Principal Resume Examples & Templates

Elizabeth Muenzen, CPRW
By Elizabeth Muenzen, CPRW, Career Advice Expert
Last Updated: April 10, 2024
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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, managing budgets and supervising faculty and staff.

The right candidate for the job should possess a problem-solving attitude and exceptional leadership and communication skills. Our guide to crafting an effective resume for a principal will help you highlight your strengths in these areas and land your dream job faster.

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Principal resume sample (text version)

Nicholas Martin

Watertown, SD 57201

(555) 555-5555

Professional Summary

Organizational leader and educational administrator offering 15 years of experience as an educator and principal for middle and high schools. Exercises honed competencies in development, implementation and execution of performance-enhancing programs. Outstanding skills in parent communication, conflict resolution and staff management. Known for consistently supporting faculty and staff as an advocate leader.

Work History

July 2016 – Current

McKinley High School – Watertown, SD


  • Make significant contributions to the school’s number one, district-wide ranking.
  • Hire and organize orientation for new teachers and staff.
  • Serve as primary speaker during assemblies and rallies, overseeing announcements and performances.

August 2012 – June 2016

Roosevelt Middle School – Watertown, SD


  • Observed and evaluated 30 teachers in a classroom environment every year.
  • Met with parents to discuss students’ academic performance and high school readiness.
  • Established after-school study program; provided on-campus supervision two days per week.

January 2008 – August 2012

Lincoln High School – Watertown, SD


  • Directed and organized weekly meetings with all 245 faculty and staff members.
  • Provided chaperone supervision during dances, sporting events and other school events.
  • Collaborated with school counselors and district administrators to advise and support excessively truant or lower-performing students.


  • School event coordination
  • Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Teacher and student development
  • Curriculum development
  • Safety and security procedures
  • Group facilitation and presentations


University Of South Dakota SD

Master of Arts Education Administration

Dakota State University – SD

Bachelor of Arts Education


  • South Dakota Principal Certification (2007-current)
  • South Dakota Teacher Certification (2004-current)

5 essentials of a standout school principal resume

  1. Contact details

    Add your contact information to the top of your resume so hiring managers can contact you for an interview. Include your full name, city, state and ZIP code, followed by your phone number and professional email address. Add your LinkedIn profile and professional website (if you have them).

  2. Professional summary

    Your professional resume summary is where you introduce yourself and highlight your top qualifications for the job in three to five sentences. 

    A principal resume should include a professional summary with appropriate skills and one or two professional accomplishments, and it should touch on how long you’ve been in the industry. 

    For example, “Professional, forward-thinking principal with 12 years of experience in school leadership, curriculum development and motivating students towards high achievements. Proven track record of driving academic excellence, creating a positive school culture and fostering collaborative relationships with students, staff and parents. Adept at managing budgets, implementing technology initiatives and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations.”

  3. Skills

    It is important to let potential employers know what skills you bring to the table. Create a separate section for your job-relevant skills and display them with bullet points to make them easy to read. 

    Include both hard skills (such as “curriculum planning,” “financial administration,” or “employee management and goal-setting”) as well as interpersonal skills (such as “critical thinking,” “public speaking skills,” or “time management”). 

    Our school principal resume examples include both technical skills and soft skills that hiring managers want to see on a resume for a principal role.

  4. Work history

    The employment history section of your resume is essential for demonstrating your prior experience in the educational system. 

    In reverse-chronological order, list current and previous employers and provide business names, locations and the dates you worked for each. Include three bullet points of measurable achievements for every job you list. 

    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%.” 

    If you’re applying for your first job as a principal, it’s acceptable to highlight relevant extracurricular activities, coursework, presentations, volunteer experience and community service.

  5. Education

    Hiring managers want to see your education credentials, so a principal resume must include an education section. 

    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.

    Add all the educational institutions you’ve attended after high school and display the names of the schools and the years that you graduated in reverse-chronological order using bullet points. 

    If you did not attend college, list your high school information and the classes you’ve taken since graduating. 

    Explore our guide on how to list education on your resume for additional tips and tricks from career advice experts. 

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Do’s and don’ts for building a principal resume

  • Use measurable achievements to describe your principal abilities and experience. For example, “Implemented a new student-centered learning model that resulted in a 15% increase in standardized test scores over the course of the academic year.”
  • Use action words to make an impact on your principal resume.
  • Tailor your resume to your target principal job.
  • Use keywords from the job description throughout your principal resume.
  • Format your principal resume so that it is easy to read by ATS software and human eyes.
  • Lie about your principal experience and skills.
  • Boast about your principal experience and skills. Instead, include concrete examples that speak to your expertise in educational leadership and building a positive school environment.
  • Include irrelevant personal information such as your ethnicity and age.
  • Add skills and experience that do not pertain to being a principal.
  • Forget to proofread!

Top 4 tips for acing a principal interview

  1. Learn about the school. 

    It’s vital to take the time to learn about the school’s goals, values and personnel before the job interview. Doing so conveys interest, passion and commitment — traits that can set you above the competition. Plus, a glimpse of the school culture early on will help you know what to expect and can boost your confidence.

  2. Practice at home.

    Practice really does make perfect. To practice for your interview, start by reviewing the most common interview questions, such as: 

    Possible behavioral questions include:

    Also, prepare for job-specific questions, such as:

    • How do you create a positive school culture and climate? 
    • What experience do you have in educational leadership?
    • How do you support and evaluate teachers and staff?

    Write down two or three possible answers as you review potential questions, then review them with a friend or a family member in a mock interview so you can get comfortable with the questions and memorize your answers.

  3. Ask questions.

    You should always have at least three questions ready to ask every job interview you encounter; those who do tend to get hired more often than those who don’t because they show motivation, keen interest and thoughtfulness. 

    Some questions you might ask for a principal job are: 

    • What is a typical day on the job like?
    • How does the school support professional development for teachers and staff?
    • What are your expectations for the first 90 days?
    • How does the school address issues of equity and diversity?
    • What does a successful principal look like to you?
    • How does the school incorporate technology into teaching and learning?
  4. Gather references.

    You’ll need professional references quickly if the hiring manager offers you the job after the interview. Having them ready will save you stress and time, so prepare a list of two former colleagues and a former manager who are willing to speak to your abilities to perform the job of a principal and who you know will give you a stellar review. 

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