Resumes and Cover Letters for Teachers Your guide to getting hired







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Resumes and Cover Letters for


Your guide to getting hired

Along with a well written cover letter, your resume is a great marketing tool! The resume is one of the most important pieces in your job search process. It probably won't result in a job offer by itself, however, it can help open the door to interviewing opportunities, and consideration by interested employers.

Step One: Gather your raw material.

Before you begin writing your resume, put together a list of accomplishments, including your most significant achievements from work, volunteering, school, organizational memberships, professional development, multicultural/diversity experience, activities, travel, and other life experiences.

Brainstorm and write down everything that you feel may be relevant. Temporary headings can help you brainstorm. Following are some example heading titles to generate ideas and help you organize your information.

 Education (e.g. degrees, related coursework, special training)  Certifications (e.g. CPR/1st Aid, teaching certifications)

 Related Experience (e.g. paid/unpaid, academic projects, service learning)  Activities/Organizations (e.g. student organizations, professional associations,

sororities/fraternities, sports teams)

 Honors (e.g. scholarships, academic achievements, sports awards)  Volunteer (e.g. civic groups, hospitals)

 Additional Experience (e.g., paid/ unpaid, part/ full-time, internships, military)  Career Related Skills (e.g., computer proficiency, foreign languages)

 Multicultural/Diversity Experience (e.g., travel, classroom experiences)

Gather documents related to your experiences, e.g., performance reviews, letters of appreciation, transcripts, records of workshops and conferences attended, job descriptions, previously completed job applications. This can be helpful now with your brainstorming, and later as a reference for details as you assemble your resume.

Step Two: Select the information you will use.

Evaluate and categorize your information until you have what you feel most effectively markets your skills and background relevant to your employment goals. Tailor your resume to best market yourself for each specific position. Brevity and clarity are crucial. Create the impression that while the paper document is good, the “best is yet to come” (in an interview). Your resume should not tell everything about you, but should include the highlights of your training and qualifications.

Reverse Chronological Resume Format

The typical format for teaching resumes is reverse chronological. This is the traditional style resume that lists your professional experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position.

Note! There are many different ways to write a resume, and there are many different opinions about what is good. Your resume should accurately reflect who you are—make it unique and own the resume!


Example Resumes

Alicia Douglas

Missoula, MT

406-567-1234 ●


Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

May 20xx

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT


Human and Family Development


Montana Elementary Teaching Certificate K-8

June 20xx

CPR/First Aid, Missoula, MT September



Student Teacher

Feb-May 20xx

Hellgate Elementary School

Missoula, MT

Differentiated curriculum for twenty-two diverse 4th graders

Initiated creative writing in all content areas to strengthen reading/writing skills

Utilized effective individual and all classroom management techniques

Assisted in re-evaluation of individual education plans including observation and parent



Fall 20xx

Lowell Elementary School

Missoula, MT

Successfully motivated eighteen 2nd grade students by implementing an active learning

environment and positive classroom management strategies

Planned and developed thematic units on Indian Education for All


Spring 20xx

Lowell Elementary School

Missoula, MT

Developed and implemented research project on classroom motivation techniques

Assisted experienced classroom teacher with teaching and learning exercises



Youth Education Services, Missoula, MT Aug 20xx-Dec 20xx

Tutored 4th grade math groups at Target Range Elementary

Daycare Provider,

The Growing Tree, Missoula, MT May 2002-Aug 20xx

Supervised children from multicultural and varied socioeconomic backgrounds

Designed and facilitated individualized learning activities

Rest Aide,

Hilltop Child Development Center, Lawrence, KS May 20xx-Aug 20xx

Co-supervised 2nd-4th grade classroom and supervised playground & cafeteria

Planned and led reading activities for special needs children


Vice President, School of Education Student Organization 20xx-20xx

National Education Association 20xx-Present

Montana Education Association 20xx-Present


Harold Miller Buck

406-721-9845 · 320 S. Beckwith Missoula, MT 59801


Master of Science in Mathematics

Expected: May 20xx

University of Montana

Missoula, MT

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

May 20xx

University of Montana

Missoula, MT


Statistics and Pure Mathematics

Graduated with honors


Montana Secondary Teaching Certificate for Mathematics Expected: Summer 20xx

CPR/First Aid Certification

Sep 20xx-Present

Related Experience

Student Teacher

Feb-Jun 20xx

Big Sky High School

Missoula, MT

Progressively assumed teaching responsibilities in math classroom. Planned daily class and small

group instruction. Supervised independent math club. Managed student behavior and classroom

activities. Evaluated student performance through tests and daily assignments.

Teaching Assistant


University of Montana

Missoula, MT

Conducted study sessions and office hours for undergraduate and graduate statistics and

operations/management science courses. Constructed tests and quizzes, graded tests and

homework and provided timely, lucid solution sets.

