Principal Resume: Examples and Tips

Principals oversee daily school operations, implementing policies and working to provide a productive educational environment. Duties for this position can include staff scheduling, setting and maintaining high educational standards, budget management, and supervising faculty and staff. The right candidate for the job should possess a problem-solving attitude, analytical thinking, leadership qualities, and exceptional communication skills.

Use these tips and resume examples to create an impressive resume that gets you the principal job you want:

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Principal Resume Example

Top 4 characteristics of a best-in-class principal resume

  1. Summary List your top work accomplishments, complementing them with relevant skills that explain why you’re the right candidate for the position. For example: “Professional, forward-thinking principal resume example with 12 years of experience in school leadership, curriculum development, and motivating students towards high achievements.”
  2. Skills Browse the job description to glean the key skills the recruiter is looking for, and feature skills of your own that tie in closely with what the specific job demands. Include both practical skills (such as “curriculum planning,” “financial administration,” or “employee management and goal-setting”) as well as soft skills (such as “critical thinking,” “public speaking skills” or “time management”).
  3. Work History Instead of listing every duty or responsibility you’ve ever had, focus on top accomplishments that speak how you handle the requirements of the job you want. For example, if the potential job emphasizes instructional techniques, feature your experiences in this area, e.g., “Implemented instructional techniques using the latest technology to increase student pass rates by 10%.”
  4. Education List your highest qualification (e.g., master’s degree in education) along with any other important training or certifications you have, such as School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS) certification or a Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) certificate.

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Find the right template for your resume

Don’t fret about giving your resume the right “look” — just use one of our employer-ready templates.


This all-purpose design uses simple borders to highlight the job applicant’s name and credentials. The professional resume fonts and simple layout gives your resume a polished look.


This layout uses thin lines to neatly organize each section, making the document easy to navigate. The extra pop of color in the header provides a unique look.


Elegant fonts and judicious spacing between each section makes for an effective minimalist presentation, with section headings italicized for quick reference.

Explore our free resume templates section for even more templates you can use.

Do’s and don’ts for your resume

  • DO create an engaging elevator pitch for your summary.An elevator pitch communicates your best abilities and accomplishments to an employer in a few seconds — which means that it’s a perfect way to organize your summary. Zero-in on your key skills and strengths, and describe a top work accomplishment or two that shows you’re the right person for the job. For example: “Diligent High School Principal with expertise in collaborating with administrators to improve academic progress. Successfully implemented programs that improved student achievement and cognitive growth.”
  • DO customize your for different jobs.Each job will have different requirements, so make sure you update your resume each time to match. For example, if the job stresses hiring and coaching teachers, provide an example in your work history section of your proficiency in this area, or list “teacher hiring and management” as a skill. Our article How to Create a Targeted Resume provides more advice on customizing your resume.
  • DO quantify your accomplishments. Explain your achievements in previous jobs using measurable terms, such as stats and numbers. This not only sets you apart from generic resumes, but also lets recruiters clearly understand your abilities. For example: “Managed 22 teachers, improving performance with timely, relevant feedback,” or “Reduced student misconduct by 50% in first year as principal.”
  • DON’T be long-winded. In other situations, it’s good to use complete sentences, but they’re not needed for a resume. That means don’t use pronouns like “I” and “my,” and use short, peppy phrases and bullet points to communicate your accomplishments. For example, instead of writing “I implemented a system that tracked student attendance,” write “Implemented student attendance tracking system.”
  • DON’T make your resume too long.  In the same vein, your resume should be short and sweet — no longer than two pages at most. Use those short phrases and bullet points, limit your work history to jobs from the last ten years, and only include information that addresses the specific needs of the job you want.
  • DON’T submit your resume without reviewing it. As a principal, you’re expected to be a role model for your students — so make sure to apply those standards to your resume. Review your document a few times and make sure all typos and grammatical errors are corrected. This is also your chance to ensure that the information you’ve provided is factually correct and accurate. To save yourself time, use our step-by-step Resume Builder, which will check your resume for these types of mistakes.