Sunday, May 15, 2011

resume advice

Cover letters are the first thing your potential employers will see. If it is well-written and interesting enough, they'll turn the page and take a look at your resume. That doesn't mean it is less important; resumes are just as essential an element in your job search portfolio. It's a history of your education and work life. Along with the cover letter, application, and references, a resume is used to screen the large pool of applicants down to those that get an interview.

Most of you have a resume by now. So I'm going to touch on a few things to keep in mind.
  • Resumes are unique documents. There's no real right or wrong way to create a resume. Though it is tempting to use a template document, you'll want to make sure the resume is as unique as you are.
  • Sections typically found in a resume include: name and contact info, objective, education, honors/awards, licensure, teaching experience (your student teaching and practicum experiences), coaching/volunteer/related work experience.
  • Say away from "I" in your resume. Start statements about your experiences with action verbs. Here are a couple links to some helpful lists of action verbs.
  • Carefully consider the length of your resume. If you have extensive work experience, a resume can be longer than a page. But in that case, make sure the most important info is on the first side, as you run the risk that only the first page will be considered.
What makes a resume outstanding?
  • Brief and concise
  • Easy to read format and font
  • No more than 3-5 headings
  • Uniform margins, no smaller than an inch on all sides
  • Power words and teaching-specific keywords
  • Skills, talents, and abilities that are transferable to the classrom
  • And of course, no typos or misspelled words. Proofread! And then proofread again! And then get some other kind folks to proofread! 
Most of your institutions have resume and cover letter suggestions on their websites. If you're having trouble getting started, those sites are a great place to start to find resources or schedule individual meetings with career counselors.
Good luck! Next topic: discovering job vacancies

How will you present your uniqueness in your resume?


  1. This is certainly an outstanding write-up. Thanks a lot for spending some time to summarize all this out for folks. It truly is a great guide!

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