How to write a professional teaching assistant CV (With tips)
Updated 10 March 2023
To secure a position as a teaching assistant, you apply for positions in schools and learning institutions. The best way to demonstrate your potential as a teaching assistant is to tailor a CV specifically for the role. Teaching assistants support pupils and educators in the classroom to bolster educational, social and emotional development on a class-wide level. In this article, we show you the best way to present your teaching assistant CV, what to include and explain how a cover letter can help.
Related: How To Become a Teaching Assistant
How to write a professional teaching assistant cv
There are many components that make up an effective teaching assistant CV. A well-made CV shows your aptitude for fulfilling the core responsibilities of the role effectively, backing up your claims with relevant education and experience. For a teaching assistant, it's important to display any time you've spent in a classroom and the types of classrooms you've supported. In some instances, you might want to showcase your experiences working alongside children with special educational needs.
Every prospective teaching assistant has their own experiences they can draw from that are relevant to the role. The key is to show your competency and experience in situations that a teaching assistant would likely find themselves in on a daily basis. To impress potential employers, consider the following when writing your CV:
1. Get the format right
There are many ways that you can format a CV, but the best approach for teaching assistants is to use a chronological framework that starts with your first teaching experience. Try to omit any irrelevant experience and focus on things that are directly tied to education and time spent working in classrooms. This makes it clear to employers what your work history is and your level of experience.
2. Design your CV template to be neat
You want to make your teaching assistant CV is as legible as possible, so take the time to design and layout your CV. Make sure that all of the text is neatly displayed on the page so that it's easy to read. Set page margins to one inch on either side of the body of text, use left-align formatting for the text and use double-spacing. This formatting avoids white space, which can imply a lack of experience or consideration for the reader's convenience.
3. Get the font right
There is some flexibility here, but try to find a font that's professional and suited to the position that you're applying for. Good font options include Calibri, Verdana and Arial in 11-12 pt size. These examples are legible, professional-looking and commonly used on many professional CVs. The easier it is for the recruiter to read through your CV, the more likely it is that they absorb all of the things that you're discussing. This improves your chances of securing an interview.
4. Keep your CV brief
As a teaching assistant, you have a lot of duties to perform, so deciding what to include in your previous experiences can be tricky. Keep it concise and to the point. Pick out the most important experiences that are relevant to the role you're applying for. Aim to keep your CV under two pages of A4 in length. If you've been involved in any projects or group work, mention it but don't go into too much detail.
5. Create an education section
There is a relatively rigid structure that you can follow when drawing up an education section for your teaching assistant CV. We outline this structure below:
Include any higher education institutes that you attended. Add the course name, years studied and the expected graduation date if you're still actively attending classes.
If you're a school leaver, include your school name, location and the dates that you attended. Mention Mathematics and English GCSE results and all of your A-level grades.
6. Use the right file type when saving your CV
You're generally expected to submit applications digitally, so make sure to determine what sort of file format the recruiter is asking for. Most recruiters prefer a PDF file as computers are generally able to display these file types without affecting your formatting. PDF files are also harder to edit, so it provides a greater level of insurance that you're CV arrives at the recruiter exactly as you intended.
Writing a personal statement for your teaching assistant CV
A personal statement is a concise summary of your work history and any expertise you have in a given field. For teaching assistants, a personal statement can help showcase why you'd be a good fit in a learning environment. The entirety of your personal statement is usually no longer than a few paragraphs, so think carefully about what you want to talk about. Consider these factors:
What to include if you have experience
Some things to consider touching on include your background, what your experience brings to employers and what career progression you're looking for. This gives recruiters a good indication of your talents and aspirations before the interview stage of the application. If you have relevant experience in education, then it's a good idea to touch upon your most valuable skills and work history in the statement.
Talk about the things that make you an excellent teaching assistant and back them up with any case studies or abilities that you've nurtured over time. Try to match your experience to any skills requirements for the role. Use these experiences as anchor points for you to create a flow for your personal statement.
What to include if you don't have experience
If you lack any real-world teaching experience, your personal statement may look slightly different. Instead of speaking about your work history, talk about what relevant skills you currently hold that are applicable to the role of a teaching assistant. Try to tailor this information so that it fits with the requirements of the job and emphasises your passion for learning and education. Leaving this section to the end can help as it's easier to assess your skills once it's all on the CV.
What to include in the work experience section
Employers want to know what your previous work experience is to get a good indication of how well-versed you are in the profession. Ideally, you have some relevant experience to bring to the table, but it's not essential. Schools are looking for people who can provide a support system for teachers and learners. This is most easily demonstrated via teaching experience, but providing good examples of transferable experience can be enough to pique a recruiter's interest. Below we have outlined what to include in your work experience section when applying for roles as a teaching assistant:
work backwards from your most recent role to outline your previous jobs
include a rundown of your duties, your dates of employment and the details of the employer
try to highlight any of your successful achievements and showcase good experiences that you were a part of
always refer back to the job description as this guides your writing and keeps all of the content relevant to the position that you're applying for
Remember to include a teaching assistant cover letter
Most employers value a cover letter for the extra insight it provides into your personality, ambitions and experience. It can be difficult to gauge a culture fit via a CV alone, so providing a passionate yet professional cover letter adds texture to your raw potential. Cover letters are especially valuable if you have little teaching experience as a compelling description of your motivations may sway a recruiter. Below are some tips to help you write a cover letter for your teaching assistant application:
format the cover letter like a formal letter
gain the reader's attention with an intro that sets you apart from other candidates
highlight your experience and demonstrate your skill set by touching on case studies and real-world examples of your work
use a call-to-action at the end of the cover letter to invite the recruiter to ask any additional questions they may have
keep the letter to a few hundred words
Your cover letter is your first unofficial interaction with your potential employer, so make a strong impression and show them why you're a good fit for the position. After a week or two, feel free to follow up on your application and see how it's progressing. This shows a proactive attitude that recruiters appreciate and keeps you informed.
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