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Does anyone have any advice for how to describe teaching experience on an industry resume? Based on this question we all think it is valuable, but how would you frame it if you were applying to a job with a consulting firm, or as a writer/editor for a think tank? (Or anything else)

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Academics do a poor job of appropriately accounting for their time as teachers in a way that industry will understand. The point of industry resumes is to emphasize what you've done meaning the skills you bring to the table. CVs do not have the same intent, serving more like a 'Table of Contents' for your career. The assumption with a CV is that people will then go to your scholarly writings and read them, but you need to present as much as possible in that 1-2 pages of a resume, and know that they are not going to read more than that.

You want to:

  • play up numbers or other quantifiable achievements as much as possible. The more concrete the better.
  • explain how what you have done has created outcomes.
  • use terms that are accessible to an audience that may not be familiar with your field.
  • bridge any gaps between the way that things are done as an academic with how they are done in industry.
  • give context to the environment you were working in (i.e. Harvard is qualitatively different than working at a national lab. One is not necessarily better than the other, but identify where you were working right up front.)

Avoid:

  • jargon, either from industry or academia, especially if you are unsure of its use.
  • list of accomplishments.
  • assumptions about how much the audience will know about the things you are talking about.
  • lies.

Things that teaching demonstrates, which are highly valued, include but are not limited to:

  • presentation skills
  • organization and planning
  • leadership
  • ability to train others
  • knowledge of the subject matter
  • management of budget (sometimes)
  • cross cultural awareness

Try to include examples of all of these things in your resume.

In general, the standard seems to be as follows


Organization (flush left) Position (center, or to the right of Organization) Date(s) (flush right)

  • verb number in order to create outcome
  • verb number in order to create outcome
  • verb number in order to create outcome

So it would look like this:


University of Fredonia, Instructor, 2010-2012

  • Developed 5+ curricula including 40 biweekly helping others to master underwater basketry
  • Counseled 100+ students on composition, research, career and professional development
  • Integrated Blackboard, git and multimedia allowing students with different learning style maximum opportunities
  • Taught underwater basketry, Pig Latin textual analysis and yarn theory

Finally:

  • try to fill the line (I find LaTeX is helpful for that) and don't go over one line per point if possible
  • no periods at the end of the lines
  • don't repeat verbs or outcomes if you can at all avoid it
  • If you taught multiple topics, and instruction makes up the majority of your resume have different entries for each topic so that the first line would read "University ..., Subject Instructor, etc."
  • Unless the subjects you taught are directly related to the job you are applying for, and if you need to make space, there is no need to list the topics you taught, in other words you could drop the last bullet point in the example above. (e.g. it might be worth knowing that you taught accounting if you are applying for a position that involves accounting, but the odds of any position involving "Medieval German Literature" are very low, so you can leave it out.) What you demonstrate as a teacher usually matters to businesses much more than the topic you taught.

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