Market your Qualifications Through your Resumé







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Market your Qualifications

Through your Resumé

There is no one correct way to write a resumé. Only you can decide how to market your qualifications most effectively. A reader may spend only 20-30 seconds screening your resumé, so pertinent information must stand out. Effective resumés adhere to simple guidelines such as beginning with the most important material, starting sentences with vivid verbs, being consistent in your descriptions and eliminating all spelling and grammatical mistakes. The entire resumé must support your desire to become a teacher. While your resumé uniquely represents you, most resumés contain several consistent categories.


Your name, address, phone number (with area code), and e-mail address belong at the top. If you live on campus, include both current and permanent addresses.


Keep it concise. Identify the grades and certification areas you are willing to teach. You may want to include your interest in supervising extra curricular activities or your desire to make education a career. No need to elaborate in your objective by stating that you desire a “challenging” teaching position (all teaching assignments are challenging) or that you want to work in a school that “cares about students”(What school doesn’t care?). You can address your motivation to become a teacher or what you hope to accomplish as a teacher in your cover letter and/or application.


Most first-year teacher candidates will list education next because this degree is the basic qualification for teaching. (If you have relevant professional work experience, this experience should precede education.) Include all college experiences with the most recent first. List the name and location of the institution, your degree, and graduation date. If your GPA is 3.0 or above, include this fact. If you have unique educational experiences,such as study overseas, you may want to include this information here.

Professional Preparation

Include student teaching, practica and field experiences. State the schools, locations and dates. Include the facts of your teaching assignments: the number of students and/or classes, grade levels, subjects, etc. Then describe your experiences in specific terms. All student teachers write lesson plans; what specifically did you prepare and present? What lessons, unit plans and learning centers did you design? Were you involved in extra assignments or responsibilities?Use verbs that capture your skills and accomplishments.


Teaching Related Experience

This need not be paid experience. Mention summer camp jobs, volunteering for Special Olympics, or tutoring. You may want to create a section titled, “Teaching-Related Experiences.” Keep your

formatting consistent with your student teaching descriptions. Begin with your job title, employer, location and dates. Include the facts of your experience and specifically describe you skills and accomplishments. “Unrelated” experience may be valuable as well—your experience may prove that you’ve developed leadership, organization or communication skills. Be sure your descriptions are related to teaching. Remember that all experiences are not equal. Those most related to education deserve a more detailed description. Others may be included to show how you spent your time and/or earned money for college, but these may require just brief descriptions.

Optional Categories

Administrators look for teachers who will be competent and active in a variety of school

responsibilities.You may want to include college or community activities (if you haven’t done so under experience), which indicate that you will be active as a teacher, too. Active participation in school or professional organizations can show a commitment to the profession. An activity may deserve a description because you developed professional skills or accomplished a relevant objective.

When you create your resumé, think about what school officials want to read, but also consider, “What do I want to tell administrators about my education and experiences to prove that I will be an excellent teacher?”


Resumé Checklist

⎯ Resumé is one page

⎯ Name is prominent and contact information is complete and up-to-date (including email)

⎯ Objective is concise and addresses the needs of the potential employer (what you can

contribute, rather than what you want from the employer)

⎯ Education section lists all colleges that have granted or will grant degrees or certifications,

with degree, major

⎯ Education section includes GPA, study abroad, and related coursework – if applicable

⎯ Experiences are listed in reverse chronological order

⎯ Verbs in active tense start each description

⎯ Accomplishments are written to highlight skills, abilities, and competencies rather than

duties. Descriptions give details about methods, actions, and results.

⎯ Education buzz words are used in descriptions

⎯ Resumé is error free

⎯ Resumé is printed with a laser printer on cotton or linen resumé paper in white, ivory, or

light gray

⎯ Format and overall appearance of resumé is attractive and well-organized

⎯ Resumé is easy to read and the most important points stand out


Job Interviews for

Teacher Candidates

You'll need to do some research!

The School District

♦ What does their public relations literature say about the district/school?

♦ What is the funding base of the district/school?

