How to improve a failing teaching CV

Teachers are intelligent, savvy and inspiring people. They’re great at helping students to improve their skills and knowledge, staying on top of the curriculum and planning engaging lessons. But all too often, despite their countless skills and talents, their own CV falls terribly short.

Sound familiar? Whether you’re an NQT or a seasoned professional, it can feel extremely frustrating to apply to multiple roles and not hear anything back. Especially when you know you’re a passionate and capable teacher.

Check out these top tips to boost a failing teaching CV. They’re sure to help you prove that you’re the perfect candidate for the job.

Review target jobs

One of the most common reasons for a failing teaching CV is sending the same CV to each and every role. Before you send off your next application, it pays to do your homework.

Research the school and check back to the job description to figure out exactly what they’re looking for. Ensure you mention any important skills they’re specifically seeking in the top third of your CV, including when and where you’ve put them into practice.

The same goes for experience. For example, if the school is looking for someone with GCSE experience, go into more depth about your experience and knowledge of this area than others. You’ll also want to mention that you’ve got X years of GCSE experience in your personal profile.

Yes, you may have to make a few alterations before each application – but it’s sure to help you land an interview.

Simplify the CV

No matter how much knowledge, experience and passion you portray, bad formatting and lack of structure could land your CV straight in the bin. You should be aiming to create an easy on the eye CV which is concise and to the point.

You might teach your students about essay writing, but that certainly doesn’t mean your CV should be one. Use dynamic, snappy language and keep the document to two pages, no matter how much experience you have.

To help recruiters find the information they need, use plenty of bullet-pointed lists and subheadings. It’s important to leave some white space, too – a jam-packed CV comes across as unorganized and unprofessional.

As for structure, start with your basic contact details, a punchy personal profile and a core skills list followed by your work experience and education history – making sure each and every point you include is relevant to the role in question.

Remove cliches

Imagine how many CVs a school receives which state that candidate is ‘a hard worker’, ‘an excellent team-player’ or ‘highly-motivated’. Cliches like this won’t impress employers – they’ve likely already read those exact words on the previous 10 applications.

Give recruiters a reason to believe you. If you’re a good team player, state a time you worked with other teachers to achieve something impressive. Lots of cliches can be avoided by simply focusing on attributes, experiences and results rather than empty, overly-used statements.

Focus on results

Teachers often fail to include results in their CV, assuming they’re not relevant to the education industry. No, teachers don’t generate leads or sales. But they are expected to produce results for the school in terms of grades and student performance.

Think about your previous or current role. Did you run after-school revision sessions which helped to raise low achieving student’s grades? Did you achieve an impressively high percentage of pass grades at GCSE? Or perhaps, you organised a brand new club which helped students develop a new skill or hobby?

As long as the result shows that you’ve gone the extra mile for your students or colleagues, it’s worth including on your teaching CV.

Avoid a failing teaching CV

If you spend some time making these four adjustments to your teaching CV, we’re certain it will increase your chances of nabbing that all-important interview and landing the perfect role. Good luck!

About the author: Andrew Fennell is a former recruiter and founder of CV writing advice centre StandOut CV -Check out his detailed guides to writing a teaching assistant CV and teacher CV.