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How do I Write a Resume for a Para-Educator Position?

by Katherine Bell

Paraeducators works under the supervision of teachers, providing instructional support and other direct services to children and youth and their families, including one-on-one tutoring, instructional assistance and support in computer labs and libraries. Sometimes they also act as translators in the classroom. Although each state has different educational and certification requirements for paraeducators, schools are typically looking for someone with an aptitude for working with children. Any experience you have in this capacity should be highlighted in your resume.

Freelist Personal Attributes

Give yourself time to brainstorm ideas for your resume.

A good resume for a paraeducator position will highlight any experience you have in the field of education or with children, as well as your organizational skills, teamwork capabilities and any bilingual aptitude. You want to paint a picture of yourself as a patient, engaging, flexible and well-rounded individual. To begin, brainstorm a list of any experience you've had that pertains to education or children. Also include all former employment, community service and educational history. Ask for help from parents, teachers, former employers or co-workers and friends. They may point out things about you that you didn't think were important or have forgotten, such as your first aid certification, your babysitting experience or your volunteer experience in the church nursery.

Personalized Sections

Your resume should be tailored to your personal achievements.

Then, subdivide the information you've brainstormed into categories, such as employment, community service, certifications, academic honors and athletic accomplishments. Your own personal life experience will dictate what categories you include. Perhaps you haven't gone to college but have spent seven years helping to run a daycare center; include every facet of that job, as well as any certifications you received. Or maybe you are retired and were the former leader of your children's schools' Parent-Teacher Organization. That is important! After you have made your list, you should be able to sort the items into three to six categories for easy viewing. If a particular section is weak, discard it or combine it with another section.

Writing Style

Write in an honest, detailed, yet brief manner. These should be bullet point statements, not sentences. Don't just list your prior jobs and experience: be as detailed as possible! Rather than "Volunteered in kindergarten classroom" write "Served as Volunteer Classroom Assistant and Parent Liaison." Under employment or community service, it is helpful to write exact job responsibilities. For example, you could write, "Duties included grading papers, organizing school communication to parents, one-on-one tutoring, behavioral management." Include dates -- usually month or season and year is sufficient -- and organize chronologically in each section.

Polished Presentation

The last step is proofreading, making corrections and polishing the final draft. Make sure your final resume is organized, cohesive and easy to read. Part of readability is the way it is visually presented, so use the same font throughout. Align all items in a section with each other and use the appropriate amount of white space -- including standard one-inch margins -- and don't overcrowd the page. At this point, ask someone to read and offer suggestions. Even if you are confident in your final product, another set of eyes always help to catch small errors!

About the Author

Katherine Bell splits her time between Western Montana and New Orleans. She is currently working on a PhD, conducting research on the endangered Blackfoot language. She has an Master of Arts in linguistic anthropology from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Florida.

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