Statistical Consultant


University of Montana

Missoula, MT

Assisted university students, faculty and staff with the application of statistics to research in the

natural and social sciences. Designed experiments, taught clients how to interpret results,

suggested analysis strategies and analyzed data.


Summers 20xx-Present

Long Beach Township Beach Patrol

Long Beach, CA

Instructed Ocean Lifeguard Training course. Provided individual coaching in rowing and

swimming. Authored a manual for the use of surf boats in lifeguarding. Organized and directed

competitions for junior lifeguards. Designed forms and conducted statistical analyses. Editor for

U.S Lifesaving Association Magazine.

Biostatistics Research Assistant


Pennsylvania State University

Harrisburg, PA

Collaborated with medical researchers in designing and analyzing experiments. Assisted with

introductory biostatistics course for first-year medical students. Presented paper at 20xx

Biometric Society conference in Houston.


Step Three: Write it!

We have divided the process of writing your resume into sections: 1. Masterhead (contact information)

2. Education 3. Certifications

4. Teaching/Teaching Related Experience 5. Activities/Organizations

6. Honors/Awards

Please note! You may choose other headings than those listed here, and you may want to organize these headings differently. There is not one perfect way to organize a resume. Select the headings and organize them to best present and market your information.


The first section of a resume is your name and contact information i.e. phone number, e-mail address (physical address is optional). Keep in mind that whatever contact information you provide, you may receive information that way. So only list it if you want to hear from a prospective employer via that mode and if you check those sources frequently.

Following is an example of how you might display your identifying information. Remember, the goal is to quickly and effectively communicate who you are and how you can be contacted!

Jules Saras 406-721-5592 (cel) Missoula, MT


This section is designed to show an employer that you have the necessary education to qualify for the job. It includes your credit-based traditional degrees as well as non-credit professional learning. You should include post-secondary degrees and maybe academic awards or scholarships. Or, you can list your Awards and Honors in a separate section. It may also benefit you to include your grade point average and/or rank in class. Some examples:


Master of Education

(GPA: 3.95/4.0)

Expected Graduation: May 20xx

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT

Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

May 20xx

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT

Concentration: Math

Major GPA: 3.6/4.0


Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Expected: May 20xx

University of Montana

Missoula, MT

Bachelor of Arts in English Education

Dec 20xx

University of Montana

Missoula, MT



To verify the certifications/licensures that qualify you for teaching positions.


Montana Secondary English (5-12)

Expected: Jun 20xx

CPR/1st Aid

Jan 20xx-present

Teaching/Teaching Related Experience

This is where you will list any experience you feel is relevant to potential employers. You can either create a Teaching Related Experience section and include all your fieldwork and related experiences, or create separate categories for Teaching Experience and Teaching Related Experience, depending on how much/what kinds of experiences you’ve had. Some examples:

Teaching Experience

Student Teacher (Grades 4-6)

Fall 20xx

Yellow Brick Elementary

Oz, Kansas

Differentiated instruction for 22 multi-level students in a small rural community

Planned and taught language arts, reading, creative writing, physical education,

mathematics and literature lesson plans

Supervised extracurricular activities such as field trips, baseball & tutoring

Teaching Intern

Spring 20xx

Meadow Hill Middle School

Missoula, MT

Taught daily courses in Algebra and Geometry to students, grades 7-9

Combined cooperative learning, problem solving, learning contracts, evaluation

techniques, and student reports to stimulate comprehension, study skills, classroom

participation and motivation.


The Organizations/Activities section of your resume can:

 Illustrate that you are a well-rounded person with more dimensions than just work.  Point out skills that have been demonstrated in your non-professional life.

 Account for gaps in employment or as a conversation starter (possibly the employer shares, or is interested in the activity).

Examples of organizations/activities: National Education Association, Montana Education Association, Computer Club, President of Alumni Association, Church Choir Member, Red Cross Volunteer, etc. Some examples:


American Red Cross Volunteer, Missoula, MT 20xx-Present

Vice President, Student Education Association, The University of Montana 20xx-20xx

Program Chair, Special Olympics, Helena, MT 20xx



Member, Montana Chapter of the National Education Association 20xx-Present

Orientation Assistant, The University of Montana, Summers of 20xx and 20xx

The Writing Conference, Missoula, MT 20xx

Now, decide:

1. What heading(s) you want to use for your work experiences. For example, you might have “Teaching Experience”, “Teaching Related Experience” and "Other Experience" sections. 2. What work experiences you are going to include.

3. What style will work best for you, bulleted statements or short paragraphs?

Once these decisions are made, use the verb list and the “raw material” you pulled together in step one to write statements about your work experiences.

