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Application Tips

4 Tips For Writing Your Resume

What should you include in the resume you submit for your Teach For America application? Follow these four pieces of advice.

By The TFA Editorial Team

February 22, 2017

The resume you submit with your application to Teach For America provides us with critical information to get to know you. In a nutshell, it should highlight your academic and professional achievements, as well as your leadership experience.

Whether you’ve recently graduated or are coming from the professional ranks, we’ve put together four vital tips on how to produce an exceptional resume.

  1. Focus your resume on where you are in your career. For example, if you’re an undergraduate or recent college graduate (less than five years), highlight your extracurricular activities as well as any work experience you may have.

    If you have not yet graduated, please include your graduation date. On the other hand, if you’re a professional, emphasize your employment history in addition to any community involvement or volunteer work you’ve done. Make sure to include titles, dates, and locations.

  2. Use data when applicable to support your academic achievements and leadership experience and successes. For example, if you oversaw a fundraising or volunteer event at your school, consider including data to show how the event improved (attendance, funds raised) over the previous year.
  3. Keep your format concise. Your resume should ideally be no more than one page, so you’ll need to be descriptive yet economical with your words. Definitely include your email and phone number, but instead of typing your full address, consider adding your LinkedIn profile.

    To keep your resume easy to follow and avoid formatting problems, utilize the most compatible fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri, and Sans Serif. Stay within 12pt and 14pt font sizes and bump your name up to 30pt so it will draw the reader’s attention.

  4. Proofread! Your resume is our first impression of you, so ensure it is error-free. Print out your resume to read it over, let someone you trust give it a second set of eyes, or take it by your school’s writing center for an objective analysis.

    Don’t fall victim to common errors like using personal pronouns or articles (“I” or “me”), abbreviating rather than writing out the full name of organizations, getting your dates wrong, or using past tense to describe your current role.

For more information on what you should include on your resume, check out our Preparation Tips and examples of effective resumes for college studentsrecent college graduatesworking professionals, and military veterans.