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…
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:
Creating the ideal teacher resume outline
You’re a teacher, we don’t need to sell you on the value of a good outline.
- Teaching Experience
- Soft Skills
- Favorite books
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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:
But what if you’re a teacher with no experience?
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:
Of course, this kind of experience isn’t going to fit every school. However, the example below isn’t going to fit any schools.
If your teacher resume points out that you created lesson plans, it may as well point out that you showed up for work every day and did your job. Leave off anything that’s so obvious.
Additionally, the other bullets are vague and subjective enough to be almost meaningless.
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 this.
What if I’m looking to be a substitute teacher but have no experience?
If you don’t have any formal teaching experience or certifications, what can you do to show you’re qualified to substitute?
In short, focusing on demonstrating 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 you’re ready to substitute.
How to show your education
While a more experienced teacher doesn’t need to focus much on their education, if you have less than a few years of experience, it should be a focus of your teacher resume.
Here’s what you can add to your education section:
- Relevant courses (this could be related to your subject or to teaching in general)
- Any clubs or organizations you participated in which might be relevant
- Your GPA (if relevant)
Here’s an example of a teacher resume education section:
Why not include more details? Simple, 10 years after graduation, those details just aren’t very relevant anymore. Instead, you would expect to see more information on new certifications and what skills have been gained through teaching experience.
Here’s an example of an entry level teacher’s education section:
This example shows you drive, focus, and passion in just three bullets. 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 for 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?
The number of skills which could be useful for a teacher is vast. So how can you choose what to include?
Choosing the right technical skills
You may not associate technical skills with teaching, but with technology coming into the classroom more and more, that’s changed.
These can be based on the school. Notice they use Blackboard? Mention you have experience with it. Think the photos on their website could use with some touch-ups? Mention your Photoshop skills.
Still, soft skills are always going to be more of a focus for any teacher resume.
How to include soft skills on your resume
The classic way to do this is to just list them.
Problem is, what does simply stating that you’re a good team player really mean?
Honestly, not much. That’s why you should try and include examples which show you have these skills, as in the example below:
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 Tip: You 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 evidence is on your resume.
How to choose the right skills to emphasize from a teaching job description
Go through the job description with a fine tooth-comb and make some notes on what you think are the most important aspects of the job you're applying for.
We could hardly have put it better. A resume that clearly shows you have the precise skills mentioned in the job offers is going to be far more effective.
Here’s exactly how to do that, as demonstrated by a real job offer example from Indeed.com:
“Under direction of the school principal, plans and provides for appropriate learning experiences for students. Provides an atmosphere and environment conducive to the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development of individuals to ensure Success for Every Student. Supervises students in a variety of school related settings. Monitors and evaluates student outcomes. Communicates and interacts with students, parents, staff and community. Develops, selects and modifies instructional plans and materials to meet the needs of all students.”
Now let’s take those keywords and see how you can reflect them in your teacher resume.
Under direction: You’re going to be expected to take direction, try and mention cases when you did this in your experience section. Plans and provides: You should be able to plan and then follow through on things. You can mentioned cases when you did this in your experience or education sections. Success for every student: This is more of a teaching philosophy. You can show that this is important to you by mentioning a book related to it or listing it as a value. Variety of school related settings: You’ll be expected to work well outside of the classroom, mention when you’ve done this in your experience. Monitors and evaluates: You’re going to be grading and helping students develop (no surprise there), but try and mention any cases where you’ve helped a student or class improve test scores or something similar. Communicates and interacts: You’ll need to be the face of the school from time to time. Mention public speaking experience or volunteering work. Develops, selects and modifies: Be sure to mention that you’ve developed and honed lesson plans over time if possible.
From this example, you can see just how to pick out key skills and ensure they’re reflected in your resume.
How should you 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 worth including 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 your resume?
Being a teacher is such a human and person to person kind of job that really showing your personality on a teacher resume makes sense.
This could be through a section devoted to what you’re most proud of (also an excellent place to include relevant experience from outside of work or your education).
Or, you could include your favorite books (either about how to educate or about your specific subject).
Either way, you’re demonstrating passion, and dedication, essential skills for any teacher.
- It uses the right layout for your experience level.
- Your resume header shows your qualifications.
- The resume summary is specific, professional, and eye-catching by explaining your passion for teaching and future career ambitions.
- You’ve carefully chosen the skills to emphasize based on the job description and a careful study of the school’s needs.
- Your teaching experience is full of specific examples when you went above and beyond to have an impact inside and outside the classroom.
- The resume has all of your certifications front and center.
- There's passion and personality sprinkled throughout.