♦ Who makes the decisions in the district/school?

♦ How large are the classes?

♦ What are the facilities like?

♦ What is the curriculum?

♦ Who is on the school board?

♦ To what extent are the parents involved in the school?

♦ What are the geographic boundaries of the district?

♦ How many students are enrolled?

♦ What grade levels are served?

♦ How many teachers are employed?

♦ Study the statistics of pupil achievement in reading and math. Are most of the district's students below grade level? At grade level? Above grade level?

♦ Research your possible work environment. Ask if the district's teachers are represented by a union. If they are then get a copy of the union contract and study the contractual agreements between the teachers' union and the school district.

♦ Obtain a salary schedule for the district.

♦ Does the district have a residency requirement?

♦ Learn whether the district has received any special honors or recognition by state or federal agencies for academic excellence.

♦ What sports are offered in the district?

Read as much school district literature as you can to help answer some of the above questions and write down a list of questions you have regarding the district. Save the list. Know the basic

demographics of the district. Even if you do not have pre-interview access to specific district information, brainstorm a list of questions you need to ask.


The Community

♦ What is the community like?

♦ Who are the community leaders?

♦ What does the community think of the school district?

♦ What kind of financial and volunteer support does the community give to the schools?

If possible, read current and back issues of the local newspaper. The articles will inform you about the activities and issues in the school district and the philosophy of school board members as well as the various kinds of support and opposition you can expect from the community.

The Type of Interview the District Prefers

It appropriate and smart to ask the school district secretary what type of interview the district uses and who will be doing the interview.

Research Yourself

♦ Why did you choose teaching?

♦ What are the special qualities you will bring to the classroom?

♦ What are your accomplishments, your strengths, your goals for the future and your philosophy of education?

Remember you are checking out the school district as much as they are checking you out. Keep an open mind. Look for the right match. This district may seem like the right match, but sometimes the perfect job is the second or third choice. You don't want to get into a situation that isn't a good fit.


♦ Know your accomplishments. Interviewers are interested to know about your volunteer or extra-curricular activities.

♦ Be on time. Do a trial run to see how long it actually takes you to get to the school. If you aren't able to do a trial run, make sure to give yourself extra time to find the school, find a parking place, find the office...and be 15 minutes early. Allow for the unexpected.

♦ Dress professionally. Teachers’ attire can be more relaxed in the classroom—once you have the job. For interview purposes, suits and conservative clothing are appropriate.

♦ Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.

♦ Listen carefully to the questions and repeat them if necessary to ensure you are answering what the interviewer is asking.

♦ Don't be intimidated by silence. If you've answered a question fully and there is silence, pause and wait...don't panic. Many people feel that they need to talk more and may end up rambling on unnecessary information.


School Interview Questions

1. Tell me about yourself.

2. Why did you enter the field of teaching?

3. What experiences have you had related to teaching?

4. What qualities do you have that make you an effective teacher? 5. What grade levels/or subjects do you prefer to teach?

6. Have you taught or are you interested in teaching combination classes? 7. Do you have experience with special education students?

8. Do you have (multicultural, urban, learning problems) teaching experience? 9. Why do you want to teach in our district?

10. What do you remember most about your own education?

11. How do you meet the range of skills and need commonly present in a classroom? 12. When do you use an individual, group and/or whole class teaching approach? Why? 13. Let's imagine we are going to observe a teacher teaching a lesson. I tell you in advance to

expect a superb lesson. What would you expect to see in that lesson? 14. How do you diagnose your student's needs?

15. If a teacher wants to be sure pupils will learn a skill to be taught, what should he/she be sure to do when teaching?

16. How do you make sure your lessons are taught at the correct level? 17. How do you stimulate active participation in the classroom?

18. How would you use parents in the classroom? 19. What kinds of planning do you see a teacher doing? 20. How do you plan for a year? a week? a day?

21. How do you know what you will cover?

22. What types of resource materials do you like to use?

23. What are some characteristics of a well-managed classroom? 24. Tell me about classroom control.

25. What discipline methods work for you?

26. What is your primary goal with student discipline?

27. Give me some examples of rules you would have in your classroom. 28. How would you be sure your rules are carried out?

