How to Write an Effective Teaching CV

Your CV is the first point in getting you noticed.

It takes a potential employer just 10 seconds to decide whether to place your CV on the read or junk pile, so making an impression is vital.

Top 5 points when writing a CV

1. Format

Keep it clear and simple to read.

  • Font sizes of 10-12 for text and sizes 11-14 for headings. Use capital letters/bold for emphasis
  • Don't use italics, underlining, shading, graphics, fancy images, vertical/horizontal lines or boxes
  • Your name should be at the top of the page
  • There is no need to write "CV" at the top of the page - it wastes space!
  • Use Word doc. or PDF formats only
  • Keep 1-2 pages in length - only go into detail about the most relevant information regarding your employment and educational background
  • Use bullet points to summarise lists
  • Get to the point - shorten sentences e.g. "I supported the management of learning and development plans for 20 children" to "Managed learning and development plans for 20 children"

2. Structure

A well written CV can help you stand out from the crowd and help you get your perfect job. A structured CV should flow well. It should contain the following:

  • Summary
    Summarise your key experiences, it should be direct and to the point. Highlight your key skills/strengths, who you are, length of experience and future aspirations.
  • Key Achievements & Skills
    This is one of the most important parts of a CV and should be relevant to the job. Use specific accomplishments to show the difference you've made. To demonstrate these; think about scale (how big), length of time you took and the process you took.
  • Career History
    This is the area of your CV which includes the most information and is your opportunity to give a summary of your experience.

    Make sure your job titles, locations, length of time are all filled in and in chronological order, starting with your most recent position. Explain where you've worked and what you did there. Summarise older positions briefly - one line descriptions are sufficient.
    • S First describe the Situation you were in
    • T Describe the Task that was involved
    • A Next describe the Action you took and skills used (be certain to say 'I' not 'we' when explaining this - employers want to know what YOU did, not the wider team)
    • R Finally, explain what the Result was and how long it took to achieve
  • Qualifications & Training
    Only include an overview of your educational and professional qualifications. Keep the information in a chronological order, short and accurate. Only expand on courses if a certain level of education/qualification is required. Include any training courses that are appropriate to the job.
  • Hobbies & Interests
    It's worth bullet pointing 2 or 3 as it helps to bring out your personality and can be an ice-breaking question at an interview.
  • Contact Details & References
    Keep this short and simple. Your name is already at the top of the CV so there's no need to repeat it. Only include:
    • An email address - make sure it's a professional one
    • contact numbers - a mobile and a landline
    • address - if you prefer not to give your full address just the Town & County is sufficient
    • teacher reference no.
    • and driving licence status if applicable
    Unless it's vital at this stage you don't need to give References. Simply stating they are available on request is fine.

3. Know your audience

Do some homework!

Knowing who will be reading your CV and the type of school you're applying for is critical to effective communication. This means you can tailor it accordingly and help you in getting noticed.

  • Research the school - find out what its like, what are their future aspirations, does it meet your needs, how can you fit in and what can you give them that someone else can't.
  • Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they may be looking for; i.e. a Head of Year or a Class Room Teacher will both have different needs and understanding of the role. One may look for exam success and the other pupil engagement.
  • Respond to the specific needs of the job advertised - this will ensure your CV is relevant and keeps the reader interested.
  • Use key words from the job advertised - it matches you more closely to the job.

4. Speeling and Gramer

Check, Check & Check again! There is nothing more embarrassing than having spelling and grammatical errors in a CV. It looks unprofessional, unprepared and has been known to turn employers off.

  • Don't rely on a spell checker - errors are not always picked up.
  • 2 pairs of eyes are better than 1 - ask a close friend or relative to proof read your CV.

5. Social Networking

- it's your online CV.
LinkedIn has fast become a necessity in any job hunt. It is an invaluable tool for your career development. Your profile promotes you to the professional world with like-minded people in your field.

It's the first place where any recruiter or potential employer will go to check out your credentials, therefore keeping it alive and up to date is vital.

  1. Add a professional photo
    This picture should reflect you at your most professional, no pictures of sunbathing on a beach, drinking or smoke wafting from the background - it's not Facebook! A traditional head and shoulders shot with a plain background, or a picture of you at work is ideal.
  2. Strong headline
    Ensure you have a compelling, clear headline which sums up your professional experience. Use key words from your industry and either focus on job roles or skill sets if you've had several different positions. Your headline should give a sense of your most outstanding professional attributes.
  3. A summary
    The summary box is the most important part of your profile - it's your personal advertising pitch. It should capture all the key elements of your work experience, track record, current interests and future ambitions which are most likely to interest and impress your target audience - recruiters or employers. Avoid summarising your entire CV or duplicating information, such as qualifications or current work responsibilities, which can be found elsewhere in your profile.
  4. 100% completion
    To increase your search ranking and give recruiters and employers good impressions ensure your profile is 100% complete. Give this some thought and spend some time in doing this - just as you would for a CV.
    Ensure you fill in the experience section to explain where you worked and what you did there. Include any advisory or voluntary positions too. List the results of your work, upload or link to any of your work i.e. YouTube, publications, images, PDFs, presentations etc.
    Make sure your job titles, locations, length of time are all filled in and in chronological order, starting with your most recent position - it all helps with searching. The older the job and the less relevant it is to your target audience, the shorter your section should be.
    For the Education section, fill in all your academic and qualifications including any current courses you are doing or any professional bodies you are member of. This shouldn't be an exhaustive list, stick to which offer the best credentials for your current and future job.
    If you're starting out in employment and yet to build your employment, focus on your qualifications, academic achievements and experiences and your future aspirations. It's also worth spend some time observing and helping out with lessons in a local school before you apply.
  5. No errors.
    Just like your CV, your Linked In profile should contain no spelling or grammatical errors.
    Online impressions count just as much as face-to-face and even easier to make assumptions based on an online profile - so you need to make sure it's a positive one!
  6. Connect more
    Add connections with as many people as possible in order to create more awareness and to sell yourself and build your social network. Get involved in groups and discussions to help find more useful contacts and improve your visibility. Ask questions, answer questions, link up news articles and other relevant information.
    Add links to your other online profiles and places such as twitter, pinterest, google+ account or blog - this is great way to find out more about you in an informal way.
  7. Get recommendations
    Having other professionals give positive recommendations is very powerful and reassuring to a recruiter and employer. The best recommendations come from former bosses, senior colleagues and clients, mention specific achievements and projects you have worked on and give a sense of your personality.
    Once you start to build your connections, you can ask for them to give you a recommendation. Don't forget to do the same back!
  8. Personalise your LinkedIn URL
    For a more professional look, there is an option of including your name in the URL. For example, instead of you can change it to This will make it easier for you to be found both within LinkedIn and Google searches.
  9. When looking for a job, you want to be found
    Taking into account all of the above, make sure your profile is visible and can be easily contacted.
  10. Stay active
    Regularly update your headline to promote yourself and create engagement - by doing this you will appear on more people's radar and updates. Post, read and respond to news articles, blogs and updates - this will build your credibility up and show that you are keeping up to date with industry news.
    Recruiters and employers are looking for evidence that you are keeping your LinkedIn profile active and staying up to date.