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CV help

CV help

Your passport to employment!


A great CV is your passport to teaching appointments throughout your career. These simple tips will make all the difference.


Everyone involved in the recruitment process will be asking themselves these questions when they read your CV:

  • • is the candidate qualified to do the job?
  • • does the candidate have the training and experience identified in the job specification?
  • • do we want to interview the candidate and find out more?

You have only moments to make that vital first impression, so it’s important your CV is as good as possible.

An effective CV:

  • • is no longer than two pages
  • • is in Word, using an easily readable font, with clean and simple presentation
  • • has clear headings
  • • outlines your education, skills and experience briefly in bullet points
  • • is adapted for each job applied for
  • • identifies referees
  • • has impeccable grammar.

Remember to include...

Personal information

Start with your name at the top of your CV, not curriculum vitae – employers already know what the document is! Follow with your address, typed across the page, your contact telephone numbers and email address. You can include your date of birth and your marital status if you wish, but they aren’t compulsory as they’re not relevant to the selection process.

Opening statement / professional profile

This is an important part of your CV and summarises the knowledge, key skills and experience you’ve gained during studies and employment, in relation to the particular job you’re applying for.

For example: “A good honours graduate in chemistry with supporting qualifications in mathematics and physics. Recent teaching experience during PGCE in a large urban comprehensive school. Keen to contribute to other aspects of school life, particularly sport and IT.”

Qualifications

Post Graduate Certificate in Education

State the start and completion dates, the name of the institution and provide an outline of the course. Include its structure, key study areas and any special projects. You need to emphasise in this section that you have undertaken effective professional training.


Degree

Include the same details as above and include a summary of your degree and its main elements - do not assume that the recruiters will know what it involved. For example, what academic and educational topics did you study? It’s important to highlight your knowledge base.


Other academic qualifications

Include Diplomas of Higher Education, A2 and AS levels / GCSEs / AGNVQs and GNVQs etc. List them, putting the most recent first. Add columns across the page so you can include the institution where you studied, the dates that study took place, the type of qualifications you achieved and the grade.

Career summary

If you’ve been teaching for a few years this section will contain a lot of information, so it’s best to use bullet points. For each role focus on teaching responsibilities and achievements, using ‘power verbs’ like strengthened, managed, achieved, maximised etc.

Start with your most recent experience and work backwards. It is important to list all the colleges you have taught in, giving the age range and subjects covered, as well as any other areas of responsibility.

Include the specific contributions you’ve made towards areas such as extra-curricular activities, particular projects, special needs or teaching materials, to give recruiters a clear indication of how you’ll contribute to their college.

Employment

If you’ve had any relevant full-time or vacation work, such as working with children, voluntary or community work, TEFL or youth work, give brief details and dates.

If you’re entering teaching from another career, provide dates and brief details about what you’ve been doing. It’s important to focus on aspects of the job which relate directly to teaching, such as staff training, presentations, IT, and science or laboratory skills.

Resist the temptation to clutter your CV with lists of all your vacation jobs and temporary work; you can always summarise these by saying: “Other vacation work has included retail, telephone sales and office assignments.”

Continuing professional development

Employers want to see your commitment to continuing professional development, so provide details of ongoing training and Inset days.

Relevant interests and skills

Highlight your interests and skills that are relevant to the classroom and the college, such as playing musical instruments, interest in sport, first aid and speaking other languages etc.

References

Referees should be drawn from your teacher training institution, your practice colleges or the last college you taught in.

If you are currently completing a teacher training course, seek advice from your tutors. References from your institution could well include reports from practice colleges.

Finally…

Make sure you do a final check before you submit your CV, to make sure there are no errors in spelling or punctuation, and that you’ve included all the information recruiters need.