In today's competitive job market, a well-crafted resume is not just a formality; it's a necessity. For future physical educators, as well as those already established in the field, a strong resume can set you apart from the crowd. Whether you're aiming to teach elementary, middle school, or high school students, your resume serves as a snapshot of your skills, experiences, and passion for physical education. It's the first impression that school district employers will have of you, and in many cases, it determines whether you'll get a chance to make a second impression in an interview.
Physical education teachers bring a unique blend of educational theory, practical skills, and interpersonal abilities to the table. As the demand for specialized skills in physical education continues to rise, your resume needs to showcase not just your qualifications but also your dedication and specialized expertise in the field. This guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive roadmap for building a physical education teacher resume that reflects your unique skills and experiences.
Before I delve into the specifics of crafting an effective resume, it's important to note some general guidelines that are universally applicable. Your resume should ideally be between 1 to 2 pages in length, depending on your level of experience and the complexity of your career history. The format should be balanced and easy to read, with consistent alignment and a uniform font size, ranging between 10 to 14 points. A clean layout with appropriate use of white space can make your resume more visually appealing, aiding in readability and making a strong first impression.
In addition to layout considerations, pay close attention to the language and tone you use. Avoid using personal pronouns like "me" or "I," as this is standard practice in resume writing. Ensure that punctuation is consistent and proper throughout the document. When it comes to tenses, use the present tense for current roles and the past tense for previous roles. Lastly, it's advisable not to list references directly in the resume document; instead, keep them ready for when they are specifically requested by potential employers. Adhering to these guidelines will not only set the foundation for a professional and polished resume but also make it easier for hiring managers to focus on your skills and experiences.
1. Start with the Basics
Before diving into the intricacies of your experiences and skills, it's crucial to get the foundational elements of your resume right. These are the first things potential employers will see, and they set the tone for the rest of your resume.
Your name should be prominently displayed at the top of your resume, ideally in a font size
between 14 to 18 points. This is the first thing employers will see, so make sure it stands out. Include your city and state, but omit your street address for privacy reasons. Your phone number and a professional email address are essential. A professional email address typically consists of your first and last name and avoids nicknames or other unrelated elements. Optionally, you can also include URLs for your LinkedIn profile, personal website, or portfolio, but make sure these are not active hyperlinks. These additional platforms can serve as extended resumes, providing potential employers with a deeper look into your professional background and achievements.
Career Profile (Objective) Statement
Your Career Profile statement, sometimes referred to as an Objective or Summary, should be 3-5 sentences in length. This is your opportunity to describe your transferrable and soft skills related to physical education. Tailor this statement to the specific job you're applying for, whether it be elementary, middle, high school or college, emphasizing your passion and commitment to becoming a dedicated physical education teacher.
Example: "A dedicated and passionate Physical Education teacher committed to promoting physical health and team-building skills among elementary school students. Skilled in curriculum development, student engagement, and fostering a positive learning environment. With over five years of experience in both urban and suburban schools, I bring a diverse skill set and a commitment to promoting physical fitness, skill development and emotional well-being in all students."
2. Highlight Relevant Education
When it comes to showcasing your qualifications, the education section of your resume is
more than just a checklist—it's a platform to spotlight your academic achievements and specialized training. Here's how to make the most of it:
Degrees and Certifications
List your degrees in reverse chronological order, spelling them out fully (e.g., "Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education," not "BA"). Use font styles like bold to emphasize your degrees. This helps to draw the hiring manager's attention to your academic qualifications. Include the city and state of each institution and the month and year of graduation. If your GPA is 3.0 or above, you may choose to include it, but high school information should not be listed.
The education section is not just a list; it's an opportunity to showcase your academic focus and any specialized training you've received. Employers look for specific qualifications, and your educational background often serves as the foundation for your skills and knowledge in the field.
If you have undergone specialized training such as adaptive physical education, sports nutrition or child psychology, make sure to include these. Specialized training can set you apart from other candidates and shows that you have specific skills that can benefit the school or institution. Explain how these specializations can make you more marketable and show that you can cater to diverse student needs. For example, if you're trained in implementing adapted physical education programs, you can work with students who have physical or cognitive disabilities, making you a more versatile educator.
