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Guide to writing a successful educator resume in 7 steps

Guide to writing a successful educator resume in 7 steps

If you are currently on an education-sector job hunt then it is important that you have an up-to-date resume, one that is curated for the position you are applying for.  This will better the chances of your resume reaching the desk of a person for an interview. As a rule of thumb, stay clear of complicated formats filled with graphs and fancy design choices, and avoid having so much information that it looks as though you are not able to concisely describe the skills and attributes that link you to the position you are applying for. Let’s be honest, recruiters look at your resume for less than 10 seconds. If that’s all the time you have to make your case, you should make sure your information is organized, polished, up-to-date, and relevant.

Let’s begin this guide with perhaps our most important professional advice: when writing your resume, it’s imperative that you customize it to the job posting and to what the employer is telling you they are searching for. We will explain in detail exactly what this entails and the steps you can follow to ensure you are demonstrating how you meet the requirements the employer has stated in the job posting. 

Before you start editing your current resume, be sure to start with a simple format.  Avoid using fancy formatting or complicated templates. At first glance, this can be distracting for HR personnel and, most importantly, it will make it harder for ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to scan your resume. Not sure what an ATS is? An ATS is a system that employers use to load and scan your resume for keywords to match to a specific job posting. Many but not all ATS  use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to filter resumes that don’t meet certain requirements, which means those will never reach a recruiter or HR professional. We will discuss this in more detail in the following sections. 

Most people already have an old resume to start with. Even if it feels very outdated to you, start from what you have and then follow along to improve the information you have collected over the years. We will show you where and how to enhance it by adding keywords, how to increase your chances of it reaching a real person after being scanned through an ATS, and how to review what you have written before applying for the job.  

Let’s start with a simple “Do’s and Don'ts” list to make sure we are on the same page: 

Do's

✅ Start with a simple template: don’t use overly colorful designs, graphs, tables, etc.

✅ Try to keep it 2 pages- 3 maximum if it is a high-level role you are applying for, but remember the 10-second rule: if you write too much information it will never be read.

✅Ensure it is easy to read by using a straightforward and concise style

✅ Customize your resume to the job you are applying for. That means adding information that is relevant to that particular job, keywords that are present in the job posting, and showing where you have relevant experience

Don’ts 

❌Don’t use fancy formatting, it will make it harder for an ATS to scan it. You can find free templates and formats online.

❌Don’t use graphs, images, charts, tables, etc. 

❌ Don’t simply create a list of skills/keywords, this information must be integrated in a way that seems natural and supported by examples 

❌ Don’t add general statements that end up being too broad and vague. All your information must be relevant and accompanied by specific examples.

Now, let's get started!

 

Step 1: Print/save the job posting 

Since our initial and most important recommendation is to customize your resume to the job you are applying for, the first step will be to print or save the job posting. This will allow you to see exactly what information the employer is looking for. Additionally, it’ll make it easier for you to remember specific examples of experiences you have that should be included, as well as what you should highlight, and what needs to be added. 

It’s okay if you don´t meet every requirement, employers have a “wish list” of requirements and some are more important than others. If you hold the majority of experience and skills that the position is looking for then it is still reasonable to apply for the role. Remember to use the job posting as a guide to work your way through your resume and serve as a map to success. Read it carefully and save it to cross reference your information. 

Here are some examples of job postings so you can see the information they have included, the list of requirements/skills, and what the employer is looking for:

1)

2)

 

Step 2: Add your contact information

The first section should be your contact information. At the top of your resume add your full name, phone number, email address, and your general location. This will make it easier for HR recruiters and ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to find the required information. 

In case you are wondering, your location information is usually included because it will help recruiters know if you are local to the area where the job will be taking place. With remote jobs, recruiters often need to know which timezone you are in, which is why including the general city area where you are can help narrow down what time of day you would be completing your work. Additionally, double-check that your phone and email information is correct as this will be the method recruiters will use to get in touch with you.

Some people decide to include their LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts in this section, does that mean you should? Our take is that “it depends”. Adding your LinkedIn profile will sometimes be required by the job posting, in which case it is absolutely necessary to make sure it is up-to-date, i.e, it must reflect the same information you have on your resume, to avoid any discrepancies. Your LinkedIn profile should have your updated job positions, certifications, and publications (if any). If your LinkedIn profile is not as polished as you’d like then it would probably be best to not include it, but make sure to give it a look nevertheless, because recruiters may search for it even if you don’t choose to include it. 

When it comes to your other social media profiles, we recommend adding them only if it is relevant to the job you are applying for and if they will portray a professional image. If the answer to both of those circumstances is “no”, then you should not include your social media handles. 


