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CV tips

If you are looking for a new classroom position, either on long-term supply or as a member of a school's permanent staff, it really helps to have an up-to-date CV which sells your relevant skills, experience and abilities.

But just what is it that makes a great CV?

Here are some of Protocol Education’s top tips for writing a great CV. If you need help getting started, just download one of our CV templates:

1. Know your audience – Put yourself in the shoes of a busy headteacher. What things will they be looking for on a CV?
  • Ofsted experience
  • Exam group experience and success
Monitoring, assessing and reporting on pupil attainment

2. Duties vs achievements – Just listing your previous responsibilities might not be enough to make your CV stand out. Use specific past accomplishments to show what you can contribute to a school:
  • OK: Taught Year 6 class
  • Better: Improved Year 6 Sats results
  • Best: Increased Year 6 Sats numeracy attainment levels by 20%.

3. SPaG – We can’t stress enough that you should check, check and check again!
  • Give your CV to a friend to read, and don’t rely solely on spellcheckers – they don’t catch everything!

4. Keep it snappy - Your CV might only have a few moments to impress, so don’t hide your best points:
  • Keep it to two A4 pages
  • Use an easy-to-read typeface
  • Make sure you have a logical structure with clear headings

5. Stay up to date - Make sure your CV reflects who you are right now, not six months ago. Keep track of professional development courses and new classroom achievements, and use the latest terminology.
If you are missing key skills or experience, one of our professional development courses could be the answer. Take a look at what’s on offer in a branch near you.

It's important to follow a clear structure when writing your CV. What should you put in each section?

  • Start with a short, clear summary of who you are and what you do – people don’t want to have to work it out.
  • Check your lingo, especially with abbreviations. It’s fine to say SENCO, GCSE or NVQ as they are commonplace, however beware of abbreviations relevant to a specific sector and potentially less known.
  • You should include:
    Your name
    Relevant qualification / Job role
    Specialist areas (e.g. subject areas, specialist age levels or skills)

Career history
  • This is the most important part of your CV, so take some time to get it right.
  • Start with your most recent position and work backwards.
  • Briefly summarise the school environment (such as school and class size, range of special educational needs etc), e.g. ‘Outstanding Ofsted’, ‘one-form entry primary school’.
  • If newly qualified, give details of your practicum experience.
  • Teachers: If possible, give specific examples of how you helped pupils to progress at the school, and highlight any additional responsibilities or extra-curricular involvement
  • Support Workers: If possible, describe specific ways that you contributed to improving the quality of learning at the school, and highlight any additional responsibilities or extra-curricular involvement

Other relevant experience
  • If you have previous employment experience you consider relevant to your work in education, briefly describe the role and how the skills involved apply to your current practice.
  • This section can help you to cover gaps in your employment – but remember, keep it relevant

  • List your qualifications, along with where and when you qualified.
  • Remember to keep it brief and to the point, highlighting the most relevant qualifications. You don’t need to include your entire school history in this section.
  • What did you write about qualifications in your summary? Make sure it says the same thing here

Additional skills and achievements
  • Use this space to list important achievements, experiences, awards, or any other details (e.g. professional development) relevant to seeking work in education that you haven’t been able to incorporate into your career history.
  • This is a good place to highlight any additional skills that could be useful to a school – e.g. ICT, musical, or sporting ability.
  • Make sure to include dates, where possible.

Supporting statement
  • If you’re including a supporting statement, outline your key experiences as a teacher/support worker, your motivation, teaching style, approach to behaviour management, and the ways you have improved pupils’ learning.
  • This should convey a sense of your personality and outline areas of education that you are enthusiastic about; the language style used should still remain professional throughout.
  • Remember to avoid using clichés!
  • Stay away from:
    “I’m very enthusiastic”
    “I’m an excellent team-player and can work independently”
    “I’m dynamic”
    “Highly motivated”


You should now have the beginnings of a fantastic CV. Remember our five key points:

  1. Have you kept it relevant to your audience?
  2. Have you used specific examples of accomplishments?
  3. Has it been checked thoroughly?
  4. Have you kept it to two pages? Is it easy to read?
  5. Is it up to date? E.g CPD, SEN skills, etc.

Once you’ve checked all the above, send it to your consultant or upload it to your Candidate Lounge account. Now you’re ready to land that interview!
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