Do I need a resume to become a substitute teacher?

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Looking for meaningful work that fits around your busy schedule? If you become a substitute teacher, you can have the best of both worlds — a flexible position that positively impacts your community. At Kelly Education, we connect motivated candidates with substitute teacher jobs at schools across the country. 

Updating your application materials is one of the first steps in any successful job search. But what’s required for a job opportunity like substitute teaching? Specifically, do you need a resume? And if so, what should an aspiring substitute teacher’s resume include? 

Do substitute teachers need a resume?

The short answer is — not often. Substitute teaching vacancies rarely require a formal resume. At Kelly Education, we don’t require a resume when you apply to become a substitute teacher with one of our partner districts.  

But don’t close your laptop just yet. Regardless of whether the position requires a formal resume, there are benefits to crafting one — especially if it’s a long-term substitute teacher role. Creating your resume is an opportunity to reflect on your professional goals and accomplishments. The exercise validates your motivation for seeking a substitute teacher role and prepares you for questions in an interview setting. Having a resume handy is never a bad idea; at the very least, submitting a resume could help you stand apart from other applicants. 

How can a resume help in my job search?

A substitute teacher resume helps you put your best foot forward in the application process. It highlights your specific experience and professional interests, so you can share with the school district why you are qualified for the position. 

Based on your experience, you may even be a better fit for a different opportunity within the school. Finally, a resume provides the hiring team with something to keep on file should another position open later. Having a foot in the door goes a long way. 

What do I include in my substitute teacher resume?

When creating your substitute teacher resume, feature the following content: 

  • Craft a statement of intent that shows your skills as a substitute teacher. Schools typically look for these traits: dedication, adaptability, time management, follow-through, collaboration, and commitment to classroom safety. 
  • List your previous professional experience within an educational setting. Be sure to mention your ability to facilitate a lesson plan, create a positive and inclusive classroom environment, and provide individualized support to students as needed. 
  • Highlight specific results whenever you can. For example, “Initiated supportive check-ins with due date reminders for key student assignments and observed a 25% increase in timely submissions.” 
  • Include your educational credentials. Relevant coursework, educational technology competencies, academic degrees, certifications, special skills, and professional licensure. 

To get started, it can be helpful to review an example resume. 

What should I include if I don’t have previous substitute teaching experience?

Don’t worry if you don’t have experience as a substitute teacher. Some of these positions are entry-level, and many of the desired skills aren’t industry-specific, so you’ve likely gained these competencies through other experiences.  

While many states require a high school diploma at a minimum, other states and districts have higher education requirements. 

Read the job description to identify the professional skills needed and think creatively about how your prior experience relates. Read this example substitute teacher job description to understand what skills and capabilities districts are looking for. 

Do you have any previous coaching or teaching experience? Have you previously provided childcare and ensured a safe environment for others? Can you effectively handle conflict within a group setting? Were you a tutor in school? Have you ever volunteered for a Parent Teacher Association initiative? 

There is merit in your previous life experiences, regardless of whether you’ve worked professionally in a school before. Previous experience in customer service, human resources, and military veterans have transferrable skills — like working well with others, organization, managing situations —that make them excellent candidates. 

What resume best practices should I follow?

When creating a resume for a position within any industry, you should follow certain best practices: 

  • Update your contact information at the top, including your mailing address, mobile phone number, LinkedIn profile, and email address. 
  • Incorporate specific keywords throughout your resume. Scan the substitute teacher duties within the job description to help identify which keywords to use. 
  • Read through your resume to check spelling and grammar. Ask a friend or mentor to review it as well. 
  • Maintain consistent formatting and font throughout your resume. 

How can Kelly Education help?

Schools and students need motivated people like you to become substitute teachers. Are you ready to make a difference with flexible work that matters?

Wondering where are the substitute teacher jobs near me? Fill out our brief interest form and one of our recruiters will contact you to answer your questions and share more about opportunities to become a sub teacher with one of our school district partners.


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