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How Can I Make My Resume Stand Out When Applying for Special Education Teacher Positions?

States across the country have been cutting education budgets over the past several years, largely in an effort to reduce deficit spending amid a decreasing tax base and consistently high unemployment levels. For all teachers, including those who teach special education courses to gifted or challenged students, that means landing a job is tougher and more competitive than ever. The best way to have a resume leap to the top of the stack is to use the right keywords, highlight the right experiences, and demonstrate real success using tools and skills learned in the classroom. With these things in mind, here’s what to include on a competitive, special education teacher’s resume.

1. Cite Related Experiences, Including Student Teaching and Tutoring

The first thing school administrators want to know about prospective new hires is whether or not they can actually teach students successfully. That includes having hands-on experience managing classroom pacing, student behavior, and even quizzes or tests. Thankfully, most of today’s universities require students to go through at least one teaching placement, where they’ll spend several weeks at the head of a classroom while their coordinating teacher sits backs and lets them demonstrate skills learned in the classroom. Additionally, most education students are given priority when signing up for on-campus or off-campus tutoring positions, even those that are affiliated with work-study grants from the federal government.

Both student teaching and tutoring positions really stand out on a teacher’s resume. They show that the student has turned theory into practice, and has demonstrated the right amount of excellence at the head of a classroom to graduate from the program. As an added bonus, these positions are also a great way to secure letters of recommendations from experienced teachers and mentors, which will further boost a candidate’s position among their peers when applying for a new position.

2. Awards, Distinctions, and Academic Achievements

Few things are more important in the educational world than evidence that a teacher supports and values their own academic enrichment. Colleges and universities are inclined to reward such values, with everything from a spot on the institution’s dean’s list to awards that recognize students for excellent leadership and demonstrated professionalism in the classroom. Many colleges and universities give out awards to the best student teachers and tutors in each subject, and they recognize students who have served in leadership positions for on-campus educational organizations and leadership groups. Others make education-related honors societies available to those with the highest GPAs.

Each of these achievements is prime resume material, and it shows schools that the candidate is ready to take initiative, learn the best way to teach their students, and compete with other teachers when it comes to teaching valuable skills to students who typically have a harder time learning them. Never be afraid to tout university awards, honors, and academic achievements on a teaching resume.

3. Certain Keywords Appeal to School Administrators

A resume should not only showcase experiences, but also provide a bit of detail about what they involved and why they’re relevant to the position a candidate is applying to fill. Those descriptions should be carefully worded so that they use and showcase key educational buzzwords in the current teaching climate. Things like curriculum development, creative planning, classroom management, leadership, gifted students, assessment, and state standards, should take center stage on the resume.

A Competitive Resume is Only a Few Steps Away

By crafting a resume that focuses heavily on experience, recognition, and today’s most influential educational concepts, teacher will assure themselves additional consideration in most hiring environments. In an increasingly competitive industry, that’s a major step toward getting a great, long-lasting position in the education field.

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