Don'ts

❌ There is no need to add your exact address. Your email and phone number are more than enough for recruiters to contact you. 

❌ Do not include your current job email address or phone number. 

Example: 

✅  Robert Simpson

451-125-1234
RobertSimpson@gmail.com 

Brooklyn, NY

 

✅  Jane Smith, Ph.D. 

123-456-7891
JaneSmith@gmail.com 

Toronto, Bloor St W

LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/Jane-Smith

 

Step 3: Professional Summary for Teachers

There are mixed reviews on including professional summaries on your resume. It is at the top of the page, and the first thing a person will see, which means it could be considered the most valuable real estate on the page. So what you should consider is ensuring to use this space wisely.

Some people choose to use bullet points to highlight the most important skills/experience they bring to the role, your top selling points if you will. Others choose to have a few key sentences explaining who they are and what they bring to the role. There is no right or wrong choice here. The important thing is that, whatever you decide to add, keep it brief, concise, and easy to read. 


To help you get started we recommend you write down your achievements, previous experiences, and the skills that are a direct match for the job. This is not the place to add every single job you’ve ever had or every certification you have completed, only the ones that absolutely relate to the position. Make sure to not overuse keywords or you could come off as spammy or simply sound unnatural. Include numbers, data, and specific examples to support your claims.

For example, if you are applying for a team leader position then adding the number of people you have led before will be relevant. If you are applying for a teaching position, then your information could include the years of experience you have or which subjects or grades you have taught.

To make it specific to the job you are applying for, analyze the job description and take note of:

  • The job requirements 

  • The skills they are looking for 

  • The industry-specific keywords and phrases they are using to match their language in your own description 

 

💡 Quick tip to get you started

You can begin by describing yourself through your role and qualifications. Then, establish the connection between your expertise and what you can bring to the table. Finish this by adding a specific aspect that sets you apart, and give a solid reason why you would be a great fit. 

 

Example:

Preschool teacher with 5+ years of experience and a diploma in Early Childhood Education. My focus has been creating enriching activities to promote emotional, linguistic, and social growth in children. I’m known for fostering an inclusive environment within the classroom for the purpose of creating a natural learning environment that encourages children to grow, improve and learn in a safe space, all based on current infant and childhood research. 

 

Step 4: Describe your core skills, responsibilities, and experiences for an education-related resume 


Our main recommendation for this section is to make it as useful and informational as possible to potential recruiters. This is not meant to be a simple list, instead, you should add the information in a way that seems natural and is supported through specific examples.  Focus on the skills, experiences, and responsibilities you have successfully completed in the past, that you will directly apply to this position.

If the job posting has listed the specific skills you require, then make sure you show how/where you meet them. This section should answer the question “why would this employer hire you?” 

 

✅ Remember to add the skills that directly relate to the job you are applying for and to keep it short and concise, not more than a sentence per skill/experience mentioned.

✅ Don’t be afraid to get specific. For example, include skills such as a second language, classroom management systems and databases, and knowledge of a subject as well as people skills (such as patience, flexibility, teamwork, critical thinking, planning, and time management). They should be included in a way that lines up with the job description and is supported by examples.

❌ Avoid using generic phrases like “an organized individual with strong computer skills” because that doesn’t really tell anything about you and what you have actually done in the past.

✅ Instead, be as specific as possible, explain what you did in that role, and avoid adding a list of buzzwords. 

 

If you don’t know where to being, start by answering these questions:

  • What tasks have you been responsible for?

  • What was your particular role in that task?

  • What was the result?

 

Example: 

  • Instead of listing “people management” as a skill, you can say “managed a cross-department team of 5 to complete project-based work to quarterly deadlines.”

  • Instead of saying you are “an organized individual with strong computer skills” you can say “Maintained 82 student records using a computer database to ensure proper reporting of assessments and communication with administration & parents” or “Managed a team of 12 through hiring, training, and career development using monthly performance reports and assessment data.

 

💡 Remember: anyone can write a list of skills. Employers need to see that you have explicit examples of where you have done this and what it looked like in order to view you as a potential employee.

 

Step 5: Add your professional experience

This is where you show what your experience is, and specifically which roles you have worked in previously. Starting with your most recent position (using the correct job title), add 3-6 responsibilities, tasks, or skills you demonstrated for that role. Each role should have a list of responsibilities and what you accomplished there. You can write them in bullet form to make them easier to read. The responsibilities are meant to describe what you did, and the accomplishments are meant to explain the outcome and the specific way in which you performed your duty.

💡 Quick tip to get you started

Start your work history with your current or more recent position. It should be the most detailed one as it is the most recent. Add examples and quantifiable information when possible. 

Recruiters tend to prefer a chronological resume.  

