Your CV plays an integral role in the success of your job applications, and if you want to stand out for all the right reasons, you need to get your CV right. Capturing the right information on your CV can be challenging, so we have put together some top tips to help you on the right track.
First thing’s first
Be mindful of your email address! I am no stranger to using a laugh out loud worthy email address in my younger days, but using an unprofessional email for your job applications is not going to get your best foot forward. Your email address is one of the first things an employer will see upon receiving your application, so make sure it reflects a professional version of you. Using an address such as firstname.lastname@example.org will have you standing out from the crowd, but for all the wrong reasons.
It might help to set up a new email address solely for your job-hunting journey; something simple like your first and last name always works well. Less distractions embedded within your contact details will encourage your potential employer to find out more.
Everybody loves structure
A well-structured CV is instantly more attractive to employers who may be reviewing application after application. It makes for a much simpler review of your CV, so make sure each section is clearly marked with a subheading. Having said that, avoid writing ‘CV’ at the top of the document; employers know that they are reviewing your CV. Instead, title the document with your full name, followed by your contact details, a personal profile, employment history, education, and any additional information you would like to include such as out of college interests and personal achievements.
All successful teaching CVs begin with a powerful, professional profile. This is your chance to market yourself to employers by selling your key skills, experience, and qualifications to ensure that they continue to read on. Succinctness is the key here; recruiters are generally up against the clock and prefer that this section is kept short and sweet. Aim to limit this section to 50 – 200 words, showcasing a top-level view of your key selling points and achievements; you can embellish on these at a later stage in the document, but the real purpose of this section is to answer the recruiter’s question ‘how is this person a good fit for our college?’
You want to improve the educational experiences of children and young people, so now is the perfect time to show off your personal successes in education. Employers will be keen to know what qualifications you have got under your belt, and if you have engaged in any CPD since achieving said qualifications. This is your chance to set yourself apart from other applicants who may not have benefitted from the same educational background as you. Start with your most recent qualification and finish off with the first qualification you received. Shine the light on any training you may have had that showcases your suitability for the role.
Out of college interests
However tempting it may be, now is not the time to simply confess that you’re a die-hard Arsenal FC fan and leave it there. This section of your CV should exist to showcase any hobbies and interests that embed additional skills to be applied to the role in question. Sports is a fantastic hobby, but try and spin this in such a way that demonstrates your dedication to your team. Die-hard Arsenal fan? Meh. Season ticket holder at The Emirates Stadium? Much better!
If you possess any musical talents, have a particular interest in reading, or speak another language, don’t forget to include it in this section. It is important to remember that anything you disclose in your CV must be true; do not claim that you are fluent in another language if that is not strictly true!
Using the right vocabulary throughout your CV will help recruiters to quickly and easily identify that you are the right fit for your chosen role. Andrew Fennell reveals which 10 keywords will improve your teaching CV in our blog post here. Action-related verbs are particularly successful in helping employers understand any historical achievements you have earned to date.
Don’t forget to proofread
You have finished your CV and are feeling an overwhelming sense of achievement. The temptation to start applying for jobs immediately is all too much, but please stop right there! It is essential that you revisit your completed CV to fact check, spell check, review your punctuation and check for any possible errors. It is particularly helpful to ask a friend or family member to proofread your CV for you to get a sense of how it may read to other people. No time to wait? Make yourself a drink and help yourself to a snack, take a 10-minute screen break and revisit your CV with a fresh pair of eyes. If it’s still good to go, now you can submit that job application.
Our career advice hub includes many more articles on the CV and interview processes in colleges. If you would like some additional tips to guide you through your jobseeking journey, visit our blog articles here. If you have updated your CV and are ready to start applying for your next move, search all available vacancies on FEjobs here.
About the author
Daniella studied Education Studies (Early Childhood) for three years at the University of Winchester. During her studies, she regularly volunteered at her local primary school working alongside teachers to offer learning support and teaching assistance. Daniella now works at Eteach as Marketing Executive for both Eteach and FEjobs, where she remains passionate about helping to match lecturers with their dream jobs and colleges.