Creating a professional résumé can seem like a daunting task, especially if you haven’t even landed your first professional job yet, but it’s a necessity to have if you are going to be given any serious consideration in education.

Résumé Content

If you are on your way to becoming a teacher, then You, yes You Are Wanted!

According to recent data, the majority of students entering U.S. K12 public schools are not white, but only about 17 percent of their teachers are people of color. Therefore, teachers of color are still underrepresented.

Schools often want to hire minorities, but because of discrimination laws, they can’t ask if you are a member of a minority. You can show your minority status through a résumé that subtly reveals minority identifiers such as community or nationally-recognized groups.

Résumé Must Haves:

  1. Full name and contact information (physical address, telephone number and professional email address, if you have one, your college or university email.)
  2. Objective. Show your goal by beginning with a strong action verb like teach or inspire.
  3. Education. State your degree and the subject(s) in which you majored. Leave out your GPA; it will be on your transcript or the interviewer will ask for it.
  4. List those paid or unpaid activities that involved working with children, such as babysitting, teaching Sunday school, tutoring, mentoring, or helping a teacher. Use strong action verbs to show that you are a go-getter, and identify any minority-based community organizations by name.
  5. Skills. If you are trained in CPR, Leadership Certifications from the YMCA, have technology endorsements or special certifications, list them here.
  6. Activities and Honors. Identify your community service, intramural activities, leadership roles, scholarships, academic or civic awards. If you’ve been involved in any minority organizations such as Black Student Association, National Black Student Union or the National Alliance of Black Educators, show that affiliation here.

Professional Formatting

Make your résumé looks as professional as the content it contains. Save the decorator fonts and vibrant colors for scrapbooking, and stick with a simple font such as Times New Roman or Helvetica, preferably in 12-point size for easy reading.

Limit your resume to one page – This is so important because school districts get swamped with résumés.

Sending it Out

Proofread and edit your résumé extensively. It always helps to have at least one other person take a look at it. This can be a professor or a neighbor or a pastor. This is a key point because sometimes they see something that needs to be added or taken out of the résumé. Trust others to give you feedback. Save your résumé as an editable document (for revising every six months or copy-pasting into electronic resume templates) and a PDF (for sending as an attachment.)

WAFA HOZIEN, PH.D. has served in numerous roles for over 20 years in PK12 education. Presently she teaches graduate students in the Educational Leadership Department at Central Michigan University. She researches on issues affecting educational equity, practices and opportunity, including curriculum and assessment with a focus on minority student experiences in public schools. Dr. Hozien can be reached at: