Are you looking for high school teacher resume writing tips to improve your existing secondary school teaching resume? Perfect! Here you will find ten tips I’ve gathered from my experience helping high school teachers find rewarding jobs ushering adolescents through these critical years.
Whether it is girls becoming too model thin, boys being too rambunctious on and off the football field or the drama of romantic heartbreaks, high school students pose a unique set of problems to high school teachers. If you are a part social worker, coach, big sister, and academic instructor all rolled into one, you are ideally suited for a position as a high school teacher.
Conveying your unique teaching qualities and accomplishments to a potential high school is vital to landing a job interview.
High School Teacher Resume Writing Tips to Land an Interview
1. Write a Skills Rich High School Teacher Resume Profile
Your resume profile is your first introduction to the school hiring manager. In these first few lines, you need to distinguish yourself from other applicants to ensure she reads on. Avoid a generic introduction. Instead, focus on the unique skills you bring to the classroom to promote the academic and personal growth of adolescent students. Here are a few examples:
- Student-focused and dedicated teacher who applies math and science instruction to the real world challenges and experiences of teenagers and the societies in which they live.
- Inspiring educator and social worker supporting the academic and personal growth of each student in their formidable teenage years through an empathetic ear and differentiated learning instruction.
2. Develop a Teen Targeted Education Resume Section
The more general your resume, the higher the chance you will be overlooked and placed in a pile with other non-distinguishing teacher resumes. Get the attention of your reader early by highlighting any relevant special training you have received.
First, list your degrees. If you have taken special courses such as Adolescent Psychology or Early Childhood Development note them. Also list any relevant certifications such as Working With Young Adults With ADHD or Preparing Students for AP Exams, and so forth. If you are writing a high school science teacher resume or high school music teacher resume, list the special certifications, programs, and technologies you have training in.
Note how this physical education teacher resume focuses on the development of the whole student. These students leave Phys. Ed class with significantly more than basketball techniques. They also learn gross and fine motor skills, teamwork, classroom, and relationship skills – all important life skills a young person needs to develop.
3. Emphasize Deliverables in Teaching Work Experience Section
Teaching adolescents can pose unique challenges to educators. To demonstrate your ability to handle the multiple classroom challenges, provide quantitative and qualitative evidence.
How do you handle and measure classroom behavioral performance?
What techniques and methods do you use to deal with students’ attitude problems?
You will gain points for showing how you have turned negative situations into positive outcomes. Are your students getting the grades they need to graduate and be accepted into competitive colleges?
Providing numbers to demonstrate how you have met or surpassed benchmarks is always more influential than boasts. Learning how to uncover teaching accomplishments and communicating them in your high school teacher resume will be vital to increasing job interviews.
Examples of Accomplishments from High School Teacher Resumes:
- Reduced absenteeism and classroom behavioral problems by 15% through student-led committees on classroom behavioral expectations.
- Developed a student speaking program on drug abuse resistance strategies, which has been adopted by the school district.
- Incorporated real-world examples, which guided students to above average performances on AP Math and Science exams.
Would you not love to have this math teacher on your team?
Review this job applicant’s high school math teacher resume, you will find it full of impressive deliverables: improving student performance; cutting classroom technology costs; introducing new thematic units; and applying new programs, technology, and manipulatives. I am ready to hire him.
4. Demonstrate Ability to Meet the Special Needs of High School Students
Adolescents have entered a stage of their lives in which they are braving the world directly without the shield of their parents. Parents no longer choose their play groups. On their own, they may make bad decisions on whom they decide to befriend – mischief makers, drug users, hooky players, and so on.
Many teenagers right themselves after learning a few painful lessons, but most will need some special handholding during this sensitive development stage. Here are examples of skills from teachers who meet these unique challenges.
- Liaised with educational psychologists, social workers, and special education teachers to develop individualized learning programs according to individual needs and abilities.
- Implemented a bullying awareness and counseling program that addresses both online social media and offline abuse.
Some high school classrooms will be more challenging than others. If you are writing a high school teacher resume, it is worthwhile to spend time developing your philosophy of discipline or behavior management. Clearly, articulate your behavioral management strategies for managing your classroom. Teachers who are unable to handle the classroom are challenged to produce positive learning outcomes.
