Teaching is a highly competitive industry. But with the right CV, you can stand out amongst the competition and land your dream role
The key to a strong teaching CV is knowing how to convey both your educational achievements while also demonstrating those key soft skills necessary for a teaching environment.
Here are 5 updates your CV needs to be competitive in the teaching market in 2022:
One of the easiest ways to make your teacher CV more competitive is to specify your teaching specialisms, such as age and subjects. While you might find it counterproductive, or fear that it will lose you job opportunities, it’s actually a great way to make sure you’re getting interest back from jobs that are actually likely to hire you.
By specifying your teaching age, (for example, secondary school, primary school or nursery school age) and subjects, you’re going to demonstrate to the employer that your skillset is an exact match for the job they’re hiring for. Having experience teaching 17- and 18-year-olds isn’t the same as having the skills to teach nursery aged children, so it’s a good idea to make your CV specific to a certain demographic.
Keep it simple
While you might be applying for a job to teach children, your CV certainly shouldn't look childish. If you want to display your fun teaching personality, do so by discussing your experience and professional history on your CV. Don’t attempt to demonstrate it via your CV design.
Rather than opt for a wacky design or creative “unique” CV template, write your CV in a traditional format and keep it as simple as possible. The most important thing on a CV is its readability: while you can add a colour theme if you wish to, don’t do anything that makes it confusing or difficult to read for the employer.
Show your passion for your work
Teaching is as much a passion as it is a profession, and this should shine through when reading your CV. From your CV profile all through to your additional information, it should be clear that you’re made for teaching and have all the requisite skills for the job.
For this, you should include all your former teaching experience, even if the teaching wasn’t specifically within your typical age range. (For example, you typically teach secondary school children but worked as a supply teacher for a primary school during a staff shortage.)
You should also tailor your “additional” sections to reflect your teaching personality. If you have ever done volunteer work or charity work, you should include it on your CV. If you ever worked as a professional tutor while studying, you should also include this.
Don't forget soft skills
Another important area to focus on when crafting a teaching CV is your soft skills. Soft skills make all the difference when it comes to being a good teacher - skills such as patience, adaptability, flexibility and empathy are all hugely important and highly valued in the education sector.
You should add some of your key soft skills to your CV profile. That way, the employer can see right away that your professional profile corresponds to that of an efficient teacher, not just someone highly qualified on paper. Don’t just list your academic and educational skills or qualifications, make it known that you’re an active listener, empathetic and great at conflict resolution.
The best way to show off your soft skills is to back them up in your work experience section of your CV. Use examples to demonstrate how you used your soft skills to teach, inspire, manage difficult classrooms and achieve great results for your students.
Leave out unimportant information
To create a highly competitive teaching CV, it’s best to leave out any unnecessary or unhelpful information and tailor your CV entirely to the profile of a teaching professional. This is especially true if you’re an experienced teacher - you don’t need to include your first-ever job in an ice-cream shop or the summer internship you completed at the bank.
The best advice is to simply ensure that all the information included on your CV relates back to teaching in some way. Whether it be listing soft skills that would be great in a noisy classroom, or demonstrating a history of volunteer work that proves empathy, you want to both your passion and your accompanying skillset to be what shines through.
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading UK careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.