How do I redo my resume?

It’s nearing the end of the academic year - spring break is next week, then Q4 begins. As I’ve posted before, I’m going to try to leave teaching. I’m running into a big roadblock, however, in that I don’t know how to write a resume for non-teaching jobs.

How do I make myself look good to businesses? I have to places that I’m applying that I have inroads; both are businesses where I know people who can get my resume into the pile that actually gets read. However, I don’t know how to make it go further than that. I’ve spent the past five years as a teacher. For two years before that I was a cable installer, and before that I was a college student/part-time retail worker.

Do I simply go with a chronological listing still? What do I include? I have nearly seven years of retail experience, but it was from 1998-2005. Neither position I’m applying for is retail, but both are heavily customer-service oriented. FTR, one is a sales position and the other is a property management position.

I need the resume to look good to all sorts of businesses, though. I’m not going to just limit myself to these two.

Thanks for the help in advance. Dopers have been good to me over the past decade!

I am sure someone who is a recruiter will be along shortly to give you the pro advice. Here is what I recommend:

Summary. Start with a summary of your skills - describe what you can do. Break it into stuff like budgeting, managing people and/or projects, etc. This section may be the only area that gets read. Taylor this area to the job you are applying for.
Experience. Then, your experience in chronological order, noting your job title, employer, and start/end dates. Add 3-4 bullets of what you did, and anything quantifiable use numbers (e.g. 20 instead of twenty) as it will catch the reader’s eye better.
Education. List your degrees, certifications, etc by institution year, major, etc.

No formatting of text - it will likely be scanned into a resume-bot. Leave plenty of room on the margins for note-taking by an interviewer. Avoid blocks of text - no one will read them. Keep it light, brief, and to the point. If you can limit to one page, it is better.

That’s the basics.

Please remember to proofread your resume. You mean “two” (as I’m sure you know) but employers receive many resumes, and often the first typo will get yours tossed.

If you’re concerned about the applicability of your teaching experience to the business world I recommend you conduct some sort of analysis of the skills and knowledge that were required in your teaching job. I’m sure that there are organizational and people skills and knowledge that you’ve developed during that period which can be applied to a variety of jobs, including customer service. Remember, as a teacher (though you may not think of it this way) you were selling a product to a classroom full of customers. You also, as a result, have leadership skills to bring to the table as well as analytical skills required for assessing student performance.

Yup. I don’t really proofread SDMB posts, as I’m usually posting on the fly. Of course I know to proofread my resume, then hand it to someone else to proofread it, then go over it once more myself.

I’ve taught students how to write resumes. I know the basics of formatting, but resumes for teachers look different. I have to have my certifications and clearances listed, and I’m assuming I need to just leave those off of a business resume because they aren’t relevant to the business world (right?).

It looks like I need to add a “Skills” section. Would nebulous things like “Leadership skills as demonstrated by teaching classes of 40 students successfully” be appropriate there? Or do I just need to stick to hard skills like “Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel; Proficient with Google Apps”?

I worry that I’ll get too wordy. Should each bullet point be under a certain length?

I actually had a “Leadership and Management” section on my resume (I got a plum job but at the same time it was mine to lose) going from most recent and back. Your “Leadership skills…” sentence, or something of that nature should be included. If you have a specific leadership and management section, for example, that sentence could be “taught and led classes of 40 students for five consecutive years while realizing a XX% student success rate each year” or something like that.

I was in a slightly analogous situation to yours in that I went from 30 years in the military into an industry job, though I was going from a military specialist function into its civilian equivalent.

Also it’s important to get as much “meat” in the resume and as efficiently as possible. Review the statements in your resume and put them to the “so what?” test as well. Depending on who/what grade/academic program you taught there are probably some unique and specific challenges which you had to overcome, which can be parlayed into good resume input.

Would somebody smarter/more knowlegeable care to chime in on the part I snipped here? My gut reaction would be to include them, since they are legitimate achievemets and also answer the “so what HAVE you been doing all this time?” question.

Oh, I just mean the part that lists what I’m certified to teach and that I have a fingerprint clearance card/have passed a background check required to teach. It’s a bulky section, but it only pertains to teaching.

purplehorseshoe, my inclination would be to have a “Professional Qualifications and Certifications” (or something like that) section towards the end with the certifications and clearances listed in chronological order. I would also recommend getting the latest resume book as the flavours tend to change periodically.

Remember to write your objectives and descriptions in terms of value to your employer, not value to you. I don’t know what you taught, but if you have some measurable accomplishments that would be good.

Wrong - My goal is to learn sales and start a new career.
Right: My goal is to increase the sales of company X by using my teaching skills to inform potential customers about our product and motivate them into becoming actual customer.

Sales is all about communication and motivation. So is teaching. You should be able to map teaching experience into that pretty well. If you motivated your students into learning the material and doing their homework, selling stuff should be easy. Or, make it sound that way.