Applications Made Easy: Resume Guide
Build a resume that will get you noticed, and download a template to help.
Need a fresh resume to apply to a student support job, a teaching position or a teacher prep program? Don’t panic! And don’t send in a tired old resume either. We’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or freshening up an older model, try out these resume tips and tricks, and download our template.
Build Your Resume Step-by-Step
Start with your contact info
This one might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people leave off key information or format the header poorly. Here are a few best practices:
- Make your name big and bold at the top. Use a simple, readable font. Color is fine too—but if you use color on your resume, stick to one accent color throughout.
- Use a professional email address and double check that you’ve spelled it correctly. Do you have a funny email like kittykat5000@yahoo or markusiskool@gmail? Time to upgrade to a new account for your applications. Use your name if possible.
- Add a phone number and double check it.
- If you have a LinkedIn page, you can add that. Or if you created a portfolio for a class, you can link to that too.
Showcase your skills and accomplishments first
You’ve probably seen resumes that start with education or work experience first. That works great for some folks, but we really like a skills section on top. This lets you highlight specific experiences, skills, awards and languages right up front.
Don’t make the reader dig for the gold in your resume—hand it right to them.
What to include in your skills section
This is your chance to show the things that most qualify you for the program or job. Pull skills you’ve gained from your education, volunteer experiences or paid work.
- Do you speak more than one language? Add it!
- Proud of your impeccable Microsoft Office Suite abilities? This is the place to list it.
- Have experience planning field trips and managing students? Tell it!
Education is second—or third
Whether you have a degree, are currently working on a degree or are just getting started, you’ll want to list your education. If you have a recent degree, including your high school diploma, you can put your education as the second part of your resume. If you graduated several years ago, you can move this below your experience section.
What to include in your education section
- List your most recent degree first, including any degrees in progress.
- Choose two or three bullets to add below, to highlight anything you think is important.
- Include relevant coursework, clubs or activities, academic awards or recognitions, research projects, etc.
Experience is paid work and more
Every work experience you’ve had has prepared you for this moment. This section of your resume should tell that story. And yes, volunteer work is work!
Whenever you can, share your achievements using concrete data. This can sound like, “Doubled the participation in X organization from 20 to 40 students" or “Tutored ten students, 90% of whom raised their reading levels from below grade-level to above grade-level.”
What to include in your experience section
- For your paid work, you don’t need to list everything you do. Pick four or five accomplishments or responsibilities that you want to highlight.
- If you list volunteer experience, show how it’s relevant. If you’ve volunteered with students at a school, church or other community organization, that’s definitely relevant.
- For older positions, one or two bullets will do it.
Use active verbs. Most resume bullet points start with the same verbs or phrases, like “managed”, “led”, and “responsible for.” Get creative (while still being clear!) and describe how you “advanced” a project or “designed” a new system or solution.
Remember to revise
Before you upload your resume, revise, revise, revise.
- Pay close attention to the word count, grammar and spelling in your resume.
- Read your resume out loud. It’s easier to catch typos and figure out which phrases aren’t working when you have to slow down and really listen to your words.
- Have someone else take a look. Your friends and family know you best, so if you can, ask someone to read over your resume for you. People who care about you can help you figure out if you’re selling yourself short, if you could share your experiences in a more effective way or if you’re clearly communicating the ideas you want to share.
- Proofread, again. As any editor will tell you, it can take a few read-throughs to catch everything! Take another pass or two before you send off your application.
If you have any questions about your teaching program applications, reach out to a TEACH coach or admissions staff for support. We’re here for you.
Want to keep exploring?
Applications have a lot of steps, and we’re here to support you with all of them.
Check out more FREE tools to simplify the process.