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Getting your CV interview ready

Tagged In:  CV, interview, ITN Mark, resources, school
05 June 2017

You know you’re a brilliant teacher, and we know you’re a brilliant teacher and that any school would be lucky to have you as a member of their team.

But does your CV reflect just how brilliant you are?

Anyone looking for a new job these days is judged, usually very quickly, on the strength of their CV and even teachers with years of experience behind them can find getting all of their skills into a short document a challenge.

So what can you do to get your CV interview ready?

Structure

Experience

This part of your CV can be quite challenging, especially if you have been teaching for some years so keep the details as concise, and relevant, as possible

Introduce yourself and then show off

You should always include a section or two at the start of your CV that highlights your strengths and teaching highlights. This paragraph is your chance to show off and demonstrate what a fabulous teacher you are, so include as much relevant information as possible – this is probably the first bit of your CV that the Headteacher is going to read so show your passion for teaching and your knowledge of your subject.

Career History

Keep it quite simple and to the point

  • School name
  • Dates you were there
  • Role
  • Summary of your time there including any highlights

Stand Out

Remember, when a potential employer is looking at your CV they will be looking for what’s in it for them to employ you and what makes you stand out from the other applicants.

Be an example

Don’t just list a job specification or a list of responsibilities; Headteachers will always want to see what you have accomplished and what the benefit was to the school and the students.

  • Did you play a role in the last Ofsted inspection
  • Did your work with your pupils lead directly to an improvement in exam results and can you show what the improvement was?
  • Did you take on extra responsibilities such as after school clubs?
  • Have you done any work with the local community?
  • Can you demonstrate a time when you helped a pupil directly and what the outcome was?

Qualifications

List your teaching qualifications including the place and dates you studied along with any appropriate training such as Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Be aware of using abbreviations on your CV. Most schools will recognise education specific abbreviations such as NQT or SEND but make sure you explain the less familiar ones.

Mind the gap

If you were in another profession before you became a teacher, then include this information on your CV rather than leave a gap and possibly include a brief explanation of why you made the career change. 

If you have had any periods of unemployment, then make sure you explain why this was and if you were doing any unpaid or voluntary work include that in your CV.

Use a simple and easy to read font

As tempting as it is to use a fancy font to make your CV stand out to a busy Headteacher, it's best to stick to a clear, simple font that can be read easily as a printed document and an onscreen document.

Don’t overdo the design element

Stick to bold for headings and italic for emphasis; again it’s tempting to use colour for an eye-catching effect but keep in mind that if someone prints your CV in black and white, this might be a waste of your effort. Make all your text the same size and don’t go smaller than 11 pt. Finally, make sure you’re consistent with your design throughout the whole document.

Spelling, grammar and punctuation

You’ve probably spent most of your teaching career telling your pupils to check their work so make sure you do the same! Re-read it, run it through the spell-checker, read it again out loud, read it again and the get someone to check it for you. Then put it on one side for a short time and then check it again. It may feel like a bit of a thankless and laborious task but it's a very necessary one.

Hobbies and Interests

If you include an ‘Other Interests’ or a ‘Hobbies and Interests’ section in your CV then make it as relevant as possible to teaching and what you can bring to the school as a whole, as well as the wider community. So as much as you may love your stamp collection or your encyclopaedic knowledge of bird song, it’s more of an advantage if your interests are relevant to education or worth something to the school.

Finally, give it a simple name, most people use firstname_lastname_CV or something easy to recognise as your CV. The school will probably receive tens or even hundreds of applications so make your CV easy to pick out.

Looking for Work?

Once you have perfected your CV why not send it to us?

We can review it and get back to you with feedback and any suitable job opportunities.

Quick Send CV

Look out next week for our handy infographic ‘Top CV Tips for Teachers’ – out on 13 June 2017

Further reading

CV Writing (ITN Mark Education)
How to write a must read CV (TES)
How to write a Great Cover Letter (TES)
CV Advice (The Guardian)
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