Resume Writing Tips
- Length—1 to 1 ½ pages max.
- Organize your resume into categories. Begin with Education, followed by Experience. These two categories should be the major categories in your resume.
- You don’t need an Objective at the top. Your cover letter should state what kind of position you are looking for.
- You don’t need to include a Profile or summary of your qualifications. You can include some of this material in your cover letter.
- Give dates and locations of all institutions. Dates should be prominent.
- Make sure you proofread very carefully. Format should be clear and easy to read. Omit logos, graphics and illustrations. Plain text in black and one font is good. No errors in spelling, grammar or punctuation or typos of any kind! Find someone whose judgment you trust and ask this person to proofread after you have spellchecked.
- Identify degrees, majors and institutions and date received.
- If you attended an independent school at any point in your pre college years, please indicate the name of the school and dates of attendance.
- Include any awards or honors either here, or in a separate category.
- If you are a recent college graduate, include your GPA if it is 3.5 or above -- if not, omit it.
- If you are a recent college graduate and did not major in the field you are applying to teach in, please include relevant courses taken
List most recent positions first.
If you have extensive non-teaching experience, divide this category into two categories: Teaching Experience and Other Work Experience.
For each position, give concise highlights of your responsibilities in bullets. Concentrate on clarifying what you actually did and eliminate vague, empty language. Don’t detail the obvious. For example, don’t state duties such as “Prepared lessons, assembled course materials, assigned and graded homework” because these are the basic responsibilities of all full-time teachers.
Concise statements that quantify specific responsibilities and indicate content taught are effective. Some good examples are:
- Taught Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science to 25+ students in Grade 2.
- Supervised 12 high school students in a dormitory during a 4-week residential program.
- Mathematics Teacher: 5 classes of 25-30 students, including Grade 7 general mathematics and pre-algebra (I Honors, 1 regular) and Grade 8 algebra (1 Honors and 2 regular).
- Organized history field trips to local museums for all 150 students in Grade 9
- Taught the writing process using Lucy Calkins materials.
Highlight any achievements or innovations. For example: "Founded a new literary magazine for MS students"; "Collaborated on writing a new Social Studies curriculum for Grade 3".
If you have tutoring experience and your teaching experience is limited, include Tutoring in a separate category, giving brief bullets with details (subjects, ages, dates).
Other Work Experience Section
- Concise bullets clarifying responsibilities.
- If any of your responsibilities included any form of teaching—instruction, explanation, and/or presentations--highlight that.
- If any work experience involved working with children or adolescents in a non-teaching capacity, include and highlight.
Other relevant categories can include the following, in roughly this order:
Awards -- Include awards received at college and at work.
Extracurricular Activities -- If you are an experienced teacher, list any extracurricular activities/clubs you advise at schools you have worked in. Include school committees if appropriate.
If you are a recent college graduate, include extracurricular activities you participated in at college. Highlight any leadership responsibilities and any activities that included forms of teaching (peer tutoring, dorm counseling).
Professional Development -- List conferences and workshops you attended to improve your skills as a teacher.
Volunteer Work -- Teaching and non-teaching volunteer work. Brief. Highlight leadership, work with adolescents or children, and any forms of teaching. Keep this section brief unless work included teaching and/or work with children or adolescents.
Interests (if you have room) -- Other important interests or activities, especially those that might be relevant in a school. Summarize. This section should be short and should come near the end.
Skills -- Any special proficiencies—fluency in a language, computer applications and technology, sports.. Highlight educational technology skills—use of SMART boards, MOODLE, video-conferencing. Do not include very basic computer applications—(like Word)—or only average skills (“some knowledge of Spanish”).
You will be asked to provide 3 letters of reference for FDS. Schools will also want to contact your references by telephone or email, so be ready to provide your references’ contact information. Before you give anyone as a reference, make sure you have asked the person’s permission to use him or her as a reference, and make sure the reference will be a positive one.
If you have already talked with your references about your job search, you can list them on your resume. If not, under References, state “available on request.” This allows you to contact your reference before the school contacts them to explain why you are interested in a specific position.
If you are a recent college graduate and are applying for a Lower School Associate or Assistant Teacher position:
Follow the guidelines above but note these suggestions:
- If you don't have a MA competed or in process, list any undergraduate courses relevant to elementary education.
- Highlight any experience with children such as tutoring, camp counseling or volunteer work. Place these in a separate section before any other work experience.
- If you have room, include the Interests and Skills section as described above.