Employer-Ready Criteria for Education Career Switchers

Resume

Content

Heading

Include name, phone number, professional email address, city and state, zip code, and full hyperlink to LinkedIn. 

Summary

  • Title of role pursuing (do not identify as a student).
  • Background experience that connects to the role you are pursuing.
  • Avoid pronouns
  • 2-3 transferable skills (ex. adaptable; time management; communication; innovative; collaborative, etc.)
  • Years of related experience (keep below 10 years).
  • Accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards. 
  • Training or certifications (completed program).

Education

  • Current degree listed first with “(Expected: Year)” or graduation date
  • Previous degrees listed, graduation date optional (omit graduation dates over ten years old).
  • Degrees listed in full (ex: Bachelor of Arts)
  • List notable academic achievements (research/project grants, fellowships, honor societies). Do not include Dean’s List or  GPA.
  • Omit high school information

Professional Experience

  • Positions Include:
    • Title
    • Employment Dates (months and years)
    • Company Name and Location (city/state)
  • Descriptions Include:
    • 3-5 bullets minimum per position; no sentence longer than two lines; no hanging words
    • Bullets begin with action verb
    • Present tense for current jobs, past tense for former jobs
    • No personal pronouns
    • Describe accomplishments and transferable skills
    • Include metrics (time, percentages, team size, $)

Teaching Experience

  • Positions Include:
    • Title
    • Dates of Employment
    • Name of School and Location
  • Job descriptions. Descriptions include:
  • Age / Grade of students
  • Number of students in classroom
  • Behavior & classroom management techniques
  • Curriculum creation vs standardized lesson plan

Additional Experience

  • Positions Include:
    • Title
    • Employment Dates (months and years)
    • Company Name and Location (city/state)
  • Descriptions Include:
    • Include one to two lines that describe accomplishments and transferable skills.

Volunteer Experience

Include volunteer experience if it adds credibility to your career goals, whether through leadership roles, technical skills, or industry-relevant organizations if applicable.

Project Experience

Add this if you have project experience in an academic setting. Projects completed in a professional setting should be included as bullet points with that correlating role (leadership roles, technical skills, etc., if applicable).

Optional Sections

 Only include information in this section that supports your qualifications for the type of roles you intend to apply for.

  • Certifications
  • Professional Memberships
  • Awards
  • Publications, speaking engagements, etc.
  • Soft skills

Applicant Tracking Systems

  • Include standard heading titles (Summary, Education, and Professional Experience)
  • Spell-out acronyms and abbreviations (abbreviated months are acceptable)
  • Do not write in the “header” or “footer” of the document
  • Use keywords that match the job description and align with required skills needed for each specific role.

Design and Format

Consistency

  • Margins: Between .5 – 1 inch
  • Font Color: Black
  • Font Size: 10.5 – 12pt font
  • Consistent font style throughout the document, with no more than two font sizes (one for body, one for headings)
  • Two-pages max
  • Use bullets, no asterisks, dashes
  • No images, photos, icons or design elements
  • No tables, text boxes, columns

Accuracy

  • Consistent punctuation throughout.
  • No grammar errors; no spelling errors.
  • No personal pronouns (I, we, he, or she).
  • Abbreviations or acronyms are not used unless necessary.

LinkedIn Profile

Customized URL

Customize LinkedIn profile URL to transfer onto resume.

Compelling Introduction

  • Professional profile photo. 
  • Customized background image. 
  • Up-to-date contact information (email). 
  • Catchy headline that incorporates target role. (Hint: Including industry keywords will make your profile more likely to appear in industry searches.)
  • Location is updated to reflect geographic preferences regarding  job search.
  • Add “Open to…” section if actively job searching and list applicable titles.
  • Create and/or increase connections for professional network. 
  • Stay active on LinkedIn.
    • Liking or commenting on posts
    •  Post articles (professional and insightful)

About

Clear summary statement that speaks to experience, background, and professional qualifications.

Include this section if it’s applicable. Show what you’re proud of! Add images, videos, documents, and links to help show off your work.

Experience

  • Experience listed in reverse chronological order, with job title, job description, company name, city & state or province, and dates of employment. 
  • Start every bullet with an action verb; don’t use the same verb more than once.
  • Cite accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards (do not list job duties).
  • Bullets are concise, direct, and listed in order of importance.
  • Quantify work as much as possible, eg. “200 tickets closed per month”.
  • Demonstrate how you have applied relevant transferable skills from previous roles that will speak to your target role (e.g. attention to detail, thrives under pressure, etc.).
  • Ensure on your end that work experience section align with content included in your resume or CV.

Education

  • Education section in reverse chronological order—include your Degree program.
  • Ensure on your end that education section align with content included in your resume or CV.

Skills, Recommendations, Accomplishments, Coursework, and Interests

  • At least 20 skills, both technical and transferable. (Hint: Ask your colleagues, peers, supervisors, classmates, and instructors, etc., to endorse you.)
  • At least 2-4 recommendations that attest to your skill set and work ethic. 
  • At least 2-3 projects highlighted with working links.
  • At least 20 interests displayed, with a mix of personal and professional interests.
    • Influencers, schools, companies, groups.
  • Include volunteering and causes if applicable.
  • Ensure you include industry relevant licenses and certifications if applicable.

Accuracy

  • All spelling is accurate with consistent punctuation. 
  • Tone consistent throughout. 
  • All links work.

Cover Letter

Pro Tip: Use the same header as your resume to create visual cohesion between the documents.

  • Full Name (largest font on page)
  • Email Address
  • Written out LinkedIn link (optional)
  • Phone
  • City, ST

Contact Info

Pro Tip: Use the job posting, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor to find the name of the hiring manager or recruiter. If not available, use “Dear Hiring Manager.”

  • Date
  • Contact Name (if applicable)
  • Company Name
  • Company Address

Education

Includes only relevant degrees, certifications, and/or trainings. Make sure you include the degree program to demonstrate your technical training. Ex: Master of Education, XYZ University.

Opening Paragraph

  • Greetings and how you found the role
  • One or two lines addressing “why” you are interested in the organization/position

Body Paragraph(s)

Pro Tip: Use bullet points to highlight skills or achievements.

  • Detail how you’re qualified for the job
  • Highlight three relevant topics (professional experience, education, or technical/soft skills) that align with the job requirements. Incorporate specific and/or measurable detail.

Formatting

Pro Tip: Aim for 250-400 words! The cover letter should be concise and informative.

  • Margins: Between .5 – 1 inch
  • Font Color: Black
  • Font Size: 10.5 – 12pt font
  • One page max

Grammar

All errors in punctuation, grammar, and spelling are corrected.

Closing

  • Confident professional manner
  • Includes call to action
    • Include appreciation for being considered for the position
    • Recap qualifications that offer “why” you are the ideal fit
    • Provide contact information to schedule an interview
    • Conclude with politeness (Thank You)

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