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Tips for writing an education CV

Advice on how to show off your teaching skills in your CV

Your CV is the first thing that a potential new school will see, and they will make a quick judgement about your suitability based on the information you provide, so it's important that you stand out from the crowd and sell your skills in the best possible way!

The presentation

Make sure your CV looks the part, with consistent formatting throughout, and use a clear and professional font in size 10-12, such as Arial or Times New Roman. Remember to triple-check your spelling – many schools will dismiss a CV if they spot errors!

Though it's tempting to write everything you've ever done as a teacher, try to keep your CV to a maximum of two pages. A busy school leader will skim to pick out the key information and determine your suitability. Bullet points are a great way to keep your writing succinct and focused.

The structure

Each section of your CV should build up a picture of your experience and suitability for a role.

Introduction

This is your space to outline your experience and what you're looking for. Make sure you include what you teach, why you decided to teach, what your current post is, and why you are looking for a new role.

Key achievements

After your introduction, you should include a section for your key achievements: bullet point them to keep them eye catching. You could include experience of Ofsted, exam syllabi taught, extra-curricular activities you have been involved in - if you're proud of it, write it down!

Qualifications

After that you should list your qualifications in chronological order with the most recent first, and include dates, institutions and qualifications gained to help the reader get a clear picture of your experience.

Your education work experience

This is the most important part of a teaching CV – and is what makes you really stand out from the other applicants. Talk through your education based work experience in chronological order, starting with your most recent role. Include dates worked, setting name and your job title.

It is a good idea briefly add your main responsibilities and achievements in each role as well, especially if you had leadership responsibilities or took part in lots of extra-curricular activities, as it will show off what skills you will bring to a potential new school. Keep it brief, and consider using bullet points to make it easier for a busy head to find the key information. The aim is to show what you can do, but leave plenty of things to talk about in your interview!

It's important that you account for any gaps between roles as unexplained gaps in employment can viewed as a safeguarding risk by a school.

If you've been working on short term or day to day supply, it is best to write the names of any agencies you've been working for, with detail on the types of work you've been doing.

Keep in mind that your CV is an opportunity to sell yourself, so keep referring back to your achievements, and include examples that show the outcomes of your hard work where you can.

"I have successfully employed a range of intervention strategies with my class".

Becomes much more powerful if you change it to read:

"I have successfully employed a range of intervention strategies with my class and every pupil successfully progressed to meet their targets by the end of the year".

The final steps

Finally you should finish your CV off with the following sections. These highlight your professional development, and help build up a broader picture of you as an applicant.

  • Education INSET and training you have attended in the last two years
  • Other work experience
  • Other qualifications, skills and interests

Once you've got your CV ready, it's a good idea to keep it up to date as you take on new roles and responsibilities. This makes it easier when you want to send it out, and you'll find that it's easier to recall all of your achievements when they are fresh in your mind.

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