Education Job Search Blunders to Avoid and Stay Ahead of the Competition
Are you having difficulty with your education job search? Do you feel like you cannot get in the door with your current job hunting search strategy?
Are you bewildered as to why your phone is not ringing off the hook with job interview invitations?
Believe it or not, it usually lies within writing your resume and application letter. It's the truth.
You could be the culprit who is unintentionally sabotaging your job search success. As a professional resume writer and career coach, I have seen educators make the same common mistakes time and time again.
Whether you are writing a new teacher resume with no experience or a veteran teacher seeking a new job, I have devised the following list:
Top Five Education Resume Writing Mistakes You Need to Fix – Also CV Writing Errors
An education job search mistake would include making any of these resume writing errors. Correct any blunder now to help you secure the teaching job you desire.
1. Resume Target – Summary or Profile - Objective is Not Clear (Too General)
Targeting your CV or resume is a critical component to job search success.
We have all heard about educators who have worked in jobs they have grown to hate; they have become bored and uninspired in their day-to-day work. To avoid becoming a victim of the "bored worker" syndrome, it is essential to take the time to find an education job that nicely complements your natural skills.
Finding a position that works well with your personality and abilities will ensure happiness, satisfaction, and success in your career.
The first step to aligning your career with your natural abilities is taking a personality assessment to find out what education jobs you are best suited for.
Are you an empathetic, caring and a good listener?
Consider primary school teaching or school counsellor jobs.
Are you highly motivational, adept at crunching numbers and analysis, and strong on people and communication skills?
Educational leadership – being a school administrator could be your calling.
Also take aptitude tests to assess where you have natural ability.
You can now narrow your job search and make a more convincing case for why you are the ideal candidate for the job.
2. Standard Generic Cover Letter Lacking Career Focus of Job Target
Almost every personnel department can spot a mass produced, standardized letter from an online job site. Your cover letter is typically your first contact with a school district. From the first paragraph, distinguish yourself from the other candidates. The more time you take to customize your letter, the more distinct of an impression you will make.
Above all, connect the dots for the reader... that is, show why you are the perfect match for the job. When responding to a specific job posting, send a cover letter that matches the job requirements and qualifications. Also focus on the district's needs. You will want to tailor your cover letter for each job posting or position. Even if all the job titles say 'special education teacher,' challenge yourself to find the unique needs of each teaching position and school and explain how you can help meet them.
A generic application letter will fail to distinguish between the very different skills highlighted, for example, in a school administrator resume and guidance counsellor resume. Note the differences between the Math Teacher Cover Letter Sample and Art Teacher Cover Letter Sample. The latter places more emphasis on soft skills while the math teacher prioritizes hard skills, including computer and technology skills. Noteworthy, the math teacher states he has experience preparing students for the all-important state exams, a benchmark upon which the performance of all schools and principals are measured.
Keep in mind, when applying to a specific teacher job posting to always include the competition number, or your document could end up in the wrong folder or the filing cabinet.
Learn more about 6 mistakes not to make when writing a teacher application letter.
3. Not Including Education Accomplishments – You Need Evidence in Your Resume
If you are a math teacher, you need to target a mathematics teaching position. You should have provided quantitative evidence of how you helped students improve their state math scores. Whenever possible, provide evidence of your education accomplishments.
Format your accomplishment-driven teacher resume in a way that emphasizes them. Don't cluster your accomplishments and responsibilities as one. Instead, write an overview of your teaching responsibilities in paragraph format, and draw attention to your accomplishments with a bulleted list.
Don't place everything in a paragraph, and likewise, don't place everything in a bulleted list. Your aim is to draw the employer's eye to the important selling points.
When describing your teaching professional achievements, be sure to use influential keywords to stress the importance of your achievements. Modesty has no place here! Where appropriate, utilize industry lingo, don't overdo by looking spammy.
Your teacher resume is your personal marketing tool, and keywords and achievements play a vital part of conveying your value proposition as an educator.
4. Poorly Formatted and Designed Resume – Lacks Visual Appeal and Relevant Content
Recruitment officers at school districts are bombarded with hundreds of teacher resumes daily. It is essential that your resume sets you apart from the competition.
Ensure your resume is clear and concise and introduced by a strong career profile. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to write a compelling resume profile or summary. This is the first section the teacher recruiter will read.
This section of your resume is your hook – ensure you reel in your reader. Core competencies supported by accomplishments, emphasizing the benefits you can bring to the school district, can appear in the career profile and lists in the top third of the resume.
5. Not Using Education Keywords in Your Resume
Keywords are specific nouns and action verbs that effectively describe terms which are used in the education job field. They are not only used to capture the reader's attention but also make it possible for your resume to be scanned into an applicant tracking system database and searched.
Resume keywords can also include specific terms used by districts and educational recruiters, such as those that describe your education and work experience. The use of keywords has become so important in resume development that some people add an entire, very obvious keyword section within your document.
We like to weave ours into the content to it look natural. The resume will appear professional and less conspicuous if your keywords are blended within your text, profile and skills summary. Invest the time to learn about resume keywords to include when writing an education CV and teaching keywords and skills to include when writing your resume. You will be rewarded with more interview requests for the teaching positions you are targeting.
Don't forget to scrutinize our teacher resume examples to examine how we format and incorporate teaching experience and accomplishments.
Read in-depth blog posts about education job search help for teachers and administrators.
While you are there you will find lots of job search and resume and application letter writing tips on how to write your academic CV curriculum vitae to land a teaching job.
Learn more about Candace Alstad-Davies by reviewing my about me page. From that page, you can review testimonials and frequently asked questions.
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