In the same way that a sales recruiter wants to see that you’ve worked in sales, so do recruiters for teaching jobs want to see that you have the right qualifications, the right experience and the right stuff to be allowed to work with kids. They are likely to ask you to get a police clearance check before you work with minors, so this is one time when you definitely don’t want to tell too many lies. Let’s see what you should include after the basics:
See also: How to Become a Primary School Teacher
Before you can be allowed to educate anyone else, recruiters will want to know that you have the right qualifications. In the case of a teaching résumé, you might choose to put your education higher up to emphasize what you have, especially if it’s recent and you don’t have much experience. General requirements include:
- Summer school English: CELTA, experience, and usually a degree in any subject
- UK mainstream schools: Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) gained either through a teaching degree or a first degree, and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
- US mainstream schools: Education degree or other degree, and a certification/license
2. Criminal record
If you’re looking to work with children, you’re going to be asked to get a criminal record check so that they can be sure you’re safe around them. In the UK, this is a DBS check; in the US, it’s the less catchy Federal Criminal History Background Check. If you already have one, mention it on your résumé or cover letter. If you don’t have one, check the advertisement – if it doesn’t say you must have a current check, you can still apply and they should help you get one.
3. Work experience
Obviously, you want to start with your teaching experience. If your teaching experience is limited or there are other jobs you want to add, then try to only include those jobs that can be linked to teaching in some way. Sales jobs prove you’re good with people, coaching jobs show an interest in sport and good leadership, and proofreading shows you have a way with words and good grammar.
Brief, but not too brief
The keyword when talking about résumés is always "brief", but six positions of "Teacher" will just be confusing, even if they’re well-known institutions. Try to include:
- Type of institution, unless it’s in the name.
- Student level: beginners? GCSE? College?
- Exams you’ve taught for.
- Class size. Have you only worked one on one? Small groups? Larger groups?
- Student age. No need to be too specific, but were they children? Teenagers? Adults?
You may want to save space by writing it as a sentence: "General English at a summer camp, teaching groups of 4 to 12 teenagers."
4. Skills and equipment
You may include this in the work experience section, but if each job is the same then it’s more efficient to have it separate; again, you may choose to put this section earlier. This is your chance to match what you can use to what the advertisement says they provide or to tell them what you like and find out if they have it. If you don’t know anything, let them know what you can do and how willing you are to learn!
- Are you old-school and perfectly content with a textbook and whiteboard?
- Maybe you like the freedom of no textbooks?
- Do you like to have a computer with Internet and a projector?
- Do you like to have a Smart Board?
- Are you a science teacher who’s been spoiled by high-tech labs and can’t do without certain things?
Check your page count. Is it more than one? Go back to the job description and start making sure everything matches. Do they mention an age range? Emphasize the experience that matches that range and consider removing any that’s with five-year-olds when you’re going to be teaching adults.
Reconsider the bullet point about that time you’re proud of when you brilliantly answered a tricky question. Answering questions is what teachers do, and unless it was tricky because it was one of those innocent questions kids can ask when they don’t know any better, or you dumbed down a more advanced part of the syllabus, having it as one of your biggest achievements might make them wonder what was going on all the rest of the time.
6. Hobbies and interests
If you have space – just a little – you might want to throw in any relevant hobbies or interests. Are you a sporty PE teacher, or an English teacher who loves languages or reading and writing? Are you a Geography teacher who loves travelling, or a science teacher who goes camping to study different flowers and animals? Just like with any other position, it’s good to look well-rounded... as long as what you’re putting is unique, it can be the thing that gets you in for the interview the same way a £999.99 price tag makes you more likely to make a big purchase.