A great CV will help you stand out from the crowd and is easy to achieve than you may think!
1 – Contact details and opening statement
- It may seem obvious but you need to make sure that you start with your name at the top of your CV, not ‘Curriculum Vitae’ or ‘Resume’.
- Follow with your email address, telephone number and home address.
- A personal statement should be next, detailing in a couple of sentences ‘who you are‘.
- Your opening statement is an important parts of your CV and summarises the knowledge, key skills and experience you’ve gained during studies and employment.
For example: “A good honours chemistry graduate with supporting qualifications in mathematics and physics. Recent teaching experience during PGCE was in a large urban comprehensive school. Keen to contribute to other aspects of school life, particularly sport and IT.”
2 – Work experience
- If you’ve been teaching for a few years this section will contain a lot of information, so it’s best to use bullet points.
- Detail the exact position, with school name, location and the dates you were there.
- For each position focus on teaching responsibilities and achievements, using ‘power verbs’ like strengthened, managed, achieved, maximised etc.
- Start with your most recent experience and work backwards.
Include the specific contributions you’ve made in areas such as extra-curricular activities, new initiatives, behaviour or mentoring colleagues.
- If you are a NQT, detail any relevant full-time or vacation work, such as working with children, voluntary or community work, TEFL or youth work, give brief details and dates.
- If you’re entering teaching from another career, provide dates and brief details about what you’ve been doing. It’s important to focus on aspects of the job which relate directly to teaching, such as staff training, presentations, IT, and science or laboratory skills.
Resist the temptation to clutter your CV with lists of all your holiday jobs and temporary work; you can always summarise these by saying:
“Other holiday work has included retail, telephone sales and office assignments.”
3 – Education and achievements
- List all qualifications, dates and institutions. Perhaps also detail particular assignments and modules that are particularly relevant.
- Post Graduate Certificate in Education – state the start and completion dates, the name of the institution and provide an outline of the course. Include its structure, key study areas and any special projects.
- Degree – include the same details as above and include a summary of your degree and its main elements.
- Other academic qualifications – include Diplomas of Higher Education, A2 and AS levels / GCSEs / AGNVQs and GNVQs etc. List them, putting the most recent first.
4 – Relevant interests and skills
Highlight your interests and skills, whilst keeping in mind ones that are relevant to the classroom, such as playing musical instruments, interest in sport, first aid qualifications and any languages etc.
5 – References
Referees should be drawn from your last employer, colleagues or anyone in a leadership position. If you are currently completing a course, seek referees from your tutors, teacher training institution or university lecturer.
Don't have your own CV? As you build your eTeach profile, a CV will automatcally generate. The most important thing is to keep your profile up to dte because it is from here that you can apply instantly to our thousands of schools who accept electronic applications.
About the author
After graduating with a degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading, Elizabeth Holmes completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education, University of London. She then taught humanities and social sciences in schools in London, Oxfordshire and West Sussex, where she ran the history department in a challenging comprehensive. Elizabeth specialises in education but also writes on many other issues and themes. As well as her regular blogs for eTeach and FEjobs, her books have been published by a variety of publishers and translated around the world.