Write a Teacher CV Designed For Success
If you are looking for a teaching vacancy in the UK, the good news is that there are plenty of job openings available. However, this doesn't mean that there isn't competition, and if you want to secure your dream teaching role, you need to ensure your CV is up to scratch to secure an interview spot.
CV writing is a skill that requires time and patience. After all, it isn't the most straightforward job to summarise your life achievements and sell yourself on 1-2 sides of A4. Teachers may struggle, particularly if self-promotion isn't one of their strong suits.
However, making an effort to refresh your CV, tailor it specifically for the role, and showcase your credentials, experience, and achievements clearly and succinctly will help show your potential new employers that you're the ideal person for the job.
So how do you go about perfecting and polishing your teacher CV to give yourself the best chance of success?
Here are our five top writing tips that will ensure your teacher CV is top of the class every time!
1. Keep it relevant
We are sure you have done a great many things over the years, but your future employers won't necessarily need to know about that time that you won a hot dog eating contest or completed a tough mudder. Because you've got limited space, you might need to be selective. It's essential to start by focusing on your teaching skills and experience and any other responsibilities you've taken on relevant to the position you are applying for. Don't just state your previous teaching positions, pay grades, and duties. Instead, carefully consider all of the teaching skills you've gained. Talk about the responsibilities you've been given and the impact you've made on both the pupils and within the schools you've worked at in the past.
Start by making some notes to ensure you don't miss anything important. Highlight skills such as lesson planning, motivating your students, managing classroom behaviour, active learning, leadership roles, curriculum development, and extracurricular responsibilities. Focus on the skills you used and how you completed each project or met each obligation, rather than just listing what they were.
Don't panic if you're finding it hard to come up with lots of achievements or haven't had much teaching experience. You can also list previous roles and experiences that are relevant. Perhaps you've done some private tutoring in the past? Or volunteered for a youth group? Any project you've worked on that demonstrates you've gained skills sought after in a teacher and aligns with the school's values is ideal for showcasing on your teacher CV.
Try to be systematic in your approach. Think about challenges you've faced, what action you took to overcome these challenges and the result. Any strategies you've employed to achieve positive outcomes for students will confirm you have the skills and attitude the school is looking for. The more concrete evidence you have to support your claims, the better.
Experienced teachers should be wary of making their CV sound repetitive. To avoid this, list different responsibilities and skills for each teaching position you've had. This way, you can demonstrate all of your abilities and what a competent, all-rounder you are.
It is important to remember that your CV doesn't need to be restricted to just formal classroom settings. In fact, you are likely to be looked upon favourably if you can demonstrate how you've utilised skills acquired in the classroom in other scenarios too. People who have led extracurricular activities are particularly impressive. So look back on your career and education and make a note of when you've volunteered, organised people, demonstrated leadership skills, given up your time, and so on, and be sure to include this information on your teacher CV too.
Remember, the range of skills required of a teacher is massive - from meticulous organisational and communication skills to patience and time management and being digitally literate. You can offer lots, so think about what you can bring to the role that will make you stand out from the crowd.
2. Show off your educational qualifications
Teachers applying for particular roles will need to ensure they meet certain criteria. Almost every teaching position will expect applicants to be educated to a specific standard that you should find in the job description.
Your CV should list all of your academic qualifications from GCSE level right through to degree and PGCE level. If you've achieved any awards through Continual Professional Development (CPD), don't forget to make a note of these too.
Any relevant courses, conferences, or workshops you've attended are also worth listing in this section. Again, don't just write down what you did, but also how having these skills has boosted your personal growth and strengthened your commitment to the teaching profession.
3.Use teaching-related keywords and phrases
Write your CV with the intended audience in mind. Experienced teaching professionals will be the ones to consider your CV, so make sure you look like you know what you are talking about!
Including education terminology, keywords, and phrases relevant to the teaching profession will convey your experience to the reader. Many schools also use applicant tracking systems, and incorporating these keywords will ensure yours gets through.
Use the job description as a guide to help indicate the kinds of keywords you should use. It will also give you a sense of tone, which could help you tweak your CV accordingly. Phrases such as "classroom management", "quality improvement", "student-led", and so on can help you better understand what the employer is looking for. Incorporating these into your CV is a sure-fire way to impress them from the outset.
4. Make it personal
Sending the same CV for every teaching position you apply for is a no-no. If you want the job, you'll invest time in tailoring your CV to ensure it meets the needs of that specific employer. Study the school's website, make sure you understand its core values and mission, and ensure that your CV matches accordingly. Looking at Ousted reports, news stories and talking to your fellow teachers, particularly those in more senior positions, can help you get a genuine flavour for what the school is looking for.
Saying that, it is also essential to make sure your CV really reflects who you are and what you are about too. Think about where your passions lie and what motivates you to be a good teacher. Don't be afraid to show who you are, and let your employer know why you love doing what you do.
5. Bring it back to basics
Before you send off your CV, don't forget to check all the basics. It would be a shame to spend so much time creating a refreshed, relevant new teaching CV only to let yourself down by not checking it thoroughly.
Make sure all your information is correct, that you've spelled and grammar checked the document, that your layout is consistent, that your tone is professional, and your use of language is engaging and dynamic.
Keep your CV concise and make sure you write in the third person too. Make your CV easy to read, and keep lots of white space between text so the reader isn't overwhelmed by the information you are presenting to them.
If you follow the above tips, your CV should be impressive and memorable and will hopefully get you to the interview stage of your dream role - good luck!