The internet abounds with claims by companies that will write the “Perfect CV” or resume for you, but as the catchphrase goes: “if it sounds too good to be true, it is”.
PRINCIPALS and teachers in English, Vocational Education and Training, Business Education or Certificate II and III teach students how to apply for jobs, apprenticeships or workplace learning.
Schools regularly advertise for new staff and in 2016 received on average 300 to 400 applications for each job in WA alone.
Thousands of teachers graduate from Teachers’ Colleges in Australia each year and have to write their first CV for a job in an Independent or Government school.
Writing the professional curriculum vitae or resume and addressing selection criteria for jobs in the education sector is very different to the type done by many CV writing companies.
The education curriculum vitae and selection criteria differ in tone, treatment, content, outcomes and leadership practices to those expected of a miner, shop assistant or person in a non-educational setting.
I approach writing a resume with the same mindset as if I was writing an advertisement about a product that has to compete with others in the market.
I act as if I have limited space in which to write my message and make every word count.
I use the “The End Goal” technique. I tell the selection panel, in each achievement that I write, what they ultimately want to gain with the help of my service.
You should research the school thoroughly through its website, annual report, business plan and its values.
You should tailor your information to the research so that you can persuade, advise and inform readers using some of advertising’s less confronting persuasive devices.
Writing a curriculum vitae or addressing selection criteria for an Independent School, which the Independent School Council of Australia says comprise about 1091 of nearly 9400 schools, is not always the same as writing for a Government school.
There are about 10 different types of Independent schools, such as Montessori, Islamic, Indigenous community schools and Catholic Schools, with differing selection criteria; some of which are quite extensive.
Government schools in WA have similar selection criteria with no reference to religious service.
Begin by writing a snappy career summary in sharp sentences that pack a punch at the top of your CV to promote your skills, knowledge and experience. Like Hemingway, use one sentence for each idea as often as possible.
If you have won awards or been recognised for any contributions state these succinctly under a separate heading.
Statements such as “nominated for teacher of the year, 2016” will get attention.
I find that some people, including professional resume writers, itemise all responsibilities for each job in reverse chronological order. My advice is that it shows the reader more about your capabilities if you write fewer responsibilities and expand your achievements for each job.
Keep your CV or resume and selection criteria to about three pages each in length. Don’t write everything that you did but provide a selection of your best achievements.
The “perfect” resume format is one that is simple.
“I TELL THE SELECTION PANEL, IN EACH ACHIEVEMENT THAT I WRITE, WHAT THEY ULTIMATELY WANT TO GAIN WITH THE HELP OF MY SERVICE. “
Lionel Cranenburgh is the 2015 Positive Behaviours Winner (WA) and Director of Lionel Cranenburgh and Associates, Career Company.