Resume Formats: How to Prepare a Resume for a Teaching Job
by Mary Jacob McKinley
Teachers bring their distinct backgrounds, career histories and life experiences to their work. That’s why a teacher’s resume is so important in telling his or her unique story. Are you applying for your first teaching job? Planning a career change into the teaching world?
Then you’re probably wondering how to prepare a resume for a teaching job. Or maybe you’re a veteran educator looking to change schools. In this case, you need to update your resume so it’s relevant to today’s standards.
Whatever the scenario, one of the most effective ways to strengthen your teacher application is to choose the best resume format. Consider your teaching experience (if any) and your work history, and then decide which resume template suits you.
Which teaching resume format works best for you?
There are three professional resume formats:
Look through examples of chronological, functional and hybrid resumes to get an idea of how people use them and review resume templates built specifically for teachers.
Regardless of which format you choose, every resume should address these five categories:
- Contact information (Note: due to recent privacy issues tied to identity theft, we no longer recommend including your mailing address)
- Work experience
Chronological resume format for teachers
Use the chronological format if you have several years of teaching experience and no significant gaps in your work history. You may opt for a chronological resume if the job posting requests “highly experienced” applicants.
Here’s a quick guide to putting together a chronological resume format for teachers:
- In the Work History section, start with your most recent position and work backward.
- Use bullets to emphasize roles, accomplishments, awards and recognitions for each position. These might include:
- Leadership roles and training you received
- Include the institution you worked for, the time span, and a few key accomplishments.
- In the Skills section, briefly list your basic educator skills. Also focus on incorporating the key skills listed in the job ad. You’ll emphasize all of these skills in the bullets under your Work History.
A functional resume focuses on skills over experience, so it’s ideal for applicants who have limited work history or no relevant experience. The functional resume is a good resume format for teachers if the employer is looking for unique or specific skills, or if its culture is more innovative. Here are a few tips for your functional resume:
- In the Work History section, start with your achievements from work, school, internships or student teaching experiences. Examples include:
- Student teaching certification
- Internship awards
- Leadership positions
- After your achievements, list any education-related roles.
- In the Skills section, focus on major competencies you’ll bring to your teaching, such as:
- Time management
- Technology skills
- Conflict resolution
Hybrid resume format for teachers
True to its name, the hybrid resume format blends the chronological and functional resume formats. Choose a hybrid resume if you have a balance of skills and experience that pertain to education, if you’re returning to teaching after a break, or when transitioning to teaching from another career.
- In the Work History section, start with your current position and highlight any roles that directly apply to education and teaching.
- In the Skills section, highlight any competencies from previous jobs that would transfer well to education.
Choosing the right resume format for a teacher depends on your level of experience. Stick with the chronological format if you have continuous teaching experience or opt for the functional format if you are newer to the education field. The hybrid option offers a balance of both. Pick the one that feels right and best suits your experience level.
Your resume format may vary, but always stick with a professional layout for education positions. You can review teacher resume templates to see examples of how educators frame their experience.
Here’s a helpful tip to keep in mind: Many employers now use applicant tracking systems (ATS) when reviewing teaching resumes. These systems automatically scan resumes to find relevant keywords that align with their job description. When updating your teaching resume and cover letter, be sure to include these keywords whenever possible.
A compelling, attention-getting resume is your best chance to get in the door for an interview, so carefully craft one that puts you at the front of the pack. Once you’ve decided on the best resume format for your particular needs, use our Resume Builder, which will help you with everything from selecting the right template to creating compelling bullet points for your work history section.