Need help writing a résumé for your next world language teaching job? This post includes some general tips as well as specific ideas for describing what you do in your current position.

Hey, teacher–need help with your résumé?

You are a great teacher. You are learning and growing, you are connecting with your students, you are an expert in your content area, and you are a team player. You are an ideal candidate–but are you able to communicate that effectively on your résumé?

You probably know that I love writing lessons, but do you know that I also love writing résumés? It’s true! From the first time that I met with a Career Services Representative at Nazareth College of Rochester–where I did my undergrad–I was smitten. Each résumé update is a test: I must be both concise and verbose; confident and humble; experienced yet teachable. It’s a beautiful challenge!

A teacher posted in the SOMOS Curriculum Collaboration group yesterday that she was updating her résumé and in need of some help describing her job as a teacher that uses primarily comprehension-based methods. I’m sorry–was yesterday my birthday because this cry for help was the best gift ever!

I haven’t updated my résumé in like a bazillion years because I am home with my kids, so today I would love to help you update yours.

GENERAL TIPS:

  • Keep it concise–three pages max (three SIDES–not three pages front-to-back); two is ideal.
  • Keep it clean and professional–this is not the time to show your creativity! Use Times New Roman or another boring font, and save the ClipArt for your student worksheets.
  • Keep it legible–size 10.5 font is the very smallest you should go.
  • Keep it consistent–use the same punctuation throughout.
  • Keep it categorized–use these categories (and include the ones in brackets only if you do not have much field experience or have something particularly fantastic to show off): SUMMARY, CERTIFICATION, EDUCATION, FIELD EXPERIENCE, [RELATED EXPERIENCE], LEADERSHIP, [OTHER EXPERIENCE], [TECHNOLOGY SKILLS], COMMUNITY SERVICE, REFERENCES
  • Keep it impressive–if any bit of information paints a..um…less than dreamy picture of you, skip it!
  • Keep it active–when it comes time to describe what you have done in each category (except for Summary, Certification, Education, References), use VERBS! You were not “Responsible for designing…”; you “Designed…”. You were not “In charge of leading…”, you “Led…”.

Here is the top portion of the first page of one of my old résumés, just so you can see what the formatting looks like:

A portion of the first page of a sample world language teacher resume

SPECIFIC IDEAS FOR WORLD LANGUAGE TEACHERS:

Here are some specific bullet points that you can list beneath each of your positions in the “Field Experience” category–feel free to add suggestions in the comments on this post, and I will add any that I like to the document!:

Bonne chance ! 

Need help writing a résumé for your next world language teaching job? This post includes some general tips as well as specific ideas for  describing what you do in your current position.

7 thoughts on “Hey, teacher–need help with your résumé?

  1. Caroline Wells says:

    Dear Martina, I know you are a busy woman warrior, but I have a big question for you.

    I am applying for a job at a middle school that has NO foreign language program in place (ok, they have ACCESS online, but we know that does not count).

    I am a Spanish teacher in my 5th year of teaching (4 years at HS, and currently teaching grades 6-8 at a magnet school).

    My BIG question is, where do I start with creating the program? I believe I can do it, I just value your input tremendously.

    • Martina Bex says:

      Easy! Jump in and start teaching! You would be the only teacher, right? If you are already doing something that is working for you and your students at your current school, duplicate it at the new one!

  2. Melisa says:

    These are awesome ideas! Just wondering… how many bullet points do you think are too many? I feel like I could use almost all of them 🙂

    • Martina Bex says:

      Stick to five per job unless you don’t have a long job history and need to fill space on the resume.

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