Don’t let your CV let you down!
Your CV is your key to getting a foot in the door. Prospective employers will judge you according to your CV. It is not just what you include either, it is how you include it. An incoherent CV that omits the basics will be thrown in the bin.
The structure and content of your CV are of equal importance. Employers want to be able to quickly identify key information. You should use the following subheadings:
Name, personal details
Other teaching-related employment
Skills and other courses attended
Below are basic tips on formatting, followed by advice on the level of detail required under each subheading.
Use a font size of at least 11
Use a plain font that is easy to read
Use the tab key to indent written text
Use bullet points
Always try to confine your CV to 2 A4 sheets
Use spell check AND proof read
Highlight important features e.g.
Key words such as specific learning needs you have experience of dealing with
Create your CV in Word format.
Use subheadings and format them in bold
Use colourful inks or fancy fonts
Use a variety of fonts in the one document
Be afraid to show off
Be sloppy – use the tab key
Skimp on details
1. Name, personal details
These pointers might sound obvious but it is surprising how many people neglect the basics! Your name should appear in bold as the first thing read.
2. Teaching philosophy/covering statement
You should write approximately 400 words contextualising your experiences and qualifications and discussing your general approach to teaching. Mention successes you have had in the past, events or programs you have coordinated and any other specific examples that your CV does not mention. Explain why you are looking to move on from your current position and what sort of job you would like. Your personal statement should also emphasise what it is about you as a teacher that is appealing to schools – what can you offer?
If you are an overseas candidate, please also explain in your statement the reasons why you are particularly interested in working in the UK – this not only helps us find the most appropriate school for you but also helps us to sell you to clients.
The most important sections of your CV are your professional qualifications and your teaching experience. Without these we will not be able to put you forward for any roles.
State the name of each qualification (e.g. Bachelor of Education), when it was obtained and the name of the awarding institution. Do not abbreviate qualifications. It is not necessary to record the marks received for university degrees; the name of the degree is sufficient. This information should appear early in your CV.
4. Teaching experience
Your teaching experience should be listed chronologically from most to least recent. For each teaching post you have held, it is important that you specify the subjects you taught and at which levels. All extra responsibilities and contributions should also be included, along with a brief description of the type of school. For example, whether it is a mixed comprehensive, junior school, infant school etc. Your CV needs to provide readers with as accurate an account of your experience as possible. A combination of point form and précis writing is a successful combination.
Please give as much information as possible – we can edit and trim your CV but we can’t just add things that may not be accurate. Dates are important – without dates your CV is too vague to send to employers. It is important that any gaps on your CV are explained to us, as we cannot place you without knowing why you were absent from work for a period of time, either due to illness, having a family, or unemployment – if a gap such as this is not explained, employers worry that the reason for the gap is untoward.
5. Other teaching-related employment
Teaching related experiences such as coaching and tutoring should be included in this section. Voluntary or youth group and theatre work can also be included in this section. Anything that demonstrates your aptitude for working with young people in the role as mentor is important and should be part of your CV but it is not the same as teaching.
6. Other employment
The CV you submit for consideration for teaching appointments, should not focus on employment that has nothing or little to do with teaching. Prospective employers want to know, first and foremost, about your work in education. Other work experience, while important as an indicator of your attitude to work and skills, is often of little relevance to the classroom.
7. Skills and other courses attended
Information about short courses you have completed and professional development you have undertaken can be included here.
Referee details should appear at the end of the document and be people who have seen you teach in a supervisory role.
We have prepared a sample CV in Word format that you can use as a template.
Now, read our interview advice and remember, preparation is essential!