29. How much responsibility for their learning do you feel students should have to take?

30. Are you a "let 'em go to the pencil sharpener whenever they want" type of person or a "raise your hand and ask permission" type of person?

31. What types of rewards and consequences would you use?

32. Describe your most difficult student discipline situation and how you handled it?

33. What do you see yourself doing over the course of the next several years to improve your abilities as a professional?

34. What professional development topics most interest you?

35. As a teacher new to a school, what would you see yourself doing to contribute to healthy staff relationships and to become part of the staff?

36. What should a principal expect from teachers? 37. What should teachers expect from the principal? 38. What grading system works for you?

39. Under what conditions, if any, would most of your pupils receive D' and F's? How and why could this happen?

40. What additional talents and skills do you have? 41. What extracurricular activities can you sponsor?


Sample Questions for the Candidate to ask the School Interviewer

If you plan ahead for your interviews, your questions can give the interview team an idea of how knowledgeable you are about educational issues. Your questions can also indicate your philosophy about working with students and staff and special expertise you may have. Most importantly, asking well-chosen questions helps you to make an informed decision about how well this school and

position match with your teaching goals. The following questions are samples to give you some ideas and stimulate your own questions. Choose questions carefully. You don't need to ask extensive questions.

1. What grade levels are responsible for what topics? 2. Who has the responsibility for a particular topic? 3. May I have a copy of the scope and sequence? 4. Tell me about supervision visits.

5. How does the administration work with teachers to improve instruction?

6. Are there school psychologists, counselors or public agencies who help students and teachers? 7. What types of media resources are available?

8. How is the budget for this academic program developed? 9. What textbooks do you use in this subject area?

10. Describe the district's textbook adoption policies.

11. How would you describe the typical professional staff member in this district? 12. What professional skills do you expect of the person you hire?

13. Does the staff spend time together outside of normal school hours? 14. How does the staff feel about new teachers?

15. How active are teachers in working with community organizations? 16. Tell me about the students who attend this school.

17. How involved are parents in school activities? 18. What do parents expect of their teachers? 19. What is the budget for extracurricular activity?

20. What does the community expect of activity sponsors? 21. Are there auxiliary groups involved in the activity?

22. Are there fund-raising requirements that are part of this activity? 23. May I have a copy of this year's activity calendar?






1234 Anywhere Street, Johnsonville, TN 45681, (615) 752-1000,



To obtain a middle grade or junior high level biology teaching position



B.A. Elementary Education with a concentration in Biology, May 2003 Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, NCATE Accredited

• 3.5/4.0 GPA

• Illinois Elementary and Middle School (K-9) Certification pending





Student Teaching: 2nd grade, full time, 12 weeks, Fall 2002 Jefferson Elementary School, Marple, TN

• Facilitated balance of cooperative learning, whole language, and direct Instruction in order to foster different learning styles

• Prepared integrated units on the circus, body, and Native Americans

• Created bulletin boards and word wall to enhance learning opportunities and meet individual needs • Established math centers for hands-on mastery of both district and NCTM standards

• Created individualized spelling lists to challenge each student at their level

• Helped plan and lead combined grade level reading groups for a cumulative tale unit and a unit on Native Americans

• Assessed students in reading groups using fluency, use of strategies for unknown words, inferencing, comprehension, and oral retellings

• Practiced effective classroom management to promote community, student achievement, and a safe learning environment

• Participated in grade level curriculum and team meetings

• Attended Curriculum Night and participated in Parent-Teacher conferences to discuss student progress and interpret school programs and expectations

• Assisted in implementing a behavior modification program for a student • Attended DAE class with K-12 teachers







Daycamp Counselor: elementary grades 1-5, Summer 2001 Honey Rock Camp, Three Lakes, WI

Student Aide: middle school grades 6-8, Summer 2000 Spencer Middle School, Spencer, TN

