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How to Write A Resume When You Have Been in Education and Want to Get Into the Business World

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You have made the decision to leave teaching and pursue a business career. You are ready to reinvent yourself with a new resume. This resume will reflect your new career goals and objectives. It may resemble the old resume that helped you obtain your present teaching position, but its focus and overall message are very different. An effective career change resume will convince the prospective employer that you have many transferable skills and can easily fit into a business environment.

Learn business vocabulary. Do not use the language or techniques of teaching to seek a business position. Examine Internet postings, company newsletters and articles that have been published within the last six months. Highlight all keywords pertaining to the position and the related industry.

Use a functional format for your resume. The reverse chronological format worked well for your teaching positions. It listed all your employment and education, beginning with the most recent and working backwards. The skill-based functional format downplays employment history and focuses on skill areas that highlight your transferable skills.

Write a powerful professional summary. Located directly below the letterhead, this short paragraph contains three to five of your greatest skills and achievements interwoven with your new career objective. To attract the attention of database searches and prospective employers, include as many keywords as possible in this summary.

Identify three to five major skill areas related to your business objective and include them directly below the professional summary. Possible headings for your skill areas include policy development and administration, management, teaching and mentoring, assessment and communications. List these headings in order of importance and follow each heading with a series of competencies or accomplishment statements.

State accomplishments in terms of dollars and cents, percentages, profits and losses or increases and decreases. Give examples of how you solved problems, handled conflicts and coordinated fund-raising events. Highlight transitional skills such as writing, public speaking and mentoring that are relevant to a corporate environment.

List any awards and certificates of achievement that will distinguish you from other applicants. Include activities and leadership positions such as lead teacher, department chair and committee chair. Mention your participation in workshops and seminars, especially those pertaining to leadership, conflict resolution and technology.

Ask someone who works in the business world to proofread your resume. In addition to checking format, spelling, grammar and punctuation, she must check for any inappropriate use of business terminology. Be open to all her suggestions, especially those regarding transferable skills from your teaching position.

  • "101 Career Alternatives for Teachers"; Margaret M. Gisler; 2002
  • "Gallery of Best Resumes"; David F. Noble, 2007
  • "Resume Magic"; Susan Britton Whitcomb; 2010
  • "Knock 'em Dead Resumes"; Martin Yate; 2008

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio opened a wordsmith business. She has been published in the "Guelph Daily Mercury," "Waterloo Record" and "Winnipeg Free Press". A retired school teacher, Guidoccio has a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and psychology from Laurentian University, a Bachelor of education from the University of Western Ontario and a Career Development Practitioner Diploma from Conestoga College.

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