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The Education Resume:

Content Basics

The resume is a brief account of your education, personal, and experience qualifications for a position.  It is used as a general introduction to accompany the letters of application or inquiry you send to potential employers, to promote a job interview.  THE  COMPLETED  EDUCATION RESUME  IS GENERALLY TWO PAGES  IN LENGTH. We advise not going any longer than two pages, therefore experiences must be listed briefly and concisely.

As you begin your resume, review your qualifications for the type of position you are seeking. 

  • What is unique about your preparation and background in terms of both your formal and informal experiences and the skills you have acquired? 
  • Emphasize those facets of your experience and preparation that qualify you for the type of position you are seeking.  This could mean that you will need more than one resume, for different types of jobs.

Resumes are structured in different ways.  Ideas for format can be found in library reference books and at your career office where sample resumes may be available for review. EPCS has resume books available and has samples on-line for you to review.

The resume should be concisely written and orderly in format. Create a rough draft first to plan the layout and provide for revisions.

  • Use either short phrases or complete sentences, but try to be consistent in style throughout the resume. 
  • Summarize your experiences, but not so briefly that you omit important information that may distinguish your resume from the others being reviewed.  It may help to ask these questions regarding the information:
    • Does it contribute to my expertise as an educator?
    • Is it something the employer wants and needs to know?

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Listed below are some kinds of information you should include in your resume, depending on your background.  Use the categories and titles that best fit your background.   Remember to anticipate your qualifications, i.e., include any degree, experience, etc. that you will have by the time you are employed.

(1) Identification - Your name, present address and phone number, including zip code and area code, should be listed at the top of the resume.  It is often advisable to list another address and phone number, either permanent or work, where you can be contacted if you cannot be reached at your current address.  This is particularly important for students, whose addresses often change during the summer when employers will be trying to contact them.

(2) Teaching Objective/Skills Summary- This is a statement of the type of job you are pursuing and can serve as a focal point from which the rest of the resume emanates.   It may include your areas of teaching interests and competencies as well as information on the extracurricular activities you are qualified to supervise, research interests, etc.  Tell the employer what you can do for them.  If you have several possible objectives, you may need different resumes, or use your letter of application, instead of your resume, to indicate your objective.

(3) Educational Background - Include information on the schools and colleges you have attended, dates of attendance, and degrees earned or, if no degree, credits taken.  List in order of most recent first.  You do not need to list every course or school you attended, but do list where your degrees were received.

(4) Certificates or Teaching Licenses - All public school candidates must include information on the fields in which they are licensed to teach or will be eligible to teach by the date of employment.  Include the state in which you are licensed, fields, grade levels and, in Wisconsin, the certification code number(s) for the field(s).

(5) Work Experience - Employers want to know about your previous work experiences and the skills and responsibilities those jobs required.   Simply listing employment experience is not enough for the resume.  First, prioritize your experiences, with those most relevant to your objective listed first.   Indicate the position you held (e.g., English teacher), the employer and location, and the dates.  Then briefly describe the important aspects (skills, responsibilities) of the experience. 

If you have a long list of jobs, divide them into separate categories, such as "Teaching Experience", "Volunteer Experience", etc. for clarity.  Nonteaching experiences can be included in this section.  Be sure to indicate how these experiences have enhanced your teaching abilities.

For those seeking teaching positions, you might include the kinds of courses taught, age level of students, type of school (e.g., open classroom), administrative responsibilities, a unit you developed, a technique you implemented to teach a unit already in place, a description of the learning center you constructed, curriculum development you participated in, and so forth.  Stress the contributions you made over and above the expected duties.  Student teaching experience, teaching internships, assistantships and practica should be included and so identified.  You may also have nonschool work experience, such as summer employment and volunteer experience related to the type of position you are seeking, for example, a camp counselor or tutor experience.

Those seeking specialist or administrative positions may want to include teaching, administrative experiences, special courses taught or developed, etc.   Nonschool experience may also be listed, especially if it covers a six-month period or longer.

(6) Professional Activities  - A brief indication of your activities, such as memberships, research, publications, exhibits, performances, repertoire, presentations, speeches/addresses, workshops, etc., should also be included in the resume.  Memberships might include community and service groups, also, if they are important to the picture you want to present.  Each activity can have its own category or be listed with a similar activity if you have only a few entries for each.  


(7) Special Abilities/Interests -  You should emphasize your experience and education in areas that employers find especially valuable, such as coaching, reading education, multi-ethnic education, urban education, etc.  Even if you are not aware of a specific need or are unsure of what commitment you want to make to extracurriculars, list your experience on the resume.  A resume is a tool used to get an interview.   A list of extracurriculars may give you the edge in getting the interview.   Some individuals may want to create a separate section on the resume for their coaching experiences and other extracurricular activities.

(8) Honors, Scholarships and Awards - Include in this category any college, professional or community recognitions that are significant to your background.  You may need to be specific about the award.  Not all employers know, for example, that Phi Eta Sigma is a national freshman honorary fraternity.

(9) References - It is important to list references who can be specific about your professional competencies or previous employment experiences.  Provide a title (e.g., Professor, Cooperating Teacher) and complete address for each reference.   Also, list telephone numbers, since many employers want to speak directly to those listed as references.  Remember to obtain permission from those you have listed to use their names and telephone numbers.

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Presenting a Clear Picture

Remember that employers who read your resume usually know nothing about you. 

  • Have you provided them with enough information to present a clear picture of who you are and what your background has been, yet not so much as to overwhelm them?
  • Have you geared the resume to the kind of job you want?
  • Does your resume tell them what makes you different, in terms of interests, skills, preparation and experience, from the others who will be applying for the same job?
  • Since you are applying for a professional job, did you first present your qualifications and then let the employer see you as a person?


A well- done resume often determines who gets selected for an interview, so it is worth the time spent in careful preparation. Before you type the final copy, consider having others, such as your EPCS consultant or someone who has had experience in hiring, read your resume.  They may have helpful suggestions.

During the layout of the document, utilize underlining, capital letters, bold print, and white space to highlight key ideas and categories.   Be prepared to revise your resume as your experiences and job interests change.   And keep your resume current and applicable to the kinds of positions you are applying for.

You will need several copies of your resume, to send to prospective employers. Remember that although unusual layout, printing or colored paper may be pluses in producing a high quality resume, it is the content that matters most.

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