical skills with teaching, but as technology quickly becomes a pillar of the classroom, that is changing.
PowerpointWord/Google DocsCloud storage/File sharingBlackboardPhotoshopSocial media
These can, of course, be tailored to the school to which you’re applying. Did you notice the school uses Blackboard? Mention you have experience with it. Do you think the photos on the school’s website could use a refresh? Mention your skills with Photoshop.
Just don’t forget that soft skills are always going to be more important on any Teacher resume.
How to include soft skills on a Teacher resume:
The classic way is just to list them.
Problem is: what does simply stating that you’re a good team player really mean?
Honestly, these days, not much.
That’s why including examples which show your soft skills is imperative. Check out the example below:
When a neighboring school had to be shut down because its roof suffered damage in a storm, I was able to handle a sudden doubling of my class sizes.
During my early teaching career, I had to handle students from rival gangs in the same class. I was able to reduce disruption and physical fights by 40% compared to what had occurred in the preceding year.
When the aforementioned class size doubling occured, I successfully prepared lesson plans for different sets of students at different stages in the curriculum at once.
Notice how each example shows that you’re not just stating that you have a particular skill.
The result is a far more impactful Teacher resume.
PRO TIPYou can include these kinds of skill-validating details in a skill section, your experience section, or even your education section. What matters is that the experience is on your resume.
Top soft skills to include on your Teacher resume:
Working under pressure
How to list teaching certifications on a resume:
In short: feature them prominently. If you’re a first-time Teacher, you need to show you’re certified. If you’re a more experienced Teacher, newer certifications can show that you’re still actively learning and improving.
Either way, it’s essential that you include them.
You can list your certifications in your resume header (as explained above) or, if you have more than one or two, in a dedicated certifications section.
What other sections can improve a teaching resume?
At the end of the day, being a Teacher is more than just your technical achievements and certifications. A great Teacher exudes empathy, personality, and attention to both their students and their lesson plans. That’s why showing your personality on your resume is key.
A section devoted to what you’re most proud of as a Teacher—also an excellent place to include relevant experience from outside of work or your education—is a great way to get a flavor of who you are. So too is including your favorite books (either about education or about your specific subject), or a section about your teaching methods.
Either way, these sections demonstrate your passion and dedication, essential traits for any Teacher looking to land a great position.
Key Takeaways: What makes a great Teacher resume?
Use the right layout for your experience level.
Show your qualifications in your resume header.
Make sure your resume summary is specific, professional, and eye-catching by explaining your passion for teaching and future career ambitions.
Carefully choose the skills to emphasize based on the job description, and a careful study of the school’s needs.
Exhibit your teaching experience with specific examples of when you went above and beyond.
Show the impact you’ve had inside and outside the classroom.
Make sure your resume has all of your certifications front and center.
Don’t be afraid to show your passion and personality throughout.
Looking to build your own Teacher resume?
Enhancv is a simple tool for building eye-catching resumes that stand out and get results.
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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