When it comes to job hunting, a great CV is your best friend. With just a brief glance, a recruiter will decide if you are the right fit for the job. In fact, this glance can be so short, the chairman of the popular recruitment company REED stated that recruiters can spend as little as 7 seconds looking at a CV! With only a fraction of a minute to make an impression, your CV really needs to stand out.
Before we start, take a second to download the example teaching assistant CV we linked to above. We’re about to go each section in detail and discuss what you need to include in your CV to keep those eyes on the page!
1. Personal Statement
The personal statement is the first part of your CV that a hiring manager will read, so you need to make it stand out and grab their attention. It should include a clear, succinct explanation of your experiences in the industry, or any relevant experience if you do not have direct experience from a school. You should highlight your key areas of strength here and show how you can fulfil the role of a TA. Things you can include are:
- Ages of children you have worked with
- Abilities of children you have worked with
- Skills necessary for the classroom
- Any subjects you have a particularly strong knowledge of
You should finish your personal statement with a short summary of your personality and how it makes you a good fit for a role working with children in education. Avoid cliché, overgeneralised statements such as ‘I love working with children’ and think more granular – what about working with children do you like? Is it breaking down information into a digestible manner, or when children get that ‘eureka!’ moment when they finally get something you’ve been helping them learn?
You can finish this section by listing your core skills underneath to hook the recruiter into reading more about your experiences.
I am an able and supportive teaching assistant with over five years’ experience working with children of primary school age. I have proven experience of being able to develop effective and successful working relationships with school staff and students. I have a strong understanding of the primary school national curriculum and have tested experience of supporting teachers with lesson planning and classroom activities. I am empathetic and sensitive towards the varied needs of the students I assist, and I am passionate about working towards the collective goal of student independence.
· Relationship builder with teachers and pupils
· Excellent team member with strong communication skills
· Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning
· Supportive and patient disposition
2. Employment history
This is where you list your previous work history. You can either make a list running from most recent to the least recent, or you can list by relevance to the role. Make sure to include what your job title was and list your key responsibilities. Always highlight what you did well there, and your stand-out achievements. Be sure to highlight any experience gained in behaviour management, special needs, planning, assessment, and supporting teaching staff.
Reading Road Primary School, Epping
From MM/YY to MM/YY
Primary school of c.150 students, provided teaching assistance from reception level to Year 6 across a range of subjects.
· Supporting the class teacher and individual needs of the students day-to-day
· Participating in a range of lessons from classroom to games
· Managing incidents and challenging behaviour
· Commended by headteacher for the continued progress of four Year 5 pupils in history
· Asked to attend parents’ evening and provide feedback on individual pupil performance
3. Education and Development
In this section, you should list all your educational qualifications and agreements. Schools will set their own educational requirements for applicants, but generally most schools ask for a grade 9-4 (A*-C) in GCSE Maths and English. If you are applying to teach at primary schools, GCSE Science will also be beneficial.
EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS
· Teaching Assistant NVQ Level 2, Epping College July 2015
· 8 GCSEs including Maths (C), Science (C), English (B), Epping Secondary School July 2013
· Teaching Assistant NVQ Level 2 (2015)
· Clean UK driving license
· Five day intensive First Aid course (2015)
4. Personal interests
This section is optional, but letting your personality shine through could be the cherry on top of a winning application. Schools are incredibly social places, so a hiring manager might want to know a bit about your hobbies and interests to get a better idea of you as a person.
Standing out from the crowd is the name of the game, so if you possess a special talent you could utilise in your teaching that is perhaps hard to come by – for instance, if you are a confident instrument player or are good at a particular sport – then mention it. Your qualifications and employment history are the parts of a teaching assistant CV that will get you the job, but there is certainly no harm in letting your individuality shine through.
· Playing the flute
· Spanish cinema
Top Tips for your CV writing
It is always good practice to check out the job description for the role you are applying for. It will contain a lot of key points and terms to respond to and weave into your CV. This will show the recruiter you have taken the time to consider what the school wants from the applicant and how you can fulfil those needs. Extra points if you provide examples of how you have fulfilled the needs in the past!
Keep your CV under two pages in length in order to keep the reader’s attention. Overloading your information with text can put recruiters off; keep your information in short, punchy bullet points.
If you’re looking to land a teaching assistant job, we hope these tips and tricks will help you get there. Follow these steps and you’ll be a teaching assistant before you know it!
Protocol Education can help you find your next role
As one of the UK’s leading educational recruitment agencies, we help hundreds of teaching assistants every year put their skills into practice in primary schools, secondary schools, special schools or as part of the National Tutoring Programme.
Even if you have no previous experience as a teaching assistant, our consultants will find you the right opportunities to get into the classroom and start changing lives. Browse our latest TA job listings or register with us to be the first to know about the best placements.