Action Words

Accomplishments Achieved Completed Expanded Exceeded Improved Pioneered Reduced (losses) Resolved (issues) Restored Spearheaded Succeeded Surpassed Transformed Won Communication/ Persuasion Addressed Advertised Arbitrated Arranged Articulated Authored Clarified Collaborated Communicated Composed Condensed Conferred Consulted Contacted Conveyed Convinced Corresponded Debated Defined Described Developed Directed Discussed Dissuaded Documented Drafted Edited Educated Elicited Enlisted Established Explained Expressed Formulated Furnished Incorporated Influenced Interacted Interpreted Interviewed Involved Joined Judged Lectured Listened Marketed Mediated Moderated Negotiated Observed Outlined Participated Persuaded Presented Promoted Proposed Publicized Reconciled Recruited Referred Reinforced Reported Resolved Responded Solicited Specified Spoke Suggested Summarized Synthesized Translated Wrote Creative Acted Adapted Began Combined Composed Conceptualized Condensed Created Customized Designed Developed Directed Displayed Drew Entertained Established Fashioned Formulated Founded Illustrated Initiated Instituted Integrated Introduced Invented Modeled Modified Originated Performed Photographed Planned Revised Revitalized Shaped Solved Financial/Data Administered Adjusted Allocated Analyzed Appraised Assessed Audited Balanced Budgeted Calculated Computed Conserved Corrected Determined Developed Estimated Forecasted Managed Marketed


Measured Planned Prepared Programmed Projected Reconciled Reduced Researched Retrieved Helping Adapted Advocated Aided Answered Arranged Assessed Assisted Cared for Clarified Coached Collaborated Contributed Cooperated Counseled Demonstrated Diagnosed Educated Encouraged Ensured Expedited Facilitated Familiarized Furthered Guided Helped Insured Intervened Motivated Prevented Provided Referred Rehabilitated Represented Resolved Simplified Supplied Supported Volunteered Management/ Leadership Administered Advised Analyzed Appointed Approved Assigned Attained Authorized Chaired Considered Consolidated Contracted Controlled Converted Coordinated Counseled Decided Delegated Determined Developed Directed Disseminated Eliminated Emphasized Enforced Enhanced Ensured Established Examined Executed Explained Generated Governed Guided Handled Headed Hired Hosted Improved Incorporated Increased Influenced Initiated Inspected Inspired Instituted Instructed Integrated Launched Led Managed Merged Motivated Organized Originated Overhauled Oversaw Planned Presided Prioritized Produced Recommended Reorganized Replaced Restored Reviewed Scheduled Secured Selected Streamlined Strengthened Supervised Terminated Organization/ Detail Approved Arranged Catalogued Categorized Charted Classified Coded Collected Compiled Corrected Corresponded Distributed Executed Filed Generated Implemented Incorporated Inspected Logged Maintained Monitored Obtained Operated Ordered Organized Prepared Processed Provided Purchased Recorded Registered Reserved Responded Reviewed Routed Scheduled Screened Set up Submitted Supplied Standardized Systemized Updated Validated Verified Research Analyzed Clarified Collected Compared Conducted Critiqued Detected Determined Diagnosed Evaluated Examined Experimented Explored Extracted Formulated Gathered Identified Inspected Interpreted Interviewed Invented Investigated Located Measured Organized Researched Reviewed Searched Solved Summarized Surveyed Systemized Tested Teaching Adapted Advised Clarified Coached Communicated Conducted Coordinated Critiqued Developed Enabled Encouraged Evaluated Explained Facilitated


Focused Guided Individualized Informed Instilled Instructed Motivated Persuaded Set goals Simulated Stimulated Taught Tested Trained Transmitted Tutored Technical Adapted Applied Assembled Built Calculated Computed Conserved Constructed Converted Debugged Designed Determined Developed Engineered Fabricated Fortified Installed Maintained Operated Overhauled Printed Programmed Rectified Regulated Remodeled Repaired Replaced Restored Solved Specialized Standardized Studied Upgraded Utilized


Many employers see the resume as a reflection of the applicant. Spelling errors, poor grammar, poor organization, smudges, wordiness, vagueness, etc., will produce negative impressions. Be sure to have several people look over your resume before you submit it to an employer.

• Be accurate, look up what is necessary.

• Be prepared to write, edit, and rewrite your resume.

Checklist for Proof-Reading your Resume:

_____ Is the layout/format graphically pleasing?

_____ Does the resume look as if it fits comfortably within the page (as opposed to appearing squashed together or too much white space)?

_____ Does the resume use bolding and underlining appropriately to highlight key strengths?

_____ Is the information you wish to highlight located on the left side of the page and near the top of the page whenever possible? For example, job title rather than employment dates listed in the left margin.

_____ Goal focused: Does the bulleted information support your objective?

_____ Relevance: Is material sequenced in order of importance and relevance? Has extraneous material been eliminated?

_____ Action Oriented: Do sentences and paragraphs begin with action verbs?

_____ Specificity: Does the resume avoid generalities and focus on specific information about experience, projects, skills, qualifications, etc.

