How To Polish Your Resume To Rack Up Job Interviews


Polishing The Resume
So you have just graduated from college and ready to enter the teaching field. Or maybe you are in the midst of your final days, weeks, or months of college education and want to know where to start. Or maybe you are simply looking for greener pastures. The deal is, nobody gets a job unless they first have a job interview. That’s pretty obvious, right? So how do you get a job interview? There are a few ways, but the focus for today will be getting out the old resume and preparing to be interview bait. Some sticking points to remember are that everybody else applying for the job has a resume also. Yours has to jump out of the pack.

Keep in mind that any resume should be:

  1. Visual
  2. Relevant
  3. Concise
  4. Exciting
  5. Truthful

Let’s look at these keys.

Generic Resume

Visual Impact
Take any standard resume that you could produce using the Resume Wizard in Microsoft Word. My resume is shown here (with some information changed for privacy concerns). Comparing these two side-by-side, I think most people would agree that mine looks most visually distinct. Later, we’ll look at some of the really simple tools available in Microsoft Word for making print media look really cool.

I’m not looking for a new job, but I did apply for one last week while on vacation. I submitted the application and emailed my resume out and got a phone call in less than half an hour.

Nothing says low-class as much as an impersonal email or resume. I take that back, a misaddressed or irrelevant message is lower than that. So put forth a little bit of effort. Personalize the information. If you’re applying for a high school social studies position, then your mad finger-painting skills may not be the most impressive thing to the principal. By the same token, your experience working at Burger King ten years ago is not as impressive as your babysitting service twenty years ago. This is the reason that I wrote about some things you can do while still in school that will make getting a job that much easier.

Deleting extraneous information makes the powerful stuff that much more powerful. There is nothing that says resumes have to be limited to one page in today’s world. However, I have consciously trimmed mine to one page simply to make it more powerful. We’ll go into some of the tricks I use tomorrow, but Selected Work Experience seems more impressive to me than Teaching Experience. Be careful that you don’t leave off important information. Do not be so zealous to trim to one page that you create a gap of 3 years here and 2 years there. That looks like you are inconsistent and, while it could be answered by a simple phone call from the interviewer, it could also be answered by a second page. Save trees, but also save time for those who are weeding through applicants.

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I taught at XYZ Middle School where my primary assignment was to teach four classes of 7th grade language arts and two classes of 8th grade reading.

Taught both 7th and 8th grade language arts and reading classes at XYZ Middle School. Interconnected the two elements of language while encouraging growth, both intellectually and culturally.

Market yourself. Tell them a story that they want to hear. Show them the benefits of hiring you. If you can convey who you are and what it is that you are looking for in your life, then they are more inclined to consider you and give you the interview. Remember, everybody else applying for the job has a resume. But most of them won’t tell the interviewer a story about why they should meet. You will, right?

In telling your story, you have to be truthful. Don’t make stuff up just because you think it’s what they want to hear. Start with where you are. Find a way to make that relevant and helpful to the betterment of the school environment. Exaggeration will merely bite you in the end.

Thursday, we’ll look at how to make a visually effective resume that jumps off the page and into the good graces of the interviewer. I know you won’t want to miss that.

For further reading, check out Revisiting The Resume.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

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