Resume Tips From A Recently Employed Educator

By Trevor Fritz, July 2013

After meeting with various teachers, administrators, “resume pros,” interviewers, fellow students, mentors, and so on, I felt that I was able to finally condense everything I learned into a creative and effective resume. I was able to successfully attain a job as a social science teacher at a Chicago land high school and believe much of my success began with my resume. Below is a list of tips and advice that I believe should be helpful to teachers, especially new ones, as they search for jobs. Feel free to comment, add on, and especially criticize what I have to say (I do not believe that this list is the end all be all of resume tips, it is simply what I felt was the most effective during my interview process):

  1. One page resumes (especially new teachers)
    Why?
    1. I found many educators pushed me to have a 2 page resume. Condensing to 1 page is important because new teachers tend to fall short on significant meaningful experience, which make a resume 2 or more pages long.
    2. These jobs are extremely competitive. Think 250 applicants for a single opening. When I see a couple paragraph news article, sure I’ll read it. If the same article is 5 pages long, most times I will take a pass (As I think to myself, I cannot even follow my own advice writing this blog)
  2. GET INVOLVED
    1. Get involved with your school and in your community and anything that has to do with working with kids (camps, babysitting, volunteer work)
    2. Everyone will tell you, join groups that have to do with your major (NCSS for me). Just by paying that $35 student rate fee for joining groups means very little on your resume. Try and get involved in these groups however you can so you have something meaningful to write in your resume or say in an interview. If you are young this shows you are a go getter.
  3. FORMAT CORRECTLY
    1. No white spaces or areas. Do not use just a simple line as a space. Using the page layout tools to put different spaces like 6 pt and 3 pt. between lines. I used 6 pt. for section spaces and 3 pt. for lists under the sections
    2. Have clearly defined sections of your resume. For this everyone’s may be different depending on their experience and skills. I played with the margins also so that it fit on a single page and go rid of the standard 1” margins.
  4. DO NOT STATE THE OBVIOUS
    1. Do not write that you are CPR certified, Suicide Prevention Suicide Certified (for my Indiana peeps), or you followed students IEPs during student teaching. It is a given that you are certified and followed IEPS otherwise it would be illegal for you to teach
    2. If you are a basketball coach, do not write you helped players with their jump shots. It sounds childish and pretty obvious, if you organized activities or did something significant put that down, otherwise leave it as Coach Basketball at _____ (I made this mistake on my resume and it made it look a bit unprofessional)
  5. BE MYSTERIOUS
    1. In other words your resume should give a brief but descriptive outline of yourself, but leave it open for a conversation where it leaves the reader wanting to know more about YOU
    2. I ALWAYS say this to my friends when I look at their resumes. You do not need a ton of bullet points under each activity you did. While you should highlight the important aspects of your job or activity, leave some things open for discussion during interviews.
    3. For example, I did UVA’s Semester at Sea and I left my description sounding exciting but leaving out details. It has come up in almost every interview I have had. When talking about things that are truly impressive you have done, your words spoken will excite an administrator much more than your words written.
  6. OBJETIVE
    1. Make sure that you have an objective- “To obtain a challenging and rewarding position……”
  7. CLEAR AND CONCISE IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
    1. When you are writing do not fluff up your resume with long drawn out impressive sentences. Be clear and concise with what you want to say. Remember there are 250 other resumes fighting for that same job
      As a final note I want everyone reading this to know that this is simply my take on a solid resume. I am in still in search of answers, information and guidance. With that said, feel free to give me feedback, whether it’s something positive like, “Trevor you are a genius” (which I know is doubtful) or if you want to take a huge dump on my post and say something like, “How the hell did you get job?” Either way, give me your opinion and comments because my hope is to get some discussion going to further my development along with others in the teaching community.
      You can contact Trevor at ttfritz8@gmail.com or find me on twitter MrFritz8.