Are you ready to step into “the real world” and test out the skills you’ve honed over the past several years? The key to that world comes in the form of a CV.
Without much experience but with a huge desire to start working in the education industry, a well-written CV is essential. But, writing isn’t the only aspect that matters. Optimization matters as well.
Research by TheLadders showed that recruiters only spend an average of 6.25 seconds, looking at a candidate’s CV. Whomever you need to impress with your CV, you need to do it fast. An optimized CV will capture their attention with valuable information.
In addition, if educational institutions you want to apply for use ATS (Applicant Tracking System), an optimized CV will get in favor with its algorithms.
To optimize your CV, make it stand out, and get your career in education started, consider the following tips.
Revise What’s Important and What Needs to Go
Not all your past experiences are relevant for a career in education. It’s highly important that you identify which previous jobs and achievements are worthy of mentioning.
The mistake that many graduates make is to add irrelevant jobs to their CV. The need to make your work experience seem more extensive is understandable. However, jobs that aren’t related to the position you’re applying to will only distract the recruiters from what’s relevant.
To define relevant work experiences, ask yourself: Did this job bring me an experience or skill that I could use in my job in education?
For example, tutoring students for 4 years is a relevant experience. Taking a course in child psychology is relevant. Working as an au pair abroad is relevant (experience with kids). Working at McDonald’s isn’t.
The CV should present the highlights of your work experience that are related to the education industry. Even if that cuts down several lines from your CV, relevant jobs are what will work towards presenting you as the right candidate.
Include Key Skills
List soft and hard skills that will portray you as a competent individual for the job. Since your work experience won’t be very elaborate, you should focus on the skills that will make you an embodiment of the perfect employee.
Start by analyzing the job description. Employers list key skills that they are looking for in an employee in the description. Listing those skills will signal both recruiters and ATS that you are a match.
You can also use the Resume Worded Job Description Keyword Finder tool that will surface the most important keywords that might not be that obvious from the job description. Then, you can mention them under your skills to optimize the CV.
But don’t stop there. Once you cover the required skills, it’s time to set yourself apart. List skills that will make you unique but also a valuable addition to their team. The skills you can mention are “a calming presence” (extremely valuable if you’ll work with kids), “ability to cope under pressure,” “great time management skills,” etc
Personalize the CV
Each job you apply for deserves a personalized CV. What does that mean? That means that you should tailor the CV to different job positions.
It doesn’t matter that all the jobs you apply for are in the education sector. One job description can mention some soft or hard skills as crucial, while a different job description can list others.
You can create “the foundation” CV and then make slight changes (if necessary) for the job positions you apply for. For example, if you are applying for a job in an inclusive classroom, your experience with children with disabilities should be placed at the top of your list of experiences. If you are also applying for a teaching job in Spain, then spending a year in Spain as an exchange student should take the lead.
Adapting the CV to specific jobs will ensure that in the process of elimination, your CV gets a passing note as it corresponds with what they are looking for. Remember that the ATS, as well as recruiters, are directed towards keywords that they used in the description.
Structure a CV
Massive blocks of text won’t test well with recruiters or ATS. Structuring your CV properly can take you one step closer to an optimized CV.
Here are some tips on how to structure a graduate CV:
- order the education segment by putting the most recent qualifications first
- use bullet numbers
- use subheadings for segments
- use bolded text
- use a single (readable) font
Use CV templates if that will make it easier for you to put together a well-structured CV. However, aim for simple and clear templates whose design won’t steal the attention from the information.
Include “In Progress” Experiences
If you haven’t finished your master’s degree at the time you are applying for the job or you are in the middle of a relevant online course, don’t overlook that. Include it in your CV.
However, don’t present it as if you have already attained that degree or certification. This could lead to an awkward moment when you have to admit in the interview that you didn’t quite finish that as it says in the CV.
Showing that you are working on upgrading your education can be a huge plus in the eyes of the recruiters.
Get Someone to Proofread or Edit Your CV
As a creator of the CV, you can’t be objective about its quality. To ensure that everything is well-written and understandable, get someone to double-check it.
The first option is to ask a friend or family member to take a look. They might spot an inconsistency or grammar mistake that you overlooked.
A more “advanced” option is to get college essay writing help for editing. According to TheLadders research, recruiters gave professionally rewritten CVs a 60% higher score than amateur CVs. You can still write it, but get a professional editor to polish it up and make it more professional.
Lastly, you can use online editing tools like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor. These tools will highlight any grammar or spelling mistakes as well as show you the readability score. The readability score informs you of how comprehensive your CV is.
Getting a job as a graduate is more challenging than getting a job as an experienced educator. That is why optimizing your CV is so important.
The effort you put into optimization will help you show the recruiters that your lack of experience doesn’t make you an inadequate candidate. An optimized CV can attract their attention and show a match between your CV and their ideal job candidate.