With a large number of NEW teachers completing their studies, I thought a great new addition to our Beginning Teachers Series would be a blog post on how to write a teacher CV. In this guest blog post, Gill from ep.education sets out the dos and don’ts of teacher CV writing. I know you will find her advice beneficial!
How to write a teacher CV
Applying for jobs can be a daunting task, so feeling confident in your teaching CV can help to alleviate any stress you might be feeling. Having a good CV is critical in the job-find process. It’s often your first point of contact with a school or centre, so it’s a key way to make a good first impression. But don’t let its importance overwhelm you! These are some tips and tricks for creating a great teaching CV.
It can be tempting to create your teaching CV by listing everything you’ve ever done related to the classroom. But the purpose of your CV isn’t just to showcase your teaching experience: the goal is to get an interview. In an interview, you can elaborate on your history and treat it as a chance to get to know the school or centre. The trick is for your CV to give a potential employer enough information to offer you an interview, without telling them your whole life story!
If you’re applying for lots of roles, you don’t want to make huge changes to your CV for every application. Regardless of the role you’re applying for, your CV should have clear and detailed information about your full teaching background, as well as skills and other employment. If your history spans a few different areas, it can be worth creating a couple of different versions of your CV that focus on different areas. For example, if you are dual-trained and keen to work in either early childhood or primary, you could have two different CVs that are tailored for each sector.
Key Sections of Your Teacher CV
You want the tone of your CV to reflect who you are as a person, so keep your language professional, not like you’re writing an academic assignment. While your CV should be personal to you and your own experience, these are some useful headings you can use to organise your information:
- Personal Statement
- Teaching Experience/Career History
- TIP: Bullet point a description of your responsibilities, highlights, and initiatives you’ve implemented in each role you’ve held. It’s best to list your experience starting from the most recent.
- Teaching Profile
- Subject/Curriculum Strengths and Courses Attended
- Skills and Strengths
- TIP: This is a key section that often gets overlooked. A good referee is someone who has observed your teaching, as well as someone who can comment on your planning, your curriculum knowledge, your rapport with other staff members, and your enthusiasm. Provide 2-3 referees and include their contact details – don’t write “referees on request”!
- Tracking down contact information for your referees just gives the interviewer another job to do, and you want it to be as easy as possible for them to contact the people who are going to sing your praises. It’s also crucial to ask for permission before listing someone as a referee. Nothing looks more unprofessional than your referee saying they didn’t know you had put them down!
Give examples to back up what you’ve said
Throughout your CV, it’s important to include examples to back up what you’ve said. For instance, if you’ve been involved with extracurricular activities, make sure you say what these are and the specifics of your involvement. Another way to provide examples is to include excerpts from your appraisals: this can be a great way of showcasing your successes, without it feeling like you’re tooting your own horn!
Think about your presentation
It’s not just the content that’s important when creating your teaching CV. The way it looks can be just as important in putting your best foot forward. Make sure your headings and layout are clear, and that you’ve chosen a font that’s both professional and legible. To keep your CV visually interesting, try using a mixture of bullet points and sentences to help break up your pages. Some interviewers may print your CV so make sure you choose a layout that won’t be altered once printed. You should also make sure to save your CV in a format like .pdf or .doc: these file types are almost universal and should be able to be opened by any computer.
Once you have completed your CV, reread it while asking yourself these questions:
- Does your CV give a clear picture of you and your skills?
- Will the employer see your achievements reflected clearly and concisely?
- Is it too long? Keep it to 2-5 pages.
- Are your sentences too wordy? Use bullet points to break up your sentences.
- Is everything spelled correctly? Ask a friend to check for typos!
- Does your CV sell yourself in the best possible way?
Once you’ve read through these questions and feel confident in your answers – congratulations! Your teaching CV is ready to help you find the role of your dreams.
ep.education (previously Education Personnel) have been leaders in education recruitment since 1995. We have a passion for bringing together the best people in education and delivering quality results for our clients, candidates, and partners. Our have offices in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, and support schools and centres with teacher recruitment all across Aotearoa. We place teachers in permanent, fixed-term, and daily relief positions, as well as offer other support such as professional development workshops, CV support, and Beginning Teacher mentoring.
You can find out more about us by visiting: www.epeducation.co.nz