The inevitable - CV writing tips, by Rachel Travers, Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant, Engage Education Ireland
OK, so you almost have the degree in the bag, the assignments are in and the observations for your teaching practice are over. You can now breath a sigh of relief; take it handy for a few weeks and enjoy the rest of the term feeling like a 'real teacher'. At this point, you're probably not thinking of what next? So many teachers ask us for CV writing advice so we thought we would put some handy tips together to help you get through such a mundane but necessary process.
First things first, as an employer one of the first things I will look for is - 'what subjects you teach'. Are you primary or secondary? If I can see this within the first second or two of opening your CV you make me a happy woman! You would be surprised at how many teachers forget to put this on their CV. Of course, I can look through your CV and see what university you went to, where your teaching placements have been. But seeing your subject information straight off the bat gives you brownie points.
Ah, the age old question - do you put a picture of yourself in the top of your CV? Will this help or hinder you? Taking the time to put a picture on the CV shows us that you are dedicated and went to extra effort to impress. Keep it professional - no bathroom selfies or pout trouts! Keep the picture at a reasonable size in a top corner. In Irish schools, Principals will be happier to see your CV with a photo on it. You might not get called the first time you hand it in but it will make you stand out and make your face more memorable!
Always put your education first starting with your most recent education. With each education degree, give the exact dates and subjects taken. Do you need to put in your results for your Leaving Certificate? For England - no. For Irish schools - perhaps! At least let the principal know the school you completed your state exams in and that you have the results handy if they would like to see them.
Teaching placements next please!
As a prospective employer, this is so important to see next, after your education section. Write down your most recent placements with the exact dates you worked there. Give a short synopsis or bullet points of what your responsibilities were there and the age groups you taught. The majority of principals in Ireland and even in our staff in our office can tell a lot about you as a teacher from these placements.
Following this, the next section should be Other Employment. This other employment most definitely should be short and sweet. Of course, if you've got volunteer experience, leadership work in any other area of employment we want to see it. Make sure to write it down!
Achievements and skills are next. Kind of a self-explanatory section but it's nice as an employer to see this. Again it gives us an idea of the teacher and person that you are! Make sure this is a short and sweet section too! Your CV shouldn't be more than 2 pages long!!
References! Ahhhhhhhh, references are always needed! Regardless of what job you are going for! All employers will need at least 2 references from your past employers. If you are applying for a teaching job these must be educational based references - leave the contact details on your CV or at least attach it to an email if you don't want it to be in the CV document itself. Again, you make us happy recruiters when we see referee details or references attached to a job application.
So this blog, we hope has helped you somewhat.
Happy CV writing, happy job hunting, and may the odds forever be in your favour!