Top CV Tips for Teachers - Writing a Personal Statement


Whether you’re applying for a job on or creating a CV for substitute work an important element to your CV is a personal statement. A well written, self-aware and authentic personal statement (or professional summary) can be a fantastic way to sell yourself when looking for jobs or handing your CV around looking for substitute work.

Firstly, I should say that a personal statement or professional summary and I suggest that if you haven’t put thought and effort into what a potential employer would want to learn about you…. You should leave it out. Nobody wants to read something that is a copy and paste type of sales pitch. After all, a CV can be effective without it.

For my clients, however, I suggest that they include a personal statement because it can be a very short paragraph that tells them why you’re (authentically) a great match for the role that they have advertised or vacancy for a substitute teacher.

So, how do you go about it?

Writing a Personal Statement

In a personal statement, you’re telling the school why you’re suitable to work at their school in 3-5 sentences.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Look at the job descriptions and identify the qualities, skills, and experience it requires – you can use these to help you decide what to write about.

  • Tell the reader why you’re applying – include your ambitions, as well as what interests you about the school from a research-driven and authentic place.

  • Think about what makes you suitable – this could be relevant experience, skills, or achievements you’ve gained from education, work, or other activities.

  • Include any clubs or societies you belong to – sporting, creative, or musical.

  • Mention any relevant employment experience or volunteering you’ve done.

> Read ‘Top CV Tips for Teachers - Writing a Personal Statement’ here.

What do principals want?

Having done extensive research with principals throughout Ireland, they report that they want someone who is….

  • Flexible and adaptable

  • Has great classroom management skills

  • Will fit in well on staff

  • Have proven themselves

  • Are good communicators

  • Have a special skill (sport/ICT/choir/music/experience with ASD/planning etc)

  • Experienced

  • Can use their own initiative

  • Can work well in a team

  • Is willing to give new initiatives a try

  • Cheerful and positive, up for a laugh.

> Check out my free download here to learn more about what principals are looking for in candidates for jobs at their school.

Writing an authentic personal statement

Well the way to do it is… simply, begin with some self-reflection. What do you do well? What might they find interesting to learn about you? Never copy information from an online source or a friend. The best content comes from you when you are feeling confident and self-assured.

Sample personal statement

As mentioned above, personal statements can be very short but can still be very effective.

E.g. Enthusiastic, creative and adaptable Newly Qualified Teacher available to work at Scoil Mhuire, Ballyfinstown. Achieved 2 A grades in Teaching Practices with Hibernia College. Camogie fanatic with a special interest in helping your school achieve further success in the Cumann na mBunscoil competition.


  • how the personal statement is tailored to the interests of the school

  • shows impressive qualifications

  • outlines some of the teacher’s best qualities

Providing supporting evidence

*One point to note here however, is - if you make a statement e.g. about being dedicated or being interested in camogie – make sure you outline further down in your CV where you’ve been dedicated in the past or how you’ve been involved in your camogie team.

Always support statements with evidence of where and how you live that quality or skill.

If you want help creating a fantastic subbing CV or to have one in case your ideal school may request one in the Summer when recruiting new teachers email me at to book your CV Review.



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