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Top tips for writing a compelling CV

Summer, and the beginning of the new academic year, brings with it the opportunity for lots of professionals in education to seek out their dream role.  The first step to securing that ideal job is to ensure your CV is in tip top shape.

With this in mind, we’ve put together our top tips to get your CV on par with the best and give you the best chance at landing that perfect teaching role.

If you are looking for your next supply teacher job, cover supervisor role or teaching assistant vacancy, then read on to ensure your CV stands out from the crowd:

  1. Start with a covering letter. This should be tailored to both the role and the school that you’re applying to. The more personal you can make this, the better. Make sure that you add in snippets of information that demonstrate you have knowledge of the school already; that’s a definite plus.
  1. Keep it simple. A clean, polished looking CV is very important. Schools may receive hundreds of applications at this time of year. They do not want to see huge paragraphs of unbroken text, they want to be able to find the information that they’re looking for without wasting too much time. Make your name your title, don’t take up valuable space on there with a title such as ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’ – it should be clear what it is. If you’re unsure, use a template. There are a number of free templates available to download online.
  1. Don’t leave any gaps. Whether in employment or education history, any gaps should be explained. If you went travelling for six months, write that down along with any relevant information. For example, if you organised a trip where you saw 10 countries in a few months, that is a testament to your planning skills and relevant to any teaching role.
  1. Keep it up-to-date. Not only in employment history but with any qualifications or experience relevant to the role or profession. Remember to add any courses you many have done, such as First Aid.
  1. Short and sweet. Try to keep it to a maximum of two sides of A4. If it’s less than this, that’s fine – it’s better that the information included is clear and concise. If you have a CV that is considerably longer than two sides of A4, consider taking out descriptions of later (more historic) roles and include just the role name and time period. You could also do this with your education history where relevant. For instance, state seven GCSEs at grade A-C including English and Maths, rather than listing each subject and corresponding grade.
  1. Grammar and spelling check. Always, always, always check and double check your CV for spelling and grammatical errors. If you’re not sure, ask somebody else, or consider using software such as Grammarly to be certain. Don’t rely on your computer’s spellcheck. It doesn’t know the difference between ‘there, their and they’re’ for example.These kind of basic errors are one of the top reasons why a CV goes straight in the bin… especially in education.
  1. Professional email address. Make sure that within your contact information is a professional email address. Does an email address like partygoer247@email.co.uk give the right impression? If you’re sending your CV digitally, make sure that it is sent from the professional email address that you include in your details.
  1. File type. If you are sending your CV digitally, make sure that it’s in a format that all devices can open. Typically .doc or .pdf files are your best bet.
  1. Be honest! Embellishing your personal profile is something we’ve all seen. Whether it’s responsibilities, skills, time frames or qualifications, you run the risk of not only being turned away from this role but being blacklisted for future roles. Worse still, if you do successfully secure the role, you could be dismissed if your lies are uncovered. Think how that would look on your CV!
  1. Manage your social media. Make sure that your online presence reflects what you say in your CV. Potential employers, now more than ever, often check the social media accounts of applicants before even considering them for the interview stage. Check out our article on managing social media here.

If you’re looking for your dream supply teaching, cover supervisor or teaching assistant role for the new academic year, PK Education is looking for the best educational supply staff to work across some fantastic schools with great pupils now. Contact your local PK office to find out more: https://www.pkeducation.co.uk/contact-us/.

Need to complete an application form for your next teaching role? Find our Top Tips for Completing a Successful Application Form here.

August 24, 2018

Author

Anna