_____ Bottom line/Targeted focus: How well does the resume accomplish its ultimate purpose of getting the employer to interview me? Is it focused enough so that it is clear to the reader that you meet the required qualifications?

_____ Quantified results: Are results of your past work experiences quantified whenever possible? (Supervisor ratings, number of letters of commendation received, customer satisfaction ratings…)


Step Six: Have at least one other person proofread

• Stop by Career Services to have a counselor look over your resume. They can give you tips to make your resume and cover letter stronger. We have walk-in hours for quick questions and resume reviews. Contact us at 243-2022 for current times. If you would like to spend more than 15 minutes with a counselor please call and schedule an appointment.

• Ask your references to look over your resume and give you feedback.

• Have a family member, friend or roommate look it over; they are often best at catching typing errors in your contact information.

Cover Letters

The cover letter is a vital part of your job search paperwork. In fact, many employers report that well-written cover letters are often more important than resumes in making decisions to interview candidates. The purpose of a cover letter should be to get the employer to take action on your resume. The whole structure should focus on persuading the employer to invite you for a job interview. A cover letter should be organized like advertising copy, that is, it should:

• Catch the reader's attention

• Instill confidence in the reader about your qualifications • Convince the reader with more evidence

• Move the reader to want to interview you

Your letter will probably be about three paragraphs and one page in length. There is no perfect formula regarding length and what to include. Do keep it relevant and relatively brief and always target your cover letter toward the specific school and position. Like the resume, the cover letter will not get you the job, but hopefully it will get you an interview (where you can give them more information).

What to Include in a Cover Letter

Your name

Your street address (optional) Your city, state and zip code

Your phone number Date you will mail letter

Name of contact person Their street address or PO Box Their city, state and zip code

Dear Ms., Mr. or Dr.________: (If you cannot obtain a person's name, other options include “Greetings”, “Dear Reader” or “Dear Personnel Director”).

First Paragraph

Purpose: To grab the reader's attention and establish your interest in employment with that school!

 Provide an opening sentence which entices the reader to continue reading

 Name the job for which you are applying if you know of a specific vacancy with the school district, also tell how you learned of the position

 Mention the name of the person (if any) who referred you to the school

 Write about your knowledge of, and interest in the specific school to indicate your interest (and to illustrate that you took the time to research the school)


Second Paragraph

Purpose: Demonstrate your ability to add value to the school, and highlight your key strengths and abilities.

 Acknowledge the skills required for the teaching position in which you are interested.

 State the specific skills/strengths/experiences you are prepared to bring to the school. These skills should parallel those qualities needed to succeed in the teaching position you are applying for. Give examples of your skills and any related work experience (quantified results, accomplishments and achievements). Explain how these skills will transfer to the position for which you are applying.  Try not to repeat the information on your resume, instead refer the reader to enclosed resume or

application, elaborating on how you meet the qualifications. A cover letter should be complementary to the resume, but not redundant.

Final Paragraph

Purpose: Ensure follow-up action and extend your appreciation for being considered!

 Thank them sincerely for their time and consideration of your application.

 You can opt to end your letter with an active statement. For example “I look forward to hearing from you” or “I will be contacting you on Wednesday afternoon to confirm that you received my application materials.”

 Make it easy for the person to contact you. Even though it is on your resume, you should list phone number(s), email, days, and times when you can most easily be reached.

Sincerely, Type your name

Enclosures: Resume; Application

Sample Cover Letter

Tom Johnson

2189 39



Missoula, MT 59801


February 10, 20XX

Nellie Sherman, Superintendent

Sun River School District

P.O. Box 1

Sun River, MT 59483

Dear Ms. Sherman:

I have enclosed my resume in response to the Fifth Grade teaching position posted on the

University of Montana’s Griz-eRecruiting website. After becoming aware of your vacancy, I

researched your school district web page. I am impressed with the number and variety of

afterschool activities your district offers, especially the tutoring programs. I was also interested

to see the level of technology that has been incorporated into your classrooms.


During the past several years, I have had opportunities to work with a wide variety of students in

different environments As a Student Teacher at Hellgate High School, I successfully taught

literature, public speaking and creative writing in junior and senior level classrooms. During my

fieldwork at C.S. Porter middle school, the cooperating teacher provided valuable guidance on

implementing effective classroom management techniques. In addition, I volunteered with the

Flagship Program for three semesters and taught a creative writing mini-course for sixth graders.

The enclosed materials provide an overview of my background. I would appreciate the

opportunity to meet with you to explain my qualifications and the ways I can contribute to the

Sun River School District. I will contact you next Wednesday afternoon to confirm receipt of my

resume and application and discuss when we might schedule a meeting in person. I look forward

to hearing from you soon.


Tom Johnson





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