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Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-Class High School Teacher Resume

  1. Summary In a few concise sentences, feature your core skills, expertise and work experience, focusing on your capabilities to effectively deliver lessons, and improve student performance. For example: “Enthusiastic High School Teacher well-versed in implementing vocational curricula, utilizing creative methods and differentiated instruction in multiple subjects.”
  2. Skills Specify any fields in which you have advanced knowledge, such as AP English and Common Core standards, as well as technical proficiencies such as SMART Boards. Don’t forget to include all-important soft skills that show how you can interact with students, including communication, public speaking, leadership, time management and organizational skills.
  3. Work History Provide details on your accomplishments rather than just listing your work history, using numbers and specific facts to better illustrate your achievements. For example, instead of writing “Used technology for teaching,” write “Implemented SMART Board technology in classroom instruction of science subjects for 200+ students in grades 7-9.”
  4. Education In addition to your highest academic credential (e.g., Bachelor’s degree in secondary education), feature any professional certifications you have from associations like the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), as well as a state teaching license in the state where you want to teach.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • Do highlight achievements rather than just listing tasks It’s more important to show what you do best, rather than just listing everything you’ve done. Focus on a wide range of accomplishments, providing numbers to show how much you’ve excelled. For example, it’s more effective to write “Conducted weekly lectures for students in need of extra support in math, leading to all enrolled students scoring at least B grades in math classes” rather than, “tasked to conduct remedial sessions in math for students needing extra support.”
  • Do create an impactful summary statement The summary statement is your first chance to make an impression — make the most of it. Think of your summary as an “elevator pitch” in which you provide a succinct overview of your best skills and experiences. Make sure you address the specific requirements of the job. For example, if the job calls for “demonstrated experience using a wide range of instructional technology tools including iPads, laptops and Google Apps,” include an example in your summary to address this need, e.g., “Hard-working High School Teacher proficient in using iOS platforms and Google to deliver creative lesson plans to classes of 30+ students.”
  • Do use action verbs Using active, powerful verbs like managed, conducted, coordinated or guided to describe your work experiences gives employers a sense of you as a proactive leader, rather than using more wishy-washy phrases like was tasked with.
  • Don’t focus on routine duties Never focus on standard tasks that all teachers perform, such as taking attendance, or collecting and correcting assignments. Differentiate yourself by describing work experiences and achievements that make you stand out, such as being voted “Best Teacher” in the school yearbook, or carrying out specific projects to help improve student grades or teaching standards, such as creating specialized lesson plans for different classes.
  • Don’t mislead recruiters with false or exaggerated information If you don’t have all the skills required for a job, don’t claim you have them. If the job prefers a certain number of years of experience, don’t try stretching out work experience beyond what you’ve had. The consequences for lying on your resume can be severe. Instead of making up information, emphasize the skills you have, and indicate your willingness and ability to go beyond the call of duty and pick up new skills as needed. Feature transferable traits such as strong communication abilities, student motivation and being an empathetic listener.
  • Don’t overload your resume with information Ideally, your resume should be one to two pages. Avoid the temptation of cluttering up your resume with too many details about your work experiences and skills — even the sight of a resume dense with text can put off recruiters. Narrow your focus to abilities and accomplishments that directly address the job’s requirements, and keep your bullet points and descriptions of your work experience within a single line or two.

High School Teacher Resume FAQs

1. Apart from skills and work history, what else should I emphasize in my resume?

Make sure you’ve included all the certifications or extra training you’ve had in particular subjects, as well as your state license or certification in secondary school teaching. If you’ve taken on extracurricular or community activities that reflect well on your abilities to teach and mentor others, such as volunteering for a summer teaching program, you should also include them in an “Activities” section.

2. What design should I use for my resume?

While some might think the “look” of your resume is important, it’s only important in that it should be neatly organized, and easy to read. Unusual fonts and layouts can confuse recruiters, as well as applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many employers now use to scan resumes. Project professionalism and efficiency as a teacher by keeping your layout simple and straightforward.

3. Should I include references in my resume?

While having good references is an important component of a teaching job application, there’s no need to include them in your resume, or even a line stating “References available upon request.” Recruiters will contact you to provide them with a list of references if needed, so just have the list handy. Use the real estate in your resume to elaborate on your qualifications and abilities.

4. Which keywords are useful for a high school teacher resume?

Employers will be looking for keywords in your resume that match keywords they present in their job postings. For example, a job might list “differentiating instruction to meet the needs of students with diverse learning profiles” as a qualification; from that you can pull “differentiating instruction” and “students with diverse learning profiles” as keywords. Make sure your resume contains skills and experiences that meet these qualifications. For example, you could write “proficient at teaching students with diverse learning profiles” in the skills section, or present a job experience such as “Created specialized teaching plans for students with different learning capabilities.”

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