5. Critical High School Teacher Resume Writing Tip: Add Relevant Teaching Keywords
Education keywords are critical to your job search success. Resume keywords serve several essential functions. They:
Act as guides to lead school hiring managers to your resume when conducting online searches. They also help your resume to get through the resume scanning software that schools use to sort through the piles of resumes they receive.
To get noticed, be very specific:
- High School Teacher – Math and Science
- High School Teacher- Special Education Specialist
- High School Teacher – Physical Education
This high school high school mathematics teacher resume is rich in keywords related to math. He is sure to pop up in an online job search. But what if the school is seeking a high school computer teacher at this time? His computer education and experience also appear throughout the resume, so once again his resume is a hit. An interview could always lead to a future position as a math teacher.
If you only place ‘high school teacher’ on your resume, you will not come up if someone searches “high school teacher” + “math” + “science” search.
Show the depth of your experience.
Once again, I encourage you to turn to the math teacher’s resume mentioned early. This job seeker has gone into depth about the math courses, programs, technologies, and manipulatives he uses to teach math. A school will be pleased to see he is already trained in the programs they use and can introduce their classrooms to a few new approaches.
6. Choose Action Verbs That Show Mastery Of High School Classroom Challenges
Use actions words, verbs, and phrases in your secondary school teacher resume that convey your many skills and talents. The following words show recognition of the special role of quasi-counselor and mentor a high school teacher often plays.
Match your keywords to those in high school teacher job ads. If you are writing a high school science teacher resume, specifically research those ads and the specific skills they are seeking.
7. Use Transferable Skills in Place of Limited Experience
Draw on your life experience. Examples of transferable experiences are:
- Summer camp coach
- Student leadership positions
- Tutoring jobs
- Librarian assistant
- Teaching assistant
- Any job or volunteer work in which you were a team lead or member of adolescents or children
Transferable hard skills may emphasize your teaching approach:
- Differentiated Instruction
- Cooperative/Whole Group Learning
- Performance Assessments
Examples of transferable soft skills are:
- Strong communication skills
- Student motivation
- Empathetic listener
Tailor your keywords to your areas of specialty. If you are a high school science teacher, use science education keywords.
8. Present Your Educational Philosophy Relevant to Teaching High School Students
An educational philosophy is of particular importance for high school teachers. It is where you will present your teaching style, as well as your level of dedication to your students and helping them build an education and personal foundation to meet their life challenges ahead. Not all secondary teaching approaches will work well with these sensitive adolescents, so communicating what you have learned does work will be noticed.
Some secondary teachers fall into the trap of using a generic philosophy of teaching statement. It is in this document a teacher’s real passion for teaching is conveyed. Although the resume has little room in which to expound on your philosophy, a few references to your approach to teaching in the Resume Profile and Experience sections can convey your level of commitment to, and passion for, your profession.
Review how this high school teacher resume convincingly discusses the classroom environment and teaching approaches she has learned work best in her classroom in her secondary school teacher cover letter.
9. Include Recommendation Quotations
A citation from a credible recommendation letter is a very powerful testimonial to your teaching abilities. Having someone else speak to your teaching abilities is a very powerful tool that can help you stand out from the competition. As shown in this teacher resume sample, the quotation is the most effective when placed at the bottom of the Resume Summary or Profile sections.
10. Attach a Separate Page of References
Now that you have the school hiring manager’s attention you do not want to lose it. By supplying your recommendations with your resume, you can avoid being tossed onto the great resume heap of resumes pending further information, such as recommendations or proof of qualifications.
You have three options to avoid being tossed aside, at least temporarily:
1) Insert your recommendations in the resume.
2) Supply a list of recommendations on a separate page.
3) The delivery of any resume in electronic form provides a third option – provide a link to an online document with your recommendations.
I hope you found these high school teacher resume writing tips helpful and can incorporate any that are relevant to your situation.
If you want to become a high school principal, you can start acquiring the qualification and skills you need now to make the leap when you are ready.
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