When schools are looking for new teachers, they’re looking for someone with passion and commitment, someone dedicated to the profession, especially amongst the current crisis in teacher retention. They need to know that the teachers they hire are dedicated to both the profession and the school. So how do you get this across in your teacher CV, a short document that ultimately summarises your career in to a page or two?

If you’re looking for a new position or ready to move up in to a leadership role, you’re going to need to dust off your CV, polish it up and make it shine again. Here’s 6 ways to make your teacher CV the best it can be. Some are general CV tips while many are specifically catered towards a teacher CV.

Structure and design

First impressions count. You wouldn’t present yourself in a shabby, disorderly manner in the interview so don’t let the appearance of your CV let you down. Employers spend a short amount of time looking at your CV so you need to make sure that your CV is easy to navigate with an organised, well-structured layout.

  • Clear and simple presentation
  • Use tables and bullet points to display information
  • Use clear fonts and headings
  • No longer than 2-3 pages

Perfect your personal statement

Your personal statement comes first in your CV so make it count with well-chosen words. However, that doesn’t mean you should ramble; save the details for your cover letter and interview. The personal statement should simply be a short summary of where you are at in your career and your aspirations for the future. It’s good to mention how this role will help you in working towards those aspirations and why this position would suit you.

A woman sat at a table writing with a mug of coffee next to her.

Sell Yourself with the right language

It’s a good idea to take a look at the type of vocabulary you are using in your teacher CV and cover letters. Do you find yourself repeating the same words or using common clichés? You want the language you use to bring your application to life and make it stand out, not dull it down.

It’s interesting that many employers, including schools, have been caught out for the types of language they use in their job adverts, for example they often gender the language of leadership job adverts to make it appeal more (whether consciously or not) to men than women. Equally, it may be a good idea to observe the language you are using in your own job applications; could your vocabulary be letting you down or putting employers off? What does your choice of words reveal about you?

Here are the types of positive, proactive words you could include when selling yourself in your teacher CV:

  • Adaptable
  • Confident
  • Driven
  • Hard-working
  • Pro-active
  • Reliable
  • Resilient
  • Responsible

Tidy up your career summary

Remember that this section is a summary, so don’t include anything that doesn’t need to be there; your busy school employer is not going to read long paragraphs so keep it to bullet points or a table if you can. Teacher CVs in particular can be very long with the more experience you’ve gained and the more you’ve progressed over the years, so it’s important to take some time to really sharpen up your career summary: keep it concise.

Make sure you also include a short record of your CPD which shows your commitment to learning and progressing in your career. It may also be beneficial to mention any relevant volunteering you have carried out.

Include relevant interests

You may want to include a brief section in your CV mentioning your interests or hobbies. In a teacher CV, it is definitely a good idea to include interests that could be relevant or useful to school life, such as music, sport, additional languages or first aid. It may add additional value to you as a candidate on top of your qualifications and experience and could just be the step you need to put you in a higher position than the other candidates.

Get the right references

In most cases, your reference should be from your current school or the most recent school you worked at. If you’re an NQT, or are still early on in your career, you may be confused about who to have as your referees. In this case, it is acceptable to have your teacher training institution, placement schools or even schools you have previously volunteered at as references.

A laptop surrounded by crumpled notes, pencils and a mug of coffee.

Proof-read and double check

It goes without saying that with any job application, you need to give your CV a second read. Perhaps give it to a friend or colleague who is also a teacher, as they will have an understanding of what schools are really looking for in a candidate.


Getting your teacher CV up to scratch will also help you to perform better in your interview as you will have refreshed your memory of the experiences you have had that put you in a good position for the role. Being confident in your CV puts you in good stead towards getting an interview. Nervous about the teaching interview? Why not read our top teaching interview tips? 


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