As of the latest figures, 200,00 teacher have left the teaching profession each year to pursue a new job or field. Add the pandemic into that mix, and now more than ever teachers are fleeing their jobs for a variety of reasons. I recently changed careers out of teaching for the corporate world, and have found a greater sense of work life balance along with a renewed focus in self care since making the leap. Changing careers, especially in a specialized field such as education can be a daunting task. I speak to teaching colleagues all the time that tell me they are burned out and ready to make a change but they do not know where to start. They are often overwhelmed with the idea and struggling to confidently decide which direction to go in. One major task that can aid your career change as a teacher is revamping your resume to align better to the career you plan to pursue. Here are my top 5 resume tips for teachers changing careers. These resume tips are a great first step towards a career shift in virtually any industry.
Resume Tip 1: Strong Value Statement
The first thing an employer wants to know when you are applying for a role is what value you will bring to their company. Why should they hire you over other applicants? What makes you stand out? How does your past experience in education prepare you to bring a unique skill set to the role? The answers to questions like this need to be visibly present in your resume. You should have a strong professional statement or profile of qualifications near the top of your resume that outlines the top highlights about you as well as what type of role you are pursuing. For teachers changing careers, you want to emphasize in your resume what type of position or field you are interested in. Are you pursuing a corporate training position or instructional design? If you have specific roles in mind, you can include this information to highlight for potential employers.
Resume Tip 2: Emphasize Transferable Skills
One of the best things about having experience in education is how transferable a majority of the skills are to corporate life and various other fields. This makes it really important when writing your resume specific for changing careers. The core of education involves many transferable skills:
- Interacting with, and forming relationships with people
- Effective communication
- Work independence and autonomy
- Organization and prioritization
- Data analysis
- Adaptability and flexibility
Look at the way your resume lists or describes these types of skills. Think about how to include them in a way that applies to positions outside of education. List examples of how these skills are used to give a potential employer more insight into your applicable skills.
Resume Tip 3: Look Out For Specialized Terms or Acronyms
Does your resume use a lot of terms specific to the education field? While a fellow teaching position will recognize terms like DIBELS, Common Core, Title 1, or scaffolding, these things may not be understood by a recruiter from a corporate position. Plan to rework these sections to describe what those items are, or remove them altogether if they add no value. You also want to go through and be mindful of the various acronyms we often see in education: IEP, 504, RTTT, NCLB, IDEA, PBIS, PBL, ELL etc. These items would need to be listed out fully and explained, or removed to eliminate confusion.
More important than the education buzz words, is how you made an impact in relation to these terms. Did you write a grant that provided funding to your school or program? Did you see strong growth or achievement results with a specific population of students? Have you provided peer training or coaching for these items? When including specialized terms, you want to make sure it is clear what your impact is. If the results from that term are not clearly recognized, consider removing those items.
Resume Tip 4: Research Companies or Positions Before Making Changes
Making frequent changes to your resume can be cumbersome, but it can be vital to your job search to make sure your resume aligns well to the company or position you are applying for. Especially if you are new to an industry, it is important to do research beforehand to see what the keywords are for that field. Are they looking for specific skills or experiences that you have left off your resume? Spend some time reviewing websites of the companies you are interested in, as well as various job postings to identify common themes. You should be updating your resume slightly before each application to ensure you are capturing the skills and values that align to that role.
Resume Tip 5: Focus on Technology
In the modern workforce we are in, technology continues to play a significant role. In a majority of industries, technology continues to evolve and employees are often learning and adapting to new ways of applying technology at work. Teachers frequently deploy technology in both their practice as well as teaching others how to utilize technology. Be sure to highlight the various technology platforms you are familiar with, especially those that are widely used including Microsoft applications.
Companies will want to know your proficiency level with Excel, Powerpoint, and other tools that make your daily work efficient. Can you bring a strong data analysis skill set or do you have exceptional presentation skills? There are many technology solutions from schools that easily translate into corporate technology. You can also highlight your technology skills in terms of organization and planning. Data entry, spreadsheets, or administrative work may align to skills you currently use in your teaching practice.
While these resume tips are geared towards teachers changing careers, they also apply to any career change regardless of your background. Making a career change can be easier than you think, but it starts with a strong foundation. Taking the time to update your resume to reflect your desired career change is an important first step in the journey. Don’t forget to enter your information below for a free resume template to get started quickly. Use the template to land your next move and make the leap into a new career.
All the best,