A Reader Asks… Proof My Resume

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A LYS Assistant Principal requested that I proof her resume prior to applying for a Principalship. The following are the notes I sent back to her.

 

First, there is nothing overtly wrong with your resume.

 

There are about as many formulas for the “right” resume as there are job openings, but it all boils down to this…

 

Will your current resume get me, the person with the open position, to call you, the person who wants the position, for an interview?  That’s it.  So, think of the person sifting through the stack of resumes and what can you do that will put your resume in the “call / re-read” pile.

 

Most educators resumes look the same. You have to separate yours from the pack and do it quickly.  Here are some basics.

 

  1. Tailor the resume for the position and organization.  If I can’t tell if you are applying for a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent or superintendent position based on what I’m reading, your resume becomes background noise.

 

  1. Two pages max.  I’m busy and distractible.  After two pages I’ve lost interest.

 

  1. List experience first, then education. In our field, we all have advanced degrees.  It is our experiences that set us apart.  I once had a Superintendent explain to me, “I hire people who have done something, not people who have read about how to do something.”

 

  1. With the positions you have held, I want to know what you actually accomplished in those positions.  I already know what you were supposed to do.

 

  1. If the experience/position occurred longer than 10 years ago, it is ancient history. You can drop it if it doesn’t add to the narrative of how awesome a candidate you are.

 

  1. Drop the reference section.  I’ll ask for them when I call you or you already listed them on the application I made you fill out.

 

What you want your resume to show is:

 

  1. When faced with a problem, you solved the problem. Show the results.

 

  1. You coach staff.  Describe your process and show the results. Shows that one-on-one interactions don’t intimidate you.

 

  1. You speak and present. The big room doesn’t intimidate you.

 

  1. You train staff.  Describe your process and show the results. 

 

  1. You seek out challenges and you get results.

 

In case the reader is wondering, the Assistant Principal is now a new Principal.

 

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…

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