Write a Modern Educational Leadership Resume by Digging Deeper


Write a Modern Educational Leadership Resume by Digging Deeper

Dig deep into your past to create a winning educational leadership resume to showcase your leadership experience and relevant career accomplishments.

Let the type of leader you are, be it a transformational, visionary, or a combination, shine through. Delve into your experiences to come up with relevant achievements, leadership skills, and initiatives you have demonstrated. Directly relate these career experiences to the position you which to secure. Take into consideration the points outlined below to create an interview-worthy, job-landing resume as an educational leader.

Tips to Write a Memorable Educational Leadership Resume 

Job Titles in Leadership Within Education

  • School Principal
  • Assistant Principal
  • District Administrator
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Director or Supervisor
  • Dean of Students
  • Dean of Faculty
  • University Registrar
  • Head of School
  • Educational Consultant
  • Board Chairperson
  • Interim Principal
  • Instructional Leader
  • Master Teacher
  • Curriculum Developer
  • School Administrator 

Start with An Attention Grabber/Professional Summary

A professional resume summary is your first chance at gaining the reader’s attention. Use this section of your educational resume to showcase relevant skills and demonstrate to the reader what you will bring to the table.

career summary should detail your most valuable skills and qualifications. The first line should include the number of years you have worked in the education field and your specialty. Bold the first line to make it stand out from the rest of the paragraph.

Keep the opening paragraph to 4-5 concise and meaningful sentences or bullet points that set the tone for the remainder of your resume. The resume profile example below is a summary of qualifications to target a school principal position.

Results-oriented, innovative educational professional with over 20 years of administrative leadership expertise. Committed to encouraging a continued passion for educating and mentoring students and faculty to ensure a school atmosphere that is respectful and motivating. Collaborative and resourceful facilitator who fosters a school culture where mentorship, relationship building, and advocacy are essential to academic success. Empowering leader with a proven track record of increasing student achievements and directing teacher professional development. Unwavering focus on creating a supportive relationship between students, staff, parents, and the community.

Target Resume to Show Expertise

An educational leader is someone who takes on an action-oriented approach to improving the overall academics and school atmosphere. Let your leadership qualities be the focal point of your resume through effective use of relevant accomplishments and educational terminology.

Throughout your entire resume, you want the focus to be your expertise in leadership and education. These qualities will be first introduced in your professional summary. Next fundamental skills will be showcased in the “Areas of Expertise” “Core Competencies” “Areas of Strength” section, and leadership qualities will be highlighted in your career achievements and community involvement or professional development.

Secondary Resume and Cover Letter/Tailor

If you are applying to several institutions or different positions within a division, do not send out a one-size-fits-all resume. Differentiate yourself by communicating your unique qualifications for the position of interest.

Once you have read over the job posting for specific position requirements, you can start to delve into which achievements and experiences you have that would directly correlate with that position. If you have skills to showcase your ability in school operations and administration, they should be highlighted in your resume targeting a school principal job. Expertise you have gained from community outreach may be better suited to be the focus of your board chairperson resume.

A secondary resume is an excellent idea if you are planning on applying for several different positions that may have detailed and specific requirements. For example, writing a resume for an educational consultant position would be different creating a resume for a literacy coach position.

When writing a cover letter, try your best to tailor it to the individual school, district, county, or institution. Tailoring your letter will convince the reader you have spent the extra time to create a customized letter to target the position you are applying for and not sending out a generic letter. 

Write with Meaning and Purpose – Show Personality

When creating your educational leadership resume, do not forget to let your personality shine through. While keeping your dictation professional in nature, you still want to give the reader a sense of who you are and if you will be a fabulous fit in the new position.

Make sure to review your documents to ensure they do not become repetitive. Mix up the wording and if you feel comfortable using the thesaurus, find synonyms for words that are used too often. These familiar words could be excellent, created, or teacher, and replace them with superb, developed, and educator.

While using wording that you are comfortable with and would typically use will allow you to stand out, why not use a more modern font style, a professional color for sections headings, or a stylish border.

Obviously, your skills and qualifications are the things that will land you an interview for a leadership role in education. Keep in mind the decision maker is sifting through a stack of documents looking for something extra. Make the recipient of your resume stop and take a closer look at your application. 

Dig Into Your Past to Uncover Accomplishments

Previous work experience is the core of any resume; it is the personal experiences and accomplishments that let you stand out from the other candidates. As a seasoned educator applying for a leadership position, it is important to relate your skills and expertise to strategically chosen accomplishments. Going beyond strictly classroom experiences may be relevant. Have you held positions on professional committees or played an integral part in community outreach programs?

After each experience list your critical achievements in bullet point form. Highlight successful results, notable educational benchmarks, and key objectives when creating your accomplishment points. Whenever possible, utilize numerical data to support your actions and remember that all your experiences should be in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

A great way to come up with your accomplishments is to use the acronym C.A.R.: Challenge – Action – Result.

Use a “Bullet Point Formula”: Action Verb – Example – Result.

In both options, you will want to explain what you did in the position or the challenge, what action you took to overcome the problem, and the effect on the student, school division, community, etc. Showcasing your school principal leadership practices will be vital. Below are examples of accomplishment statements. Take into consideration the formatting and length of each point. 

Write Relevant and Concise – Accomplishment Bullet Points Examples

School Principal:

  • Developed a strong cohesive academic team by establishing high expectations and encouraging a team approach to address school goals and issues while continually promoting creativity, respect, and innovation through professional development initiatives.

