CSI Literacy NZ

How to write a must-read teaching resume

How to write a must-read teaching resume

The countdown is on to the end of the year, and for some of you that means change.

Whether you’ve spied a job you’d like, you’re on the move to somewhere new, or you simply want to update your resume, we can help. We’ve got everything you need to put together a winning resume

First things first: there is no such thing as a ‘one resume to rule them all’ template. Add some creative flair or keep it clean and simple – that’s up to you.

After all, it’s the content that counts, right?

Right! So here’s what you’ll find in this post: five resume must-haves, some optional extras (nice touches if you have room), a principal’s perspective, and other words of advice from people with the power to hire or fire.

But want to know what the golden rule when writing a resume is?
Be brief.

That means saying as much as you can in as few words as possible. Think two pages, three at most!

Ready to get started?


Five resume must-haves

  1. Some personal information. This is a no-brainer – you need to start things off with your name and some contact details!
  2. A statement about you as a teacher. You can call it ‘about me’, ‘teaching profile’, ‘professional profile’, or even simply ‘profile’. Whatever works for you. Write a paragraph or two about yourself and what you are like as a teacher.
  3. Your education and qualifications. (What, where and when you studied.)
  4. Your teaching experience. This should include:
    – A list of the roles you’ve held, and the schools these were at
    – A brief description of what each role encompassed
    – Any other responsibilities you had while in this role (i.e. how you have contributed to the life of the school)
    – If you’ve got a gap (such as a period of parental leave), pop it in! We came across a resume where the individual included their role as “stay at home” parent in with their teaching experience, but used the space to highlight the ways they’d kept up with their teaching practice. Nice!
  5. Your references – people who know you and your teaching practice.


Six optional (nice but not strictly necessary) resume extras

  1. Quotes about you as a teacher (probably from your school leadership team or a school report)
  2. A mission statement (for example, “To provide a safe and positive learning environment in which students can learn to their highest potential”)
  3. Your curriculum strengths
  4. Any relevant professional development
  5. Your strengths and skills (both professionally and personally)
  6. Hobbies and interests.
    Note: employers don’t really want to know that you collect Star Wars memorabilia. They’re more interested in the fact you play football in your spare time, or that you’re big on the environment – things that might come in handy at school!

A principal’s perspective

We checked in with one school principal to ask what he looks for in a resume.

He told us that the “guts” of your resume should revolve around just three things:

  1. Evidence that you have the ability to manage and motivate students
  2. Evidence that you have the ability to nurture academic growth (and that you have the ability to provide learning experiences for all levels of ability within the classroom)
  3. Evidence that you can contribute to the school as a whole (you’re positive, prepared to get stuck in when you can, and will contribute to school life outside of the classroom, too).

If you’ve got these things covered in your resume you’re doing great!


Resources to help you out

  1. There are some very clever, creative resumes out there – some employers are into it, some aren’t. But if you’re really keen to add a bit of design and flair to your own resume, we highly recommend checking out Canva, a free online graphic design programme that’s really easy to use. (Plenty of pre-made layout options, too!)
  2. Download this resume example for a bit of inspiration. (Made with Canva!)
  3. Your resume will get you on a long list, but it’s your cover letter that’s going to help your prospective employer decide whether or not to give you an interview. Check out these guidelines for writing a killer cover letter.


Anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!




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