06/18/2015 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

3 Experiences NOT to Leave Off Your Resume

Group of youths laugh together

When you’re looking for a new job in a college prep school, you’ll want to craft your resume to reflect your subject mastery and teaching experience.  This can be hard to do if you’re a recent college graduate or career changer without significant classroom experience.

If you’ve tutored, taught summer school, or been a teaching assistant, you probably know to highlight those experiences front and center on your resume.  But there are certain other experiences that you might not realize could play a vital role in landing you an independent school teaching job.

Here are three experiences you should never leave off your resume.

1. Summer Camp

After your freshman year of college, you may have decided to relegate your three years of camp counseling experience to the bottom of your resume—or remove it altogether.  Don’t.  When independent school hiring contacts are evaluating rookie teaching candidates, experience at a camp is something that captures their attention.

Why?  A summer camp is a microcosm of a boarding school.  As a counselor, you’re not just exhibiting a knack for dodgeball or an affinity for arts and crafts.  You’re planning a lesson.  You’re working with individual campers, helping to tease out their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.  You’re a mentor, a disciplinarian, a friend, a confidant.  Whether you’re leading a hike or supervising a cabin, you’re getting a taste of what life as a “triple threat” teacher at a boarding school is really like—and schools love to see that firsthand experience.

2. Athletics

At most independent college prep schools, teachers’ roles extend past the confines of the classroom.  Independent schools are true communities, where each constituent wears multiple hats.  The chemistry teacher might also be the crew coach; the Director of Admissions could advise the yearbook; the English teacher could coach basketball.  Moreover, many independent school students focus just as much on extra-curricular activities as they do on academics, and many hope to continue to pursue these interests at a higher level once in college.

As a prospective member of an independent school community, your college athletic experience is important.  Highlight your athletic prowess, particularly if you played a varsity sport.  This will demonstrate your ability to contribute to the school in a different way.  It could really benefit your file; for example, a school might be looking for a tennis coach and a Spanish teacher.  If you can do both, you have a definite leg up over a candidate who can just contribute in one way.

On a different plane, varsity athletic experience shows much about your character.  Playing a sport at a high level indicates your ability to be part of a team, to manage your time efficiently, and to uphold a personal standard of discipline—all positive attributes for a role in an independent school.

3. Leadership

Similarly, even if you didn’t play sports in college, you likely had other involvements that rounded out your academic experience.  Highlight them, particularly ones that afforded you the opportunity to lead.  Think your role as President of the Asian Cultures Club or Music Director of your a cappella group is irrelevant in your job search?  Think again.  These experiences indicate that you can contribute to your future school in a larger way.

Moreover, assuming a leadership role at a young age demonstrates your ability to work with others, take responsibility, and adopt an instructive role.  Hiring contacts might envision you joining faculty committees or suggesting various ideas for school improvement.  Don’t leave these experiences off your resume, even if they don’t directly relate to teaching or kids.

If you’re a hiring contact at a school, what else do you look for on a resume?  Let us know!

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