Writing Your Résumé for Teaching in NSW

Teaching in any New South Wales public school is a rewarding job. Helping children learn is a great way to give back to your community and play a role in guiding the next generation.

The NSW Department of Education is also Australia’s largest education system, so there are always a range of positions and options available, from classroom teacher to Head Teacher to Principal.

Read on to understand how to effectively write a résumé to apply for a teaching position in a NSW school.

1. Read the job listing & research the school

Before writing your résumé, you must carefully read the job listing you will be applying for. Job listings for NSW public schools can currently be found at www.teach.nsw.edu.au

The details in the job listing and researching more about the individual school will give you important information to include within your selection criteria and your résumé. You’ll learn about that school’s specific needs, targets and programs.

2. Write your résumé for the position

A common mistake is to write a generic résumé and submit it with every application. Your résumé needs to stand out above all the rest that have been submitted for the same role!

Instead, tailor your résumé for the position. Highlight your skills and experience that will especially suit the school’s needs, targets and programs.

A good rule of thumb is to only include the necessary information including your education, job experience, training and contact information. Do not include a photo, discussion of hobbies or personal interest, church affiliation or family details on a government school application.

3. Craft your cover letter

This is a key part of your application and usually the first thing the panel will see before reading your selection criteria. Think of your cover letter and résumé as an upcoming movie preview. The most common mistake is to oversimplify the cover letter with statements like “I wish to apply for the position”. Like a movie preview, the cover letter should sell your résumé and make the panel eager to read on.

To maximise the quality of your cover letter, include the reason or statement as to why you are the right candidate for the job, as well as the name of the principal or SED.

 

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4. Focus on the selection criteria

NSW schools require six general criteria to be written, as well as certain position criteria which are included with the job listing. Your responses to the selection criteria are where you project yourself into the position and help the selection panel see your full potential.

Make sure you respond to every criteria separately and completely.

Present your responses to the position criteria first, and in this section be sure to include a paragraph (the Potential or Projecting Statement) at the end of each criterion which talks about your future role. This is where you show the panel what you can do for their school!  

Place the generic (General) criteria last. These do not need to be tailored to the individual school.

When writing to criteria, many applicants fail to include specific information as to what they may like to initiate or become involved in, once in the new school. Instead, this is your opportunity to show the selection panel what it would be like to have you in that role and what they’ll miss out on if they don’t choose to interview you. 


Writing a NSW DE résumé is a very rewarding career investment. If you need help, Teachers’ Professional Résumés can work with you to obtain your next dream teaching position or promotion.

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Richard Bowman