Is this you? You’re a teacher wanting to change careers. You've identified your new career and you are ready to start applying for jobs. It’s probably been a long time since you've applied for jobs and you don’t know where to start.
Maybe you’ve even started applying for jobs that you know you have the skills and experience for, but you don’t even get an interview.
Firstly, let me say that you are certainly not alone in this. I hear this a lot with my coaching clients, but it is something that can be fixed.
If you are actively applying for jobs, you’ll know that getting your resume right is the key to getting an interview. And writing a resume is not easy.
The most commonly asked questions in my Facebook Community Teachers in Transition relate to resumes.
As far as resumes are concerned there are 2 main factors to consider:
1. Resumes have changed considerably in recent years. So, if you haven’t needed to write a resume for a while you will need to make some changes in both the content and format of your resume.
2. And if you are a teacher who is applying for jobs outside of teaching your ‘teacher’ resume will NOT help you get a job in the non-teaching world.
Here are 5 things that you probably used to include in your resumes that shouldn’t be there anymore.
1. Your postal address
The only contact information you need to provide is an email address and phone number.
These are the only ways a prospective employer would contact you, so a postal address is redundant. It is also thought it could be discriminatory as prospective employers might make judgements about you based on where you live.
Do make sure though, that you use a professional sounding email address, and not something that could be embarrassing. It is also a good idea to not use an email address containing your year of birth if you want to hide your age.
2. Your photo
The purpose of your resume is to show how your skills, qualifications and experience make you the perfect person for the job, what you look like is irrelevant. Whether deliberate or not, a photo on your resume could result in discrimination on the basis of race, gender or age.
Photos can also confuse applicant tracking systems which many large companies use to filter applications and could cause your resume to be rejected before it even reaches a human.
3. Replace your Objectives Statement with a Career Summary
The Career Summary statement replaces the Objectives Statement that you might remember if you’ve been around for a while. In your Career Summary statement the focus is on what YOU can offer the employer, whereas the Objectives Statement focused on what YOU want and what your career plans are.
Your Career Summary is the most important part of your resume. Think of it as your elevator pitch - it's your 30 seconds to sell yourself. It should tell the reader very succinctly who you are, what you have to offer, and why the employer should hire you.
It should include 3 key skills relevant to the specific position you are applying for.
4. A full list of ALL your skills and experience.
Your resume should be targeted to the position you are applying for and ONLY include the skills and experience that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
5. Referee details
Unless specifically asked for by the prospective employer, references don’t need to be included on your resume.
The main reason is that references are only required at the end of the recruitment process which could include several interviews. As this takes up space on your resume it is better to leave the references off and supply them when they are requested.
To get your resume noticed, there are several other things you need to focus on:
Change your language – educational language and acronyms mean nothing to those not involved in education. So, it is important to ‘translate’ your skills, achievements, and experience from ‘edu speak’ into the language of the career you are applying for and even the specific company. LinkedIn is a great place to start looking for this information.
Identify your transferable skills – yes you have lots, even if you don’t think so. Understanding your transferable skills and then communicating them to prospective employers in language that they will understand, is key to getting a job outside of the classroom. You may be like many teachers and think that the only thing you can do is teach.
If this is you it may be helpful to do an audit of what you do as a teacher every day.so that you can identify your specific skills. Divide your working day into 15-minute intervals (include all after hours work here too) and record exactly what you did during those 15 minutes. At the end of the day ‘translate’ those activities into a non-teaching skill. You might be surprised at the number of different skills you use just in one day.
Customise your resume to each position you are applying for by using key words from the job description.
Nowadays many organisations, especially larger ones, use some form of computerized Applicant Tracking Systems. These systems are used as a filtering system to weed out unsuitable applicants. They are programmed to look for key words. Without the right key words, your application could be rejected without ever being seen by a human. That’s why it’s so important to put relevant key words in your Career Summary.
Choose the right format
Is a skills-based resume or a Chronological Resume the best choice for you? This will depend on your previous experience and whether
or not you are making a career change.
Get some help
You have several options:
1. Do you want to know even more and have a step by guide to walk you through everything you need to know to write your own resume at a fraction of the cost you’d pay someone else to do it?
No problem. You can find out more about these and other useful resume tips in Resumes and Cover Letters for Teachers .This short and affordable online course will help you convert your teaching resume to a resume that will get you noticed in the world outside of education.
In this short course you’ll learn:
· How to identify and translate your transferable skills
· Which style and format to use
· What to include/leave out
· How to disguise your age
· What to write in your cover letter
You also get 2 x Resume templates and a Cover Letter template
2. If you are wondering whether career change is the right decision for you, or you want some one-to one-support to move forward you can book an obligation free call with me here. You can also download this free guide Alternative Careers for Teachers to get you thinking about your career choices.
3. You are keen to get started with your career change but have no idea how to go about it? You are not alone. Many teachers are telling me that they want to leave teaching but don't know what kind of jobs are available for them. If you are overwhelmed by the career choices or have no idea what you are able to do or want to do, I have the perfect solution for you. Getting Started with Career Change for Teachers is a short, very affordable, step by step course to help you narrow down your options to find a meaningful career that allows you to be the best version of yourself.