Writing a reading specialist resume that is accomplishment-based, skills focused if the number one way to land a literacy-based teaching position. It is similar to writing a general teacher resume, but it needs to be specific to your reading and literacy expertise.
Working with and helping struggling learners is one of the most rewarding experiences an educator can have. Other similar titles for a reading specialist could include reading coach, literacy coach, reading intervention teacher, literacy leader, reading coordinator, or reading literacy teacher.
As a reading specialist, you know how much focus goes into guiding a whole class, as well as the individual student. The most effective way to WOW the reader of your resume is to create a reading specialist resume and cover letter that are full of specific accomplishments and can concretely demonstrate your true worth.
The most visually-appealing strategy for implementing achievements in your teacher resume for a reading specialist job is listing them in bullet point format under the corresponding position.
7 Ways to Write a Winning Reading Specialist Resume
Use Quantifiable Examples to Provide Evidence
The most effective way to convey your achievements as a reading specialist educator is to incorporate facts and figures. For instance, you should mention how much student test scores have improved, how many reading levels the class has advanced, or how many students you have helped bring up to a passing grade.
Use numbers and grade/reading levels as much as possible to paint an accurate picture for the hiring administrator. Some examples include:
- Increased five students’ reading levels by three full levels due to successful reading interventions
- Boosted students’ test scores on the state reading test by 20% as a class.
- Brought several below grade level readers up to proficient levels, equally a two reading level increase.
Employ the CAR Acronym to Uncover Education Achievements
Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with multiple, impressive achievements. If you find you are struggling with this section of your reading specialist resume, use the CAR acronym: Challenge, Action, Result.
What was the Challenge or problem you faced? What Action did you take to address the issue or resolve the problem? What was the Result of your action? These accomplishments should be written in regular sentence format, omit the use of a pronoun, and highlight a desirable skill or trait that is relevant to a reading teacher. Some examples include:
- Expanded students enthusiasm for reading by implementing relevant books and reading materials tailored to students interests; resulted in students enjoying reading and improving reading fluency skills.
In this example, the Challenge was the lack of student interest in reading, the Action was implementing books and reading materials that interested the students, and the Result was the increased enjoyment of reading among students and the increase in reading fluency skills.
- Assessed an “at-risk” learner’s reading skills and diagnosed the student with dyslexia; after the diagnosis, the student received the proper support she needed and improved her performance in all academic areas.
In this example, the Challenge was the student’s at-risk academic performance, the Action was assessing and diagnosing the student with dyslexia, and the Result was improved student performance due to proper support and intervention.
Dig deep and think outside the box.
Perhaps you have limited career experience related to being a reading specialist and haven’t had many challenges. If this is the case, you will have to get creative for coming up with relevant achievements.
Don’t worry, it can be done!
Though your reading specialist resume should obviously focus on the specialty at hand, you can easily incorporate accomplishments from other teaching or related positions you have held.
If you wrote a teacher resume in the past, this is an excellent starting point.
Throughout regular teaching positions, chances are you’ve experienced similar achievements to that of a reading specialist. For instance, you may have tutored struggling readers in an after-school program, implemented guided reading groups or tiered reading in your classroom, taught regular language arts classes to a classroom of learners, differentiated instruction to accommodate different levels of learners, and/or utilized reading programs and strategies that you will use as a reading specialist.
If you have tutored struggling students in different subject areas, this would also be worth mentioning, as well as any experience working with diverse student populations, implementing interventions, or improving students’ performance and learning outcomes. Additionally, any experience collaborating with colleagues, training other teachers, or working with parents is definitely worth highlighting.
Showcase Key Skills Within Your Literacy and Teaching Accomplishments
As mentioned above, conveying your skills within your achievements is a great way to boost your appeal as a potential job candidate. You should focus on integrating important instructional and assessment skills that you effectively employ to boost student performance.
For instance, letting the reader know what programs and assessments you’ve used can be helpful. So, if you’ve used DIBELS, Reading Recovery, DAR, Guided Reading, Balanced Literacy, Rubrics, Reading Strategies, etc. make sure to mention them.
Don’t forget to mention the tech tools you use to motivate reading practice.
If you are seeking a position as a teacher trainer, you will want to highlight your mentoring and coaching skills. If you are looking to run your own classroom, you will want to demonstrate your talent for behavior management.
Showcase in your reading specialist resume how you are able to work with children one-on-one, work with children in small groups, conduct individualized evaluations, offer positive reinforcement, differentiate instruction, and assist students with special needs.
Include Related Extra-curricular Work and Volunteer Experience
Accomplishments can be found in the form of informal work experience as well. For instance, tutoring children, adults, and ESL learners is a very relevant and helpful experience to include in your reading specialist resume. Incorporate your community involvement and/or volunteer experience within your resume to give yourself an added boost above the competition.
Integrate Teaching Skills and Job Achievements
Once you have developed an educator resume full of relevant accomplishments, you will want to translate them into your cover letter. Since your professional cover letter is the first thing a hiring administrator looks at, you must leave an exceptional impression!
Broadcast your formal education, years of relevant experience, teaching skills, areas of expertise, greatest strengths, and your job accomplishments in your application letter. Incorporate these in bullet-point format, like in your resume, or in standard paragraph style. Communicate how you do or will do an excellent job. If you need to be reminded of all the wonderful things you do, review this post on how to excel as a reading specialist on teachers.net.
Communicate Achievements in the Interview
After your job application documents have been drafted, proofread repeatedly, and sent off to the school district, you will want to start practicing for a job interview. Take time to review any reading or literacy specialist jobs on indeed.com.
You never know when your phone is going to ring, and you want to be ready! Knowing and memorizing the job accomplishments you listed on your literacy coach or teacher resume and cover letter will help prepare you for a one-on-one interview or panel interview.
Understand what skill, trait, or result each accomplishment demonstrates (refer to point #4 above). You may be asked to provide the interviewer with an example of a time you had to use your creative thinking skills; a time you had to work with an at-risk student to boost his reading comprehension; a time you had to train a co-worker. By knowing your achievements ahead of time, you should be well-practiced for the day of the interview!
So, when developing your reading specialist resume, remember that it’s incredibly important to include as many accomplishments as possible that showcase your skills and experience as a reading specialist.
Whenever possible, quantify your results, utilize the CAR acronym, think outside the box, showcase your related skills, and don’t forget to include your volunteer and community experiences as well. Including these important tips in your resume will help you to get noticed by more schools.
Now that your education job search is underway you should be called for an interview. Don’t blow it. Be prepared to communicate your reading, teaching, coaching, and your literacy achievements and relevant skills during the reading specialist job interview.
Do you need assistance with writing your reading specialist resume?
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