It’s that time of year again…the time when teachers start thinking of new possibilities for the next school year, and start to put out their resume and applications for new opportunities.

As recruiters for BASIS International Schools, we see a lot of resumes every day. You can be a great candidate and a perfect fit for the position, but if your resume is difficult to read, or lacks basic information, you may not get the interview you deserve. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips for you to take your resume to the next level, so you can not only get the interview, but the career you are ready for.

1. Don’t blindly follow a resume template

We often see candidates who used a nice resume template…and then forget to delete previously entered/example copy before submitting it. This makes a resume look unprofessional and obviously detracts from what the candidate is trying to convey. It makes it obvious a candidate did not take the time to review their resume before sending.

Beyond content that doesn’t belong to a candidate, sometimes the template chosen doesn’t work well for the position applied for, or doesn’t flow well. Don’t be afraid to create your own resume that matches your experience, the position you are seeking, and, most importantly, showcases your personality.

2. Present your career history in reverse chronological order

People grow and change throughout their professional lives. Many people start their work lives in one career, then switch to something new. It’s important to have your most recent and relevant work experience at the top of the page. If you want to highlight something in particular from several years ago, use your objective statement to do so (we’ll cover objective statements next). Starting with the most recent position and working your backwards is the most intuitive way to structure a resume, resist the urge to stray from this established practice.

3. Tailor your objective statement for each position to which you apply–or leave it out altogether

Objectives are not necessary for every candidate or for every position. If your work history and education closely matches the position you are applying for, you probably don’t need one. Objectives should be used to explain something in greater detail that isn’t obvious when reading your resume, such as your desire to move into a new role, or explaining a gap in your career. Do not use an objective unless it clearly gives the recruiter more insight into your experience. An unnecessary objective takes up valuable space on your resume, and moves your relevant experience and education down the page.

4. List promotions or multiple positions with the same organization as one job

Many candidates make the mistake of listing each position or promotion at the same company separately. However, this can often read as switching jobs too often. Even if you moved within the same company but to a new city, this can look confusing. Find a way to show it was a promotion, or a lateral move. Job stability is always appreciated by recruiters.

5. Include a short summary of what classes you have taught

This summary should be tailored for each unique position. If you have taught classes across a ten year span, we want to see that. What ages were your students? What was the specific subject area? This information gives recruiters valuable insight into your real life experience in the classroom–experience that’s relevant to the position for which you are applying.

6. Highlight your relevant accomplishments, additional training, and Professional Development

Did your students have the highest AP pass rates on your campus, network, or district? Were your students the school’s most improved? Tell us about it! Other training, specializations, and certifications we love to see include TEFL, CELTA, IB, A Levels, AP Training, SPED, SIOP, ELL, and more.

7. If you have a prolonged gap in your career, explain why

It’s not always a bad thing to see a prolonged career gap on a resume…but we’d like to know the reason for it. The more information a recruiter has, the better. Things like maternity leave, caring for a family member, or taking a sabbatical year, among others, will not compromise your opportunities. However, without that knowledge, the recruiter just sees it as unemployment.

8. Demonstrate what makes you passionate about teaching

Not all applicants take the same road to the teaching profession. Everyone derives their passion for the classroom from something personal and unique. What was your journey to the classroom? What are your favorite lessons or classes? What clubs, sports, and other extracurricular activities have you been involved in? This is your time to tell us who you are, and what your goals are as an educator for your students.

9. Make your basic information easy to find

When a recruiter is reading a resume, they want to see what your specific major was, rather than your degree. If you’re applying for a chemistry teaching position, don’t list a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, when it’s really a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. That’s what we’re interested in seeing. If your specific major is relevant to the position you have applied for, list it and make sure it’s easy to find.

Last, but certainly not least…

10. Include your contact information on your resume

This may seem pretty basic, but we see resumes every day that look great…with no name, email address, or phone number. Make sure recruiters can easily see how to get in touch with you and make your email address clear on your resume.

These are some of the things that make recruiters happy when we see a resume. Our goal is to hire the best educators we can find, and a great resume makes our jobs a little easier–and the applicant’s too! If you’re a great teacher, we will want to talk with you; make sure your resume tells us why we should!

Michael Hultquist & Tai Lemire, International Recruiters, BASIS International Schools

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