3. Showcase Teaching Experience
When it comes to demonstrating your qualifications for a Physical Education teaching role, your hands-on teaching experience is invaluable. This section is your platform to shine, detailing your practical experience in educational settings and beyond.
List your teaching experiences in reverse chronological order, including both paid and unpaid roles. Emphasize your job titles using font styles like bold. Include the city and state of each employer but not the full address or supervisor's name. Use the month and year to indicate the duration of your employment. This section is your opportunity to showcase your hands-on experience in the field. Make sure to include any roles that involved teaching or training, even if they were not strictly in a school setting. For example, if you worked as a fitness instructor or a camp counselor, these experiences are relevant and should be included.
Action Verbs and Metrics
Use action verbs like "implemented," "led," or "developed" to begin your accomplishment statements. These should be in bullet form, not paragraphs. Quantify your achievements wherever possible, describing job accomplishments and specifics, such as the amount of money managed or the number of students supervised. For example, instead of saying "Taught physical education classes," you could say, "Developed and implemented a physical education curriculum for over 200 students, resulting in a 20% increase in student participation in physical activities." This not only shows what you did but also the impact you had.
4. Emphasize Extracurricular Involvement
Extracurricular involvement can be a game-changer in how potential employers view your qualifications and suitability for a physical education role. This section can be broken down into different categories to showcase the breadth of your experience.
Coaching, Camps and After-School Program Work
If you've been involved in coaching, after-school programs, or summer camps, include these experiences. They demonstrate your leadership/teaching skills and initiative, and they also show that you're engaged in physical and health education beyond the classroom and that you can provide a balanced physical education program. These roles provide a more rounded view of your skills and interests and can be particularly appealing to employers looking for versatile educators that have previously encouraged students.
Highlight any leadership roles or initiatives you've taken in these settings. For example, if you've led a summer sports camp or initiated an after-school fitness program, detail what these roles entailed and the impact they had. Leadership roles show that you're not just a participant but someone who takes initiative, which is a highly desirable trait in educators. This in turn can put you ahead of other physical education teachers applying for the position.
Example: "Led a summer sports camp for 50+ students, focusing on skill development and teamwork. Developed a unique program that combined traditional sports like soccer and basketball with activities designed to build teamwork and communication skills."
5. Spotlight Professional Development
Professional development is more than just a buzzword; it's a crucial element that can set you apart in the competitive field of physical education.
Workshops and Seminars
List any professional development activities like workshops, seminars, and conferences you've attended. This not only shows your commitment to staying updated in the field but also indicates that you're engaged in the broader educational community. Professional development activities are an opportunity to learn new teaching methods, stay updated on educational policies, and network with other professionals. They show that you're proactive about your own growth and are committed to staying current in your field as a physical education instructor.
Certifications like CPR or first aid are often required for physical educators. Even if they're not, having them on your resume shows that you're prepared for emergencies, which can be a strong selling point. These certifications demonstrate your commitment to student safety and can make you a more attractive candidate, especially for schools that lack a full-time nurse or have extensive outdoor programs. Additional certifications can also include things like coaching licenses or specialized training programs, which further demonstrate your commitment to professional development.
6. Provide Professional and Technical Skills
In today's competitive job market, it's not just your educational background and practical experience that count. Your skill set, both professional and technical, can make you stand out as a well-rounded candidate.
Include any processional skills like verbal communication or leadership that could be relevant in a physical education setting. Transferrable skills can show that you're versatile and can adapt to different roles or responsibilities. If you speak additional languages, mention your level of proficiency (e.g., conversational, fluent). Language skills can be particularly useful in diverse educational settings and show that you're capable of communicating with a broader range of students and parents.
List any proficient computer, software, smartboard, and online skills that would be beneficial in a teaching environment, such as proficiency in educational software or classroom management systems. These skills will ultimately enhance your physical education lessons, and in today's tech-savvy world, being able to integrate technology into your teaching methods can be a significant advantage.
7. Include Professional Affiliations, Community Service and/or Personal Interests (optional)
To further enrich your resume and present a well-rounded picture of your qualifications, consider including sections on professional affiliations, community service, and personal interests.
