As a recruitment business we look at a number of supply teachers CVs; some good, but often not as good as they should be. Having a well prepared and well written CV is one of the most important investments you can make when looking for a new teaching role and here are some of the reasons why.
Your CV is your first opportunity to impress a potential new school, and we all know that first impressions count! It should go without saying that using the correct spelling and grammar is paramount but we often find typos, that writers simply don’t see and we all miss typos when we’ve written documents. It’s always a good idea to ask someone else to read your CV for you before you send it anywhere. A second reviewer might notice errors and save you the embarrassment of sending out a less than good CV.
The CV needs to be clearly laid out and easy to read. If it’s too busy or displayed in a strange font then this could be enough to put your potential new employer off even if it’s a subliminal negativity it might stop them reading your full CV. Remember that the person sifting through CVs has lots to go through they won’t waste their time on CVs that aren’t presented well or are difficult to read.
How should my CV be presented?
At the top of the CV you should always start with the basics – your name, contact details and address, you may also wish to include your date of birth if you feel this is necessary (although now with age discrimination laws you don’t need to include this so you may decide to omit this).
Next on the CV should be your brief personal profile. This is a paragraph or two about you, your skills, strengths and attributes. Make this paragraph appealing and don’t waffle! Many personal profiles are very generic and often say ‘I’m a team player but can work well on my own’ or ‘I’m enthusiastic and hardworking’, and whilst these statements may be true try and think of something slightly different and original that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Following on from your personal profile you should detail your career history. This should start with your most recent employment and work in descending order. Make sure you include the dates of each employment and write a small paragraph about what your duties were. This could also be in bullet points to make sure it’s short and to the point. Always include any qualifications, achievements or career highlights that you are particularly proud of.
It’s important to remember that the CV shouldn’t be too long. If it is it may deter potential employers from reading it. Hirers believe that the ideal length of a CV should be no more than two sides of A4 paper. They will probably skim read the CV at first as they may have a pile of CVs to get through thus highlighting once again the importance of making it clear and concise from the outset.
Where you can try and relate your skills to the teaching job you are applying for as this will make you seem more appealing to the employer. This can be more time consuming if you’re applying for lots of different teaching jobs but if you are looking to stay in education, then it shouldn’t cause too many issues.
To summarise, the perfect teacher CV needs to be clear and concise, of a decent length of 2 A4 sides, detailing your personal details, a profile, career history, qualifications and focused on the specific vacancy you are apply for. Make sure it is written well and always get someone to read over it for you before sending it to a new school.