The United States (and the world at large) is facing a situation it has not faced in many decades with a fearsome and pervasive pandemic spreading rapidly into every corner of daily life. In such difficult times, many positions are getting laid off, and the job market is fraught with uncertainty. However, that doesn’t mean that hiring is off the table, that there is no way to acquire a new position. There will always be job openings, and that might be especially the case in the education industry, where things are changing dramatically to adjust for the virus. Here are some tips for how to position your resume in the industry sector in the current state of affairs.
1. CV or Resume?
One of the frequent questions we get in the career services industry is whether to go with a curriculum vitae (CV) or Resume? Our answer depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re applying to be a professor at a higher education institution, a CV might be in order. A pre-school director, or high school career counselor? A regular old resume should be fine.
The primary difference between the two is that a resume should strictly be a one- or two-page document, while a CV can be longer and usually contains extended information regarding publications and presentations to display expertise.
2. Target The Resume For Jobs That You Want
Similarly, the resume needs to be specifically geared towards the position you want. The education industry is a broad one, and different roles could require vastly differing strengths and skills. For example, if you’re applying for a role working with younger children, it’s best to include previous experience and skills working with students in that age group! If you’re trying to work in admissions, more administrative skills such as data entry and process improvements might be valuable.
There are some skills that might run fairly generally across education – communication, relationship building, working with diverse groups – but the resume is most effective when customized for specific positions.
3. Make Your Resume Achievement-Focused
While education isn’t an industry like sales where success is highly quantifiable, or project management where very tangible success can be pointed to, your resume should be as specific as possible regarding what you’ve done in your career. For example, you could include how many students you’ve worked with, and what classes you’ve taught or specialized in. Other good details could be any survey results (from peers or students) regarding efficacy. If you’ve built a curriculum from scratch or started a new class, that’s important and should be mentioned! If a certain percentage of your students received placements in top-tier universities, that is worth including!
These achievements don’t need to be quantifiable but should be as specific as possible to make your resume stand out from other qualified competitors in the industry who have also taught classes, worked in large public schools, or gone recruiting for students across the country.
4. Emphasize Technology Use
The advent of Coronavirus has shifted education across the world to a virtual model rather than the millennia-old approach of instructing in-person. As studies have shifted to the internet and online tools such as Zoom, Canvas, and Banner, it has become more vital than ever for all employees in the education field to have knowledge in such tools. That means if you’ve worked with any common technology tools, you should at the very least include them somewhere on your resume in a technical proficiencies section. If you have experience implementing any such systems in a setting and driving change, that should be emphasized heavily, as programs need such leaders at this time.
While Coronavirus will eventually abate, the education system might remain more heavily focused on virtual settings due to convenience, and all technology skills will likely be highly relevant moving forward.
5. Be Versatile And Adaptable
Finally, adaptation in general is a prized skill in uncertain times. There are updates nearly every day on how the Coronavirus is changing how daily life is operating in various ways, and adjusting to such a dynamic and fast-paced environment is an important trait. Again, leaving Coronavirus aside, the modern era in general places an emphasis to thrive under such conditions. \As education is a very customer and people-centric field, adjusting to new ways of thinking is incredibly important and should be touched upon (at the very least) in the resume.
In a similar vein, jobs increasingly ask more from employees. This means being versatile and possessing the ability to step up in various different roles outside the ones originally assigned. Including such versatility (and taking initiative) on the resume will therefore be extremely attractive for hiring managers – they will know you can step into an unfamiliar situation and succeed.