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Resumes & Cover Letters

Resumes and cover letters are important first impressions in your job application, and contain vital information about your skills and background. If you have never written a resume or cover letter before, be sure to check out basic guidelines in the Resume section of our website. When applying for positions in Education, Counseling, & Youth Development, there are a few specific things to keep in mind. 

Resume vs. CV

What is the different between a resume and Curriculum Vitae (CV)? When do you use each type? Typically, a resume is used for most Education, Counseling, & Youth Development industry positions, including K-12 teaching positions. A CV is typically used for graduate school applications and positions in academia. While a resume is typically one page and focuses on experience and skills, a CV is more comprehensive and may span many pages. In addition to sections you may see on a resume, a CV may include/focus on information such as coursework, research experience, teaching experience, publications, conferences, and professional associations. 

However, some organizations use the terms resume and CV interchangeably. If you are unsure which to submit, contact someone at the organization to make sure you are using the correct type of document. You can have both resumes and CVs reviewed by a career counselor at the UVA Career Center. 

Certification

Make sure to list all certifications and endorsements on your resume and when you expect to receive them. Employers will want to know your areas of expertise, and K-12 public schools require teaching certifications or endorsements, depending on your role. These certifications should be listed in your Education section or a separate section at the top of your resume. See examples below.

  • Master of Teaching. Elementary Education with Certification Grades K-8, May 2015
  • M. Ed. in Counselor Education - Secondary School Certification (anticipated May 2015)

Experience

In most positions in Education, Counseling, & Youth Development, direct contact with students in teaching, training, counseling, or related positions will be especially valuable to highlight. If you have completed a formal experience through your academic program, such as student teaching or a practicum, make sure to include it and provide details that will help you stand out from other applicants. You will also want to highlight relevant paid or volunteer experiences where you worked with students or youth. These might include jobs as a camp counselor, volunteering with Cavs in the Classroom or a mentoring program, orientation leader, coaching, tutoring, nannying, and more.

If you have other experiences on your resume, make sure to highlight transferrable skills. For example, you may have held an internship where you wrote a training manual for your successor. Training, collaborating, and mentoring are all great skills to highlight when applying to jobs in Education, Counseling, & Youth Development . 

Finally, don't forget to highlight your academic experiences. Think about the classes you have taken that would be relevant, regardless of department. Have you written an education policy paper for a politics class, or perhaps conducted a sociology project on inequality in education? Make sure to write about it on your resume! 

Action Verbs

Using action verbs when describing your experiences helps to highlight transferrable skills and make a strong statement. There are many action verbs you can use, but here are a few helping verbs that would be powerful to add to a resume or cover letter in these fields:

Advise, Advocate, Assess, Assist, Coach, Collaborate, Communicate, Cooperate, Design, Develop, Educate, Enable, Encourage, Evaluate, Explain, Facilitate, Foster, Guide, Instruct, Integrate, Led, Listen, Mentor, Model, Moderate, Motivate, Observe, Organize, Plan, Provide, Set Goals, Support, Teach, Train, Tutor 

Interests and Skills

The Interests and/or Skills section on your resume is a great place to identify additional skills that would be valuable for the opportunity to which you are applying. Examples of interests and skills might include:

  • Foreign langauge 
  • Technology skills
  • CPR, First Aid or other general certifications
  • Interest in coaching sports or sponsoring certain clubs (K-12 teaching positions)
  • Interest in working with particular populations/cultures

Resume and Cover Letter Examples 

E-Portfolios

Electronic portfolios are valuable tools that showcase your work to employers. If you are enrolled in an formal Education program, you will likely create an E-portfolio. You can list the link to your electronic portfolio on a resume so that employers can easily and quickly view your accomplishments in your field. Check out the Creative Arts, Media & Design community section on E-portfolios for tools to help you get started.

You might include the following in an E-portfolio for Education, Counseling, or Youth Development positions:

  • Teaching/Counseling Philosophy
  • Work Samples (lesson plans, projects, grant proposals, multimedia items)
  • Professional Development (conferences, training)
  • Awards/Recommendations 

Interview Questions & Format

If you have never interviewed before, make sure to check out the Interviewing section of our website. You can also conduct a mock interview with a career counselor for practice. If you attend Education Expo or another career fair, you could be asked to interview with a school system on the spot, so make sure you are always prepared! Here are some sample interview questions for various fields in Education, Counseling, & Youth Development - you can find more relevant interview questions by accessing InterviewStream in Handshake (under the Resource tab in the Interviewing section). 

K-12 Teaching:

  • Describe your philosophy and approach to classroom management.
  • Give me an example of how you integrate technology into the classroom.
  • How do you handle discipline problems?
  • Define cooperative learning and give an example of how you use it.
  • How do you involve parents in the learning process?

Higher Education/Student Affairs:

  • Why do you want to work at our school?
  • How do you incorporate Student Development theories into practice?
  • Tell me about a time you implemented a succesful program.
  • What kinds of interactions do you enjoy most with students and why?
  • What types of diverse populations have you worked with?
  • What are the issues facing college students today?

School Counselors:

  • What do you see as the main role of a school counselor?
  • What do you think the role of the school counselor is in preventing school violence?
  • How would you deal with cultural differences in a school setting?
  • What is the role of the school counselor in relation to teachers, parents, administrators and other counselors?
  • What is your school counseling/educational philosophy?
  • How would you approach individual student planning?

More sample interview questions:

Diversity Resources

If you identify with a specific group, finding tailored job search resources can sometimes be challenging. In Education, Counseling, & Youth Development industries, it's particularly important to have a diverse workforce not only to provide support for diverse professionals and contribute diverse ideas to the profession, but also to have diverse role models for youth these community members so often interact with. Here are a few diversity resources specific to this community, but make sure to also check out the Special Populations section of our website for a more comprehensive set of resources. 

  • Nemnet: a national organiation committed to assisting schools and organizations in the recruitment & retention of diverse teachers, administrators and coaches
  • OutTeacher.org: A site dedicated to help LGBT teachers be the role models they needed when they were younger
  • NEA-GLBT Caucus: Resources and support for GLBT members of the National Education Association
  • The Association of Black Psychologists: A professional organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the profession of Black psychology
  • Higher Ed Jobs Diversity Resources: Information, career advice, and news for minority faculty and administrators and anyone interested in diversity in higher education
  • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium: Resources including publications, websites, associations and more for multiple identity groups in higher education roles
  • Troops to Teachers: Department of Defense program that helps veterans begin a new career as a teacher
  • MenTeach: A nonprofit focused on gender diversity in education