While most teachers enjoy their jobs, some may decide to venture into other career fields. Changing career paths is not easy in any case, but teachers possess many valuable skills that can be transferred to new professions. From writing to presenting to discipline, there are countless valuable skills that teachers can reuse and recycle elsewhere. If resume writing isn’t one of them, we’re here to help you write your transferable teacher skills on a resume.
The Resume Rubric
When you first entered the teaching field, you likely created a resume tailored to the job you were applying for: being a teacher. You listed your educational background, student teaching opportunities, and some of your skills. As you moved along that path, you may have simply added each teaching job you held and some basic information. While you are no longer applying to be a teacher, this is a good place to start.
Your education and work history are important to include, so you do not need to make major changes in those areas. Simply make sure everything is up to date and accurate, and possibly remove excess information that is really just taking up space. The bulk of what we will be focusing on today is how to talk about your experience and skills in a way that is applicable to new fields.
The Big Skills
Let’s talk about some of the many skills you have acquired over the years as a teacher, and how they can be applied to other career paths. Keep in mind you may not have all of these, and you may have others, so tailor your resume to yourself, and the career you’re aiming for.
Grant Writing & Fund Raising: Like it or not, the world runs on money. Many schools use fund raising and government grants to fill their budget, and teachers are a part of that process in various ways. If you have experience writing grant requests, asking for donations, or budget management, highlight these skills on your resume. They can be applied to many different jobs in finance and marketing.
Organization and Management: There’s a lot of planning and paper work involved in teaching. Managing lesson plans, field trips, and school events helps develop skills that are very transferable to corporate jobs like operations and project management. For greatest impact, be sure to describe the scope and complexity of what you managed.
Content Development & Publishing: With the growth of the internet, there is a tremendous demand for engaging content, including articles, tutorials, and presentations. Your experience creating course materials has likely prepared you for some type of content writing role. You might even have experience in web design through publishing a website or two for your classes!
Recruiting: A hidden skill many teachers have is recruiting. You spent a lot of time convincing people to join your activity or committee. That experience you had finding those volunteers for Model UN? You can use the same skills to recruit and hire people for an employer.
Storytelling: You learned long ago that people tend to doze off in algebra class or advanced grammar, so you learned how to make it interesting. Guess what? Those same kids still doze off in “HR policy seminar” and “safety training”. Your ability to weave information into a good story can be invaluable as a trainer and leader.
Cultural Knowledge: If you teach a foreign language, you have likely gained perspective on that culture. This will make you a very interesting candidate, and could also open the door to opportunities in international business. Many companies need help learning how to collaborate with foreign partners and customers, not only linguistically but culturally and emotionally.
Good Job Search Targets
So now that we’ve explored what you have to offer an employer, there are number of different paths. Most training organizations would welcome an experienced teacher with open arms. Teaching skills transfer directly here, as you are simply teaching adults instead of children.
Teaching experience is also a good fit for operations and marketing positions. However, you may need to take a few night school classes to fill in gaps in technical knowledge. For an operations role, this could include earning a supply chain management certificate. The best route into marketing is to pursue a junior role (such as an account coordinator) and work your way up. Your leadership, communication, and administrative skills will help you stand out.
One especially interesting path is to look for roles which cross many disciplines. If you’re a science teacher, seek roles where you explain science and math to customers. This could include jobs in sales, customer services, and project management. Similar roles exist in international trade for those with the right cultural skills.
Regardless of the path you choose, your experience as a teacher can be a great asset to your resume for countless teaching and non-teaching jobs.
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