Guest blogger and experienced Head Teacher/Principal Jane Knight offers practical advice to job seekers
As a Headteacher and Senior Leader for the past fifteen years I have read through many CV’s in the search for new staff members. However, recently I found myself in the position of rewriting my own CV as I began to look for a new leadership challenge – but where to begin? From an employer’s perspective the last thing I wanted to create was a document that was more a testament to my ability to insert pictures, use colour text and a range of different fonts. Neither did I want to write a CV that was ten pages long documenting my life history in great detail. Keep in mind that your CV is your professional advert and you want to interest your prospective employers just enough to want to meet you and interview you further. So whether you are applying for your first job, twenty-first job or a promoted position in the UK or overseas, here are my top tips for creating a CV that will be remembered for all the right reasons.
- How do I get in touch with you? These should be the first things on your CV. Your name, address, landline and mobile phone numbers, email and Skype ID areessential.
- Who are you…briefly? Much favoured is the short personal summary. I say short and I mean short but to the point. Written in the third person stating your years of teaching, highlights in terms of skills, experience and what job/role you are looking for. Maximum 100 words. This can easily be tailored for each application if needed.
- What have you done so far? If you are newly qualified list your teaching practices stating the school, role and dates. Go on to list your duties or responsibilities. If you are an experienced teacher list a maximum of the last two schools you worked in. Make sure to include extra-curricular involvement.
- What makes you special? List a maximum of ten key strengths you have as a teacher or leader. Consider attributes and attitudes and make sure you mention children somewhere.
- What have you done that has had an impact? Highlight your professional experience related to Learning and Teaching and if you are moving towards a promoted position Leadership and Management. Include any initiatives you have implemented and can show impact on learning. Mention any recent internal or external or personal professional development that you think is relevant for the role you are applying for. Do not list every course you have ever attended.
- What else can you bring to us? List five to ten of your hobbies and interests making sure if possible there is something that could enrich a school’s extra-curricular activities.
- What else have you done? List any previous school roles stating the school name, your role and the dates you were there. Include any summer jobs or previous careers that may demonstrate a wider range of skills. There is no need to include teaching practices.
- What are your qualifications? Although you might feel you want this section at the beginning of your CV. It will very much what you want to highlight and is relevant for the role you are applying for. List, from most recent, the university, college or awarding body, the dates of study and the qualification gained. Only list your A-levels or equivalent if they were achieved in the past five years. Make sure you include your Teacher Reference number or GTC registration number.
- Who will vouch for you? Your two or three referees must include at least one previous Headteacher/Principal and line manage and if you are newly qualified, a tutor or mentor teacher. Another can be a personal referee, someone who may be linked to one of your hobbies or interests. This may seem obvious but please make sure that all your referees are happy to take on this role and that their contact details are up to date. It is well worth contacting them prior to sending out your CV or completing an application form to forewarn them as completing a reference can take some time.