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How To Write A Successful Teaching CV

One of the most important aspects in obtaining a teaching position is the ability to "sell yourself" to a Headteacher. Your initial impression with a prospective Headteacher will be through your CV. Consequently your CV could either get you an interview or relegate you to the "not wanted" list.

How should I lay out my CV?

There is no right or wrong way to present your CV to an employer/school, what is important is that your CV should be clear and concise, outlining achievements in your teaching career and interests. Your CV should focus on the requirements and attributes that the Headteacher wants as well as interests that are relevant to his/her school. Your CV should be between 2 - 3 pages in length.

What fields/categories should I include on my CV?

Again, there are no right or wrong answers but the following points will go a long way to help. Do remember that your teaching experience should always be in reverse chronological order (i.e., your most recent post first).

> Name:
Make sure your name is clear and visible at the top of the front page. You can include your name at the top or bottom of each further page should you wish to.

> Health/drivers licence/identity number/mothers maiden name/marital status etc:
Must not appear on the CV.

> Date of birth:
Use "date of birth" as a heading as it is more appropriate than age.

> Address/phone/email:

> Education:
University qualifications only. You must include the University name and the city in which the University is located. Any other certificates should be included in a separate section towards the end of your CV in something like "Awards and Certificates." Once again the entries must be in reverse chronological order.

E.g.,

2002 PGCE Art and Design (Secondary), University of Central England in Birmingham

2001 MA Fine Art, University of Central England in Birmingham

1999 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Coventry University

> Employment:
This is obviously the most crucial section of the CV; it is here where you highlight your strengths and experiences. You should clearly label each position with a date range. For example, to write 1999 - 2000 assumes you worked 1 full year, however Jan 1999 - July 2000 is 18 months.

E.g.,

January 2000 - July 2001, Great Barr School, Birmingham

Include the name of the school and the city. Make sure you state the year level you were teaching, subjects, any areas of responsibility, programmes you were involved in developing, special needs in your class etc. If you have been teaching for quite a few years, pay more attention to the most recent posts and simply list the schools, dates and year groups as the years go back. Ensure that you do not leave any gaps in your employment history as this will be picked up during the interview.

> Professional development:
Any courses relating to teaching you have taken and the approximate dates of these. Once again these must be relevant to your role as a teacher.

E.g.,

July 2002 - Implementing Circle time in the Primary school

What other areas are important to include on my CV?
Here are some suggestions that you may want to include in your CV that will help you in your quest for an interview. These are extras and must be placed after your teaching experience.

> Awards and certificates:
Can be activities both in and out of school.

> Interests:
This will tell the Headteacher a little more about your extra curricular interests and could be exactly what the Head is looking for.

> Voluntary experience:
This does not have to be teaching related but if it is, I would direct it towards the top end of your CV. Include the names of organisations (or even schools) and dates that you were involved with them. You may want to include any camps or summer programmes. However, if it is not entirely relevant to a teaching post , do remember to keep it brief.

> SEN experience:
If you are looking to get into special needs, you may have had experience babysitting your autistic cousin or tutoring children with learning difficulties. This is all highly relevant experience to show why you have an appreciation and interest in the special needs environment. You must remember to keep it brief.

> References:
There is no reason why you need to include this on your CV. You may end up sending the same CV to numerous employers and you may not want to give each and every potential employer these details as some could very well take the liberty of contacting these referees prior to your authorisation. Why not simply say "References are available on request" and if an employer asks you for them directly you can always give the details of the appropriate referees.

What can I do with my CV if I haven't been teaching for a while or am newly qualified?

> Teaching practice:If you are a newly qualified teacher , list the schools you have been placed in, what year levels you worked with and anything particular about the school that will enhance your credentials.

You may want to include a teaching statement that encompasses your ideals, reasons and approach to teaching. This can also be done if you are looking for a slight change in direction (i.e., special needs, EAL, support work, key stage level change, etc). It is always nice to have some sort of statement that tells your prospective employer about you and where your interests in teaching lie.

Submitted by:

Laurence Doherty

Teach Network is the online teacher recruitment service that uses the latest in recruitment technology to deliver online recruitment solutions to schools and recruitment agencies throughout the UK. Visit http://www.teachnetwork.co.uk




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