Assistant Principal:

  • Actively involved in “Child Study”, consisting of a team of administrators, counselors, district special education supervisors, and social workers who meet weekly to discuss “at risk” students; upheld the highest of confidentiality while devising an action plan, i.e.., referrals for special education, testing, or outside placement.

Education Consultant

  • Facilitated weekly conferences for enrollment advisors on academic initiatives and training opportunities while ensuring full compliance with the school division’s student engagement strategies.

Curriculum Developer

  • Collaborated with Foundation partners and colleagues to create an 8-10 Common Core-aligned curriculum to identify developmentally appropriate content by choosing strategic teaching methodologies and delivery modalities that were best suited to individual school and students needs.

Head of School

  • Implemented strategic Guided Reading program that resulted in an average increase of 75% in literacy scores within one year.

School Administrator

  • Facilitated the expansion of school literacy program by hiring new librarians, increasing the number of book fairs for students, and approving the acquisition of more library materials.

University Registrar

  • Directed the conversion of an existing management information system to an online integrated database system to coincide with the change in the semester calendar for University of 25,000 students.

Dean of Students

  • Coordinated with Advancement Office and the Music program to successfully secure $200,000 foundation grant for new instrument purchases through effective creation of grant proposals. 

Lose Extra Words or Irrelevant Information – Be Concise

While you want to explain as much as possible in your resume to land you that coveted interview and finally the dream job as a School Administrator or Dean of Students, you need to remember to write concisely and tailor your resume to the specific posting.

Fragmented sentences in your document are common. It isn’t necessary to include extraneous words such as ‘the’ and ‘then’. Using too many of these words will bog down your resume and bore the reader. Get to the point of what you are saying succinctly to allow your career achievements and leadership capabilities shine through.

Don’t include every single job you have held since your teenage years. There is no need to add your high school diploma in the education section if you a post-secondary degree. Include relevant details directly related to the position you wish to be called for an interview.

There is no need for your passion for hiking or knitting to make it into your final draft. In the interview, you can share a more about who you are as a person outside of work if it is appropriate.

If you are changing careers and may not have the necessary direct experience, utilize transferable skills and relate them to the position at hand. 

Integrate the Right Keywords

There are certain key phrases you should be familiar with when entering an educational leadership position. Keywords should be integrated throughout your resume in moderation to highlight the leadership skills you will bring to the position. Education buzzwords are essential to include as your application may be processed through the Applicant Tracking System before it even comes to the hands of an interviewer.

Keywords are incredibly useful when used appropriately on a resume and are used to connect with personal examples directly. They can be utilized in your achievement statements, professional summary, and in an “Areas of Expertise” section.

List of Potential School Leadership Keywords:

  • Class Scheduling
  • Solution Focused Approach
  • Response to Intervention
  • Data Analysis
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Student Discipline and Support
  • Budget Management
  • Staff Professional Development
  • School Improvement Plans
  • Policy and Procedure Development
  • Mission Statements
  • Student Assessment
  • Curriculum Adaptations
  • Classroom Evaluation
  • Strategic Planning
  • School Security and Safety
  • Workshop and Seminar Presentations
  • Admissions and Student Enrollment
  • Mentoring and Coaching
  • Technology Integration
  • Assessment Tools
  • Standardized Testing and Scores
  • Academic Standards
  • Parent and Community Involvement
  • Academic Progress Reporting 

Formatting, Design, and Font Consistency

Creating a modern educational leadership resume will take time and effort if you want it to present you in the best light. Showcase your credentials, abilities, qualities, and don’t forget to reflect your personality and passion in all your job search documents.

While the education field is both a creative and innovative area to thrive in, you still want to maintain a clear, concise, and professional resume. Consistency is vital when presenting your full application package, including a professional resume, tailored cover letter, and a thoughtful thank you letter after your interview.

Make sure that all your documents have the same font choice, size of text, borders, and section dividers. Overall aesthetics of your resume should not be overwhelmed with various colors or an overbearing design. A clean-cut and consistent modern resume is the way to go.

A classic color used to direct the eye to specific section headings, your name, or in an appropriate border can be used to differentiate your resume from the group of candidates. Incorporating color, icons, or a border are at your discretion, do what makes you feel comfortable and what suits your personality. Just don’t go overboard with the use of these eye-catching options.

Maintain an appropriate amount of white space in your educational leadership resume. This point directly relates to the fact that you want to keep your qualifications and accomplishments the focal point and not overload the reader with condensed text.

An educational leadership resume should follow a combination, accomplishment-based format. Use a paragraph format under each work experience to describe the scope of the position using the right keywords.

List your most significant, relevant achievements under each job listing. Include several bullet points showcasing the successes in each position and including as much detail as needed while remaining concise.

Proofread and Edit

Proofreading is another crucial stage in creating your leadership resume. While you have spent hours building a detailed resume that highlights your leadership qualifications and accomplishments, it could all be for nothing if it has spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Editing is a necessary step in the resume writing process and should be taken seriously as it is often underutilized and rushed. Double check the accuracy of the details you provided including dates and spellings. Go over the formatting one final time to finalize the professional appeal of your resume.

Finally, after you have read through your resume several times, ask a colleague or friend to review it or hire someone. It never hurts to have another set of eyes to proofread, ensure consistency, and validate visual appeal.

This article was named a Top Job Search Blog Post for 2020 by JobMob.co.il. The original article can be found here.



JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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