Whether you are new to teaching, are coming back to teaching after time off, or are leaving your corporate job for a teaching position, you will need to make sure that your resume and cover letter address the following four questions future employers may have. If you are able to clearly and confidently communicate your passion, commitment and patience for education, schools are sure to sit up and take notice.
1. What is your motivation for teaching?
This question separates the candidates who view teaching as strictly a “job”, to those who see teaching as their life’s calling and livelihood. Schools want to hire teachers who put education and the needs of the student at the forefront, not as a means to some other end. In both the cover letter and resume, it is essential for your reasons for teaching to be highlighted. On the resume, create a career objective or mission statement that succinctly describes your passion for teaching. In the cover letter, you can further outline your teaching goals and classroom style.
2. What are your qualifications?
Create a section on your resume with your credentials and certifications clearly bullet pointed. List all the relevant coursework, trainings and degrees that make you well-qualified to be an educator. If you are looking to teach in a particular area of study, make sure that your knowledge and qualification in this area have been communicated. If applicable, you can also create another section listing your publication in academic journals, textbooks and presentations given at seminars.
3) What is your experience?
Instead of, or in addition to, using a resume formatted in chronological order, consider clustering your experience together in sets of skills that show your experience in the field. This is an efficient way to have recruiters focus in on your professional achievements with out having to weed the information out from a long list of jobs held. Try using categories that fit the job you are seeking such as “Curriculum Development”, “Science Facilitation”, “Mentoring” and more. If you do not have “real-world” experience, a resume grouped by skill sets is a great way to play down your actual “greenness” because you can still describe skills learned in school, in student teaching environments, internships, and volunteer work.
4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Even though you may just be starting out, employers are always interested in your long-term goals. It seems almost cliche to say “where do you see yourself in 10 years”, but inquiring minds want to know! Are you looking to stay in the classroom at the same grade level or are you planning on heading back to school for an advanced degree? Do you want to work your way up into school administration or eventually transfer your skill set into field that supports education? Regardless of your actual goals, employers will be impressed to see that you have aspirations, a desire to succeed in new jobs and a plan of action to get there.