Advice needed: Writing a good teaching CV (beginning teacher edition)

Now that job application season is upon us, I’ve spent way too much time writing and then rewriting my CV and myself asking the same question, “what does a good teaching CV for a beginning teacher look like?”

So I’m putting that question out into the blogosphere for the

Having been on the hiring side of the table more than the applicant side, I tend to be a ‘less is more’ person in that a well laid out CV with a few key points tends to grab my attention far more than pages and pages of waffle.  When I’ve had to sort through applicants in the past my eye naturally gravitated towards the key points of an applicant’s education/employment history before working out whether to put in the ‘interview’ or the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ pile.

Having come from the public sector my CVs in the past tend to be rather bland black and white affairs in which I soberly highlight how my work experience matches the job description. As a result, I tend to be a bit wary of anything gimmicky like including photos simply because I know CVs are photocopied and photos tend to become smudgy depending on the quality of the printer/photocopier. However I worry that if I go that route I risk of being too bland that I’ll be just another boring CV to read.

My anxiety of writing my teaching CV comes from a slightly different place than some student teachers. I’m not a freshly-minted graduate looking to pad out my work/eduction experience sections of my CV but someone with about 10 years of post-graduation work experience, some of which is highly relevant teaching, so I need to be reasonably judicious with how much information I can feasibly include without the document getting too lengthy.

Obviously putting where I’ve been on Teaching Experience, my previous qualifications/work history and my blog would be must-haves (it hadn’t even occurred to me to put my blog address on my CV until it was mentioned in a comment so thanks for the idea). What about education papers I completed during my first degree (educational psychology, special education, assessment, educational philosophy, plus IT & education) and my honours dissertation, which was on New Zealand educational policy, or is that a case of too much information… *Snore*?

Is previous leadership worth a mention? Alongside being Vice-President of my students’ association I was the student representative on my university’s council, senate as well as a bunch of teaching-related committees or does this sort of stuff make me look more like a policy wonk than a beginning teacher?

I’m assuming that I can leave out stuff like completing the three Wilton’s cake decorating courses but some schools might be interested that I’ve completed Korean language classes.  Likewise it might be good to include attending Nethui and Educamps.

Then there is the business of teaching philosophy. The problem I’m having with this section is that I might end up sounding like a bunch of feel-good phrases lifted from the documents I’ve been studying because I don’t have much real-world Teaching Experience to back up the words.

At the moment I’m trying to write my CV from the view point of the people who will be reading it and if I was a principal of a school the key question I would be asking myself is ‘what is this applicant going to do if I let them loose in a classroom full of kids?’ Other questions would be ‘is this person the ‘right fit’ for our school’ and I guess the biggie for a beginning teacher would be ‘is this applicant willing to learn and take on feedback? In which case if my CV manages to clearly answer those questions within the 30 seconds someone might allot to glance at the document, then maybe I’m on to a winner regardless of whether I’ve gone the bells and whistles or the more sober route.

Is my thinking on the button here?

2 thoughts on “Advice needed: Writing a good teaching CV (beginning teacher edition)

Add yours

  1. You have a great blog that says more about who you are as a teacher, learner and human being than any application letter or cv.
    Just write:
    I want a job Please click on this link to my blog.


    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Ed, it really means a lot as your blog has been a huge inspiration to me.

      I have included not only my blog address but a QR code on my CV 🙂


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