Membership in professional organizations related to education and physical fitness can significantly bolster your resume. These affiliations demonstrate a commitment to staying updated with the latest trends, research, and best practices in the field. Examples include SHAPE America or your state AAHPERD. Being an active member—or better yet, holding an office—in these organizations can provide networking opportunities and offer additional resources for professional development.
Involvement in community service projects, especially those related to physical education, health, or youth development, can provide a well-rounded view of your dedication to your field. Whether it's volunteering to coach a local youth team, organizing community fitness events, or participating in health awareness campaigns, these experiences show your willingness to go beyond the classroom to make an impact. Community service not only enriches your resume but also demonstrates your commitment to fostering a healthy and active community.
Including a section on personal interests can offer a more holistic view of you as an individual and can serve as a conversation starter in interviews. While it's advisable to keep the focus on interests that are somewhat related to physical education or teaching, this section can also highlight other dimensions of your personality. Whether you're an avid hiker, a weekend soccer player, or a yoga enthusiast, sharing these interests can demonstrate your personal commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle. Additionally, interests like reading, music, or travel can provide a glimpse into your well-rounded character, making you more memorable to potential employers.
8. Keep It Updated
Your resume isn't a "set it and forget it" type of document; it requires regular maintenance to stay relevant and effective.
Set reminders to regularly update your resume as you acquire new skills and experiences. This is especially important as you attend more professional development events or achieve new milestones in your career. An outdated resume can miss out on showcasing your most recent achievements and skills, which could be crucial in setting you apart from other candidates.
Every job application is different, and your resume should reflect that. Tailor your resume for each specific job application, emphasizing the most relevant experiences and skills. Customization shows that you've done your homework and understand what the specific job entails. It also allows you to highlight the most relevant parts of your experience, making you a more attractive candidate for that particular teaching position.
9. Craft an Impactful Cover Letter
A cover letter is essential when a job application explicitly asks for one, when you're applying for unadvertised positions, or when the role is highly specialized or competitive. It serves as a platform to provide additional context for your application, allowing you to elaborate on your qualifications and express your enthusiasm for the job.
This document is more than just a formality; it's a crucial part of your job application package. A well-crafted cover letter can capture the school district's hiring manager or principal's attention, serving as an engaging introduction that encourages them to explore your resume in greater detail.
Section 1: Contact Information and Formatting
Begin with your contact information at the top of the cover letter. Include your name, address, email, and phone number. Use a professional format, similar to a business or application letter, to maintain a polished appearance.
Section 2: Address the Recipient
Address the recipient of the cover letter with a common business greeting, such as "Dear" or "Hello." Whenever possible, find out the name of the person you're writing to. Addressing them by name adds a personal touch and demonstrates that you've tailored the letter for this specific job opportunity.
Section 3: Express Your Interest
In this section, clearly state the job title you're applying for and where you came across the job advertisement. Explain your genuine interest in both the role and the company. Highlight that you've done your research and understand the company's needs. Mention that your experiences make you an expert in your field, ready to contribute to their success.
Section 4: Showcase Your Qualifications
Detail your key achievements, skills, and relevant background that directly relate to the position. Emphasize how your previous experiences have prepared you to excel in this role. Align your qualifications with the job description, demonstrating your understanding of what the position entails.
Section 5: Focus on Skills and Qualifications
Continue to focus on your skills and qualifications outlined in the job description. This section should clearly convey how well you match the specific requirements of the job. Highlight any specialized skills or expertise that make you a strong candidate.
Section 6: Close with Enthusiasm
In the closing paragraph, reiterate your excitement for the opportunity and how your qualifications align perfectly with the position. Express your eagerness to discuss further during an interview. Use formal closing language and end the cover letter with your signature.
Section 7: Signature
Conclude your cover letter with a formal closing, such as "Yours Sincerely," followed by your full name. This final touch maintains professionalism and leaves a lasting impression.
Your cover letter is more than just a formal introduction; it's your chance to make a personal connection with potential employers. Tailoring it to the specific job and demonstrating your passion and qualifications will greatly enhance your job application and increase your chances of standing out among other candidates.