✅ Add results-focused facts: focus on what made your involvement in that position innovative, different, or special

✅ Add numbers and concrete measures whenever possible, and showcase your accomplishments with specific figures

✅ List your roles in reverse chronological order (most recent first)

✅ Start with the most relevant information: company, job title, and employment dates 

✅ Make sure you’re only adding relevant and valuable information 

✅ Talk only about yourself, your involvement, and your accomplishments

❌ Avoid talking about the company or the basic requirements of the position 

 

This process can take some time. To make it easier, you can start by listing the positions you have held, and then go back and add the details. You may find talking with someone else about what you did there will help you to formulate the language to describe what your key responsibilities were. 

 

Example: 

Apple High School, Academic Advisor, Toronto, 2015-2022

  • Implement and monitor progress plans for 212 students yearly to understand their educational needs, and requirements for graduation, support, enrichment,  and planning for intervention when needed.

  • Completed assessments to identify career options and requirements based on skills, interests, and goals upon graduation for all students from grade 10 to grade 12

  • Assessed and audited course selections for all students to ensure college admissions requirements were successfully met, reporting to the Principal for any intervention requirements. 

  • Oversaw parent communication in regard to questions, and concerns through meetings and phone calls

 

Step 6: Add your education

In this final section, add your education, qualifications, and certifications. Include any degree beyond high school and do so in reverse chronological order. You can include degrees you are currently studying and haven’t finished by labeling them as “in progress”.

Remember: 

  • For each aspect of this section add the degree, institution, location, and date of completion. 

  • Only add your high school information if you haven’t had any further education, training, or certification. 

 

Example:

Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, 2014

 

Step 7: Take one final look 

Take the job description and double-check you are adding all the necessary information and meeting the employer’s expectations through clear proof of your skills, qualifications, and experiences. 

Then go through your resume, cross-reference, and check off the aspects of the job description you believe you meet. Make sure you have demonstrated exactly how you meet the requirements, when you took that certification, in what instances did you apply that ability, etc. You don’t need to guarantee every item, but meeting the majority of the requirements will be an advantage. 

 

More Information about ATS: Make your resume ATS-proof

Did you know many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) use an AI to filter resumes before they reach the desk of a recruiter or HR professional? Understanding how they work can improve your chances of getting a resume in front of an interviewer. Although not every employer will use an ATS, we think it’s better to apply to the position assuming they will. 

Your resume will eventually reach the hands of a recruiter or HR person so, while considering these ATS tips, make sure your resume is still catered to the human eye as well.  If you have followed our recommendations closely, your resume should be ready but it can’t hurt to double-check. 

 

To ensure your resume successfully is parsed through an ATS, make sure you 

✅ Apply only to roles you are truly qualified for through your core skills. 

✅ Use keywords that align with the job posting and tailor your skills & experiences to them. 

✅ Unless the job posting says otherwise, we recommend using a .docx file. 

✅ Add your contact information at the top, and start your work history with your current or most recent position. Both the ATS and the recruiters tend to prefer a chronological resume.  

 

❌Don’t apply to dozens of positions from the same company, because it will look like you don’t know what you are interested in.

❌ Add only the necessary keywords that actually apply to you by using natural language, don’t overuse them or include tiny text hidden in the margins.

❌Don’t go overboard with fancy formatting or design, it will make it harder for the ATS to scan it. Stay clear from tables, text boxes, graphics or graphs, columns, hyperlinks, headers, and footers. 

 

Final thoughts

Once you have a polished and well-curated resume, it is always a great idea to have a second person to run their eyes over it. Even better: give them the job posting to review and see if there is any information you may have missed or could have included. Once you have done a final review you will be ready for the most exciting step: apply for that job position!

We hope this thorough guide has been helpful to you in this job-hunting process. We know it might not always be easy, but your new customized and updated resume is here to give you the necessary boost. We are sure you are now one step closer to finding your next opportunity. To have a better chance of finding an opportunity for which you are qualified, we recommend that you look at niche job boards that target the sector you are interested in working in. You can check out the Job Board section of our website to see open positions available right now in the Education sector. Setting up a Job Alert will also allow you to be notified as soon as a position matching your keywords is posted. 

When you find another position you are interested in, remember to customize your resume to that posting. We recommend you save a copy of the original resume and make your edits. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to start this whole process again from scratch. Simply polish your keywords so that they match the language that is being used in the job posting, ensure your core skills are relevant to what the employer is looking for, and that your professional summary proves you have experience in the field you are applying for. 

If you found this guide helpful then we encourage you to follow us on social media, where we are constantly updating our available jobs and sharing useful tips and tricks to help you land a successful job in the education industry. You can check out our Instagram and Twitter pages to stay in the loop!