Write a Compelling Resume Profile or Summary Section to Engage the Reader
Are you trying to write the perfect resume profile or summary? Good for you – it is critical to landing job interviews and offers.
Aristotle, the wisest of teachers, warned us that ego gratification through comparison – being better, stronger, faster than others – can lead to alienation. Such platitudes in a resume profile or summary can also alienate you from the teaching post you want.
The resume profile or summary has become a key element of job resumes in education or any profession. As the first section the recruitment officer reads, it is arguably the most important, in many ways.
This article applies to any education position, including school administrator, education consultant, head teacher, lead teacher, higher education, high school teacher, director of curriculum, mentor teacher, literacy coach, new teacher – well, I could go on and on.
Unfortunately, many of these resume summaries are made up of either dull prose or boorish boasting. Ego is at the center of the most common mistakes made in a resume profile. They include repeating information and over using superfluous adjectives, such as 'excellent,' 'best,' and 'outstanding.'
A resume profile or summary that is targeted and in focus has no room for such verbosity. Regardless of what teaching position you are applying for, your career focus, teaching skills and attributes should be customized to the needs of the new teaching position and school district. This is your opportunity to distinguish yourself from other teaching candidates.
Resume Profile or Summary Writing Tips to Ensure a Focused and Strong Presentation
Resume Introduction (The Resume Profile)
The resume profile is one of the key elements of a solid teaching resume. This is the most challenging portion of a resume to write, and one that most job seekers do not put enough thought and effort into.
You want your profile to leap off the page. Begin with a career title at the top of your resume under your letterhead. Typically, this title is centered and in large bold print. Continue with a 5-to-7 line paragraph that identifies the skills and talents you can offer and how you will fit into the teaching position and school district. Or you can bullet the statements in your resume profile.
The first sentence should tell the reader who you are: Primary school teacher with 4+ years of experience working in special education. If you do not yet have teaching experience, cite your related educational attainments. Include teacher training. This introduction should be a succinct one sentence synopsis of your teaching background. This statement is typically followed by your objective.
Primary school teacher with 4+ years of experience working in special education seeking a full time teaching position in elementary school education.
From here, the profile drills down into the specifics of your skills and personality attributes, without repeating your resume education and experience, which are presented later in the resume. Now it is time to tell the recruiter why you are special. Here is what not to say:
'Recognized as the best teacher in the school and for outstanding performance...'
Being the best, or the most excellent or outstanding tells the recruiter nothing about the specific set of teaching skills and personality traits you will bring to this teaching job. Lose the ego, and let's share with the recruiter why you are the most qualified candidate for the job.
If you are lost for words, research what teacher job skills and qualities are being demanded of the teaching positions you are pursuing. Online teacher and general job boards such as Indeed.com allow quick searches of job positions. We can see that educational institutions are seeking teachers that:
- Create an engaging and growth mindset learning environment to is respectful
- Use diverse teaching methods, including media, role playing, brainstorming, guest speakers, presentations, and bulletin boards.
- Are adept at using innovative learning technology in the classroom
- Appreciate diverse life-long learning methods including social media, online communities, associations, podcasts, webinars, videos, and good old-fashioned hardcover books.
- Demonstrate ability to support individual learners with special education needs through differentiated instruction
What other specific attributes do you want to emphasize?
- Local with strong knowledge of district educational needs
- Specialist in special education, IEPs, and differentiated instructions
- Experience applying ABC teaching methods and programs
- Multilingual with proficiency in English, Spanish and Italian
School District Requirements of New Teachers
Keep in mind that hiring is often done at the district level. This "spotlight" portion of your resume should be written in a convincing manner, and also draw attention to the direct contributions you can bring to the district. Research the school district to understand what they want in a teacher. Remember to direct your resume profile toward what your employer wants and how you are the model candidate to deliver. Personality Attributes
Avoid just listing your personality traits in isolation: caring, compassionate, and empathetic teacher... Most teacher resumes include these traits. Try and match these personality attributes with demonstrated ability.
- Dedicated and passionate special education teacher who has trained to level 5 in Special Ed teaching certification
- Engaging teaching style that has consistently increased classroom participation and student grades
- New graduate excited to create an engaging learning environment respectful of physical limitations, cultural diversity, and gender differences to optimize student success.
Resume and Education Keywords in Action
Superfluous words aside, the choice of the right keywords in the CV is important, especially in the summary located at the top of the resume. The profile of your resume is an opportunity for you to emphasize your professional experience, detailed qualifications, and transferable skills related to the position. Keywords are specific nouns and action verbs that effectively describe specific terms used in an occupation or job industry.
Researching the position thoroughly and paying attention to what is listed in the employer's ad posting will provide a variety of keywords that can be integrated into your job profile. While you need to keep your ego in check, being overly modest is also discouraged. This is your first opportunity to show just how good you really are and the value you can bring to the school district.
Example Teacher Resume Profiles or Summaries
Take this example of a resume profile into consideration: If you were looking to hire an individual, which of the following profiles would catch your attention?
- "Experienced English Teacher seeking challenging, full time employment within a public school district. Proven success working with children and providing lesson plans and a safe class environment."
- "Learner centered, innovative teaching professional with a genuine interest in students' cognitive and social growth. Actively involved in all areas of education including curriculum development, professional communities, teacher mentoring, student career preparation, and exploring technology. Combine strong passion for English and writing expertise to motivate and inspire students, while creating a fun and challenging learning environment. A self-driven leader with excellent communication and interpersonal skills who enjoys effectively collaborating with all levels of staff members and fosters quality relationships with students and parents."
As you can see, the first example is dull, boring, and uninspiring. It tells you nothing more than what the individual is looking for and little about what they can bring to the position.
The second example engages the reader from the beginning. It actively describes the individual's talents and skills, and provides the potential school district with insight into what this candidate can bring to the position. This tailored profile will ensure that a recruitment officer will continue to peruse your resume with enthusiasm and interest.
Choose your words carefully. Keep your ego in check. And remember, less is more.
Do not forget to review our advice on how to write a teacher resume profile and resume writing mistakes to avoid. Also review tips on teacher resume and CV writing. Read in-depth blog posts about critical resume writing strategies.
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 job at home or abroad.
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