10. Get Recommendations
In addition to your qualifications and experiences, third-party endorsements can add significant weight to your resume. Here's how to go about it:
Who to Ask
Gather letters of recommendation from mentors, professors, or supervisors who can vouch for your skills and character. These letters can provide another layer of credibility to your application. When asking for recommendations, choose people who are familiar with your work and can speak specifically about your skills and achievements. A generic letter from someone who doesn't know you well will not be as impactful as a detailed recommendation from someone who has worked closely with you.
Testimonial Section (Optional)
If the platform allows, consider including a testimonial section to add a personal touch to your resume. This could include quotes from colleagues, supervisors, or even students. Testimonials can provide real-world examples of your skills and character, giving potential school board employers a more nuanced view of what you bring to the table.
11. Integrity and Online Presence
First and foremost, integrity is paramount in all stages of your job search. Every piece of information you include on your resume should be accurate and truthful. Falsifying skills or experiences can not only jeopardize your chances for the current job but also have long-lasting negative impacts on your career. As you prepare your resume, which may well be one of the most crucial documents in your career transition, it's essential to be both honest and meticulous.
In today's digital age, your online presence can also play a significant role in your job application process. Recruiters frequently go beyond the resume to understand you better as a candidate. A well-curated blog, website, or professional social media account relevant to your field can act as an extended portfolio, showcasing your skills and experiences. However, it's crucial to manage these platforms judiciously to ensure they reflect a professional image.
Your resume is not just a list of qualifications; it's a dynamic document that serves as a reflection of your commitment to the field of physical education. It's the first thing that hiring managers see, and it can be the key to unlocking doors to opportunities you've always dreamed of. Authenticity and passion should shine through every section, from your objective statement to your listed experiences. A well-crafted resume doesn't just list your skills and experiences; it tells a story. It paints a picture of who you are as an educator, a leader, and a lifelong learner.
For both future and established physical educators, remember that the field is ever-evolving. New techniques, technologies, and theories are continually emerging, and it's crucial to stay updated. Continuous learning and improvement are not just buzzwords; they are necessities in today's competitive job market. Always seek new experiences and opportunities for professional development to add to your resume. This not only makes you a more attractive candidate but also enriches your own professional life. The value of continuous learning cannot be overstated. It not only equips you with new skills but also keeps your passion for the field alive.
Physical educators, your journey is unique and valuable. Let your resume tell your story. Start building today!
Download a FREE PE Teacher's Resume Handbook!
In today's highly competitive job market, a well-crafted resume is your key to standing out as a physical education teacher. Whether you're an aspiring educator or a seasoned pro, your resume is your first impression on potential employers.
If you are ready to begin crafting your resume, I have created a comprehensive guide entitled: Unlocking Opportunities: The PE Teacher's Resume Handbook - The Ultimate Guide to Crafting a Standout Physical Education Teacher Resume.
This comprehensive guide is here to help you create an exceptional resume that reflects your unique skills, experiences, and passion for physical education. Fill in the form below to download this 30 page FREE resource so you can dive in and begin your new resume today!!
Need Some Editable PE Teacher Resume Templates?
Creating a winning resume should be as efficient as planning a PE lesson. The following templates streamline the process, allowing you to invest more time in showcasing your qualifications and less time on formatting. Cap'n Pete has 5 PE Resume template formats (and a 5 Format Bundle) on his website and on TPT to accommodate all styles. Click the links below to check them out:
Traditional Classic Format: The Traditional Classic Format offers a timeless and professional design, perfect for educators with a preference for a traditional yet elegant resume style.
Traditional Refined Format: In the Traditional Refined Format, you'll find a polished layout that strikes a balance between classic and modern, catering to those seeking a touch of refinement.
Traditional Stylish Format: For those who want to infuse their resume with style and sophistication, the Traditional Stylish Format provides an option that combines classic elements with a trendy flair.
Contemporary Polished Format: The Contemporary Polished Format introduces a sleek and modern design, ideal for educators who want their resume to reflect a polished and up-to-date image.
Contemporary Clean Format: With the Contemporary Clean Format, simplicity and organization take the forefront, making
5 Format Bundle: All 5 formats in one place!
Whether you're an experienced educator with a wealth of knowledge or a future professional eager to gain practical experience, these templates are adaptable to your specific background and career stage. They cater to educators at all levels, just like your teaching methods adapt to different student needs.