As most everyone knows, a resume is a document that highlights your experiences and qualifications to potential employers. Unfortunately, what some people don’t know is they are held accountable for the information they put on the resume. If you post something on your resume, make sure it is truthful. In an interview, an employer can tell if you are skirting around the question or issue being talked about. If it’s not true, don’t post it. Also, you must know your resume very well and be ready to answer questions about everything on it.
I have the fortune of conducting mock interviews for students before they head out for their real interview, and in many cases, they aren’t able to respond to some of the questions related to information they posted on their resume. It’s like they need their resume in front of them to answer the questions. This is not acceptable in an interview. When you describe your experiences or list your accomplishments on your resume, know how to translate that in an interview.
Typical items posted on a resume include, but are not limited to, the following: educational background (this can include special certifications and training); relevant experience (student teaching, substitute teaching, tutoring, field experiences, coaching, teacher’s aid, etc); computer skills; summary of qualifications (spell out your skills and what you have to offer an employer); other experience (jobs unrelated to working with students); honors and awards; and campus and/or community involvement. Having a mix of skills and experiences on a resume will make you stand out among your competitors, but if you can’t talk about them in the interview, you lose your shot at that particular teaching job. The other aspect of this is knowing how to talk about your experiences and skills in a way that is more than just repeating what’s on the resume. Embellish your response in the interview (but keep it to the truth) so it doesn’t sound like you are reading from your own document. Even though there is a teaching shortage, getting a teaching job is a competitive process. You MUST know yourself and your resume to sell yourself in the interview.
Diane Sledden Reed
Assistant Director, Career Center
University of North Carolina Wilmington
The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.