Tutor: fourth grade girl, Fall-Spring 2001

Carol Stream Outreach Center, Carol Stream, TN Tutor: middle school Vietnamese boy, Fall 2000 King College, Johnsonville, TN

Senior Counselor: elementary through high school, Summer 1999 Frontier Camp, Grapeland, TX

Community Volunteer: senior citizens, Fall 1999 Senior Center, Spencer, IA





• Women’s Tennis Team (2000 – 2003)







Current (until 5/04): CPO 123 Wheaton College, Wheaton IL 60187, (630)752-1234 Permanent: 1234 Anywhere, Someplace, IL 12345, (312)987-6543




To obtain a teaching position at the elementary or middle school level.



B.A. Elementary Education, May 2004

Wheaton College, NCATE accredited, Wheaton, IL

• Illinois teaching certification, Type 03, K-9 (pending)

• GPA 3.45/4.0





7th grade Language Arts, 12 weeks, Fall 2003, Monroe Middle School, Wheaton, IL

• Prepared and taught a unit on legends incorporating the legend of Robin Hood to the novel, The Forestwife.

• Developed three stations for a colonial study on children, school, and diet.

• Created a bulletin with students’ work from legend unit.

• Participated in Curriculum Night, weekly 7th grade team meetings, parent-teacher conferences discussing students’ behavior and I.E.P. plans

• Assisted in the supervision of an outside school activity to enhance the students’ observations skills.





7th grade Language Arts class, Monroe Middle School, Wheaton, IL, April ‘03

Observed and participated in language arts instruction; taught about several artists during the Artist unit, worked with a group of two special education students on in-class assignments.

7th grade Language Arts & Social Studies class, Monroe Middle School, Wheaton, IL, Winter ‘02

Observed language arts and social studies instruction; worked one-on-one with special education students on homework.

4th grade class, Emerson School, Wheaton, IL, Spring ‘02

Provided instruction and clarification on math lessons dealing with simple division.

1st grade class, Three Lakes Elementary School, Three Lakes, WI, Spring ‘01

Worked with individual students on reading skills.







Tutor, Outreach Community Center, Carol Stream, IL, Spring ’02

Assisted 4th grade student with homework at an after-school tutoring program

Outdoor Education Day Camp Counselor, Honey Rock Camp, Three Lakes, WI, Summer ’01

Taught a new group of students each week (ages ranging from 5 to 12 years) about the outdoor environment around them.

Tutor, Cycle Tutoring Ministry, Chicago, IL Fall ‘00-Spring ’01





Current (until______) : CPO______ Wheaton College, Wheaton IL 60187, (630)______________ Permanent : (address)____________, (phone)___________

Email : (no blue hyperlink)


To obtain a ________ teaching position at the ________________ level.


B.A.________________________________________, May 200__ Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, NCATE Accredited

• Illinois Teaching Certification (pending)

• GPA: _____/4.0 (3.0 or above)

• Related Coursework: list courses related to your emphasis or subject area and some education-related

coursework, no need to list all of your education courses


Student Teaching: Subject/Grade level, 12 weeks, Fall 200_

School Name, Wheaton, IL

• Describe your student teaching experience in detail, articulating specific subjects or topics that you taught and

ways that you utilized important educational methods or teaching strategies.

• Start each phrase with an action verb.

• Utilize only sentence fragments for descriptions.

• Implement the use of creativity instead of relying on a template.

• Generate sentences with proper and consistent punctuation at the ends.

• Identify the skills that relate to your Objective Statement.

• Represent experience within one page.

• Apply a font no smaller than 10pt.

• Begin sentences with past tense verbs unless the position is on-going.


Organization Name, Wheaton, IL, Fall 200__

• _____

• _____

Position Title

Organization Name, Wheaton, IL, March 200__ - June 200_

• _____

• _____

Position Title

Organization Name, Wheaton, IL, Summer 200__

• _____

• _____


• Proficient/Fluent/Conversational in (language)_________________________________

• Computer Skills:_________________________________________________________

• Cross-cultural experience gained from living/traveling abroad to___________________






Related subjects :