When you apply for a teaching position, the technical and soft skills you offer are high on the list of qualifications. We'll cover technical skills in another article. But first, look at soft skills and learn why they are the backdrop against which you will be assessed both as a teacher and an individual. Your soft skills help the school determine whether you will be a good fit in the classroom and the larger school community.
The importance of soft skills
Soft skills are crucial in an interview because they are the traits that can set you apart from others with similar technical abilities. After all, you will not be the only applicant for the position you have applied for. Your soft skills can and should drive you to the top of the list. Why? Because schools want to know that a potential teacher can work well with others, communicate effectively, and adapt to new situations. Soft skills like problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership are all qualities that can make you stand out in an interview. These skills can also demonstrate your ability to handle stress, work under pressure, and think critically. In many cases, your soft skills can be just as important as your technical skills regarding hiring decisions. That's why it's always a good idea to focus on developing your soft skills alongside your technical abilities.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are those personal attributes, habits, and social behaviors that enable you to interact with others effectively. These skills are often intangible and difficult to measure; however, they are highly valued by private schools because they facilitate positive relationships, collaboration, and communication. Examples of soft skills include communication, problem-solving, teamwork, adaptability, creativity, leadership, time management, and emotional intelligence. Unlike technical skills specific to teaching, soft skills are transferable and can be applied in many different contexts. Developing and demonstrating solid and soft skills can help you succeed in your career and personal life.
This video explains soft skills.
How do your soft skills fit into your resume?
When applying for a high school teaching position, highlight your educational qualifications, subject matter expertise, and soft skills. These skills enable you to work effectively with students, colleagues, and parents, and they are often just as important as technical skills in determining your success as a teacher.
Below are the top soft skills you should include on your resume when applying for a private high school teaching position:
- Communication: As a high school teacher, you'll be communicating with students, colleagues, parents, and administrators daily. Strong communication skills are essential for conveying ideas clearly, listening actively, and building positive stakeholder relationships. Highlight your experience with public speaking, writing, or leading group discussions.
- Creativity: High school students can be a demanding audience. Keeping them engaged and interested in the material can be a challenge. The ability to bring creativity and innovation to lesson plans can make all the difference in capturing their attention and helping them to retain information. Be sure to highlight any experience you have with developing creative lesson plans, using technology in the classroom, or adapting to different learning styles.
- Leadership: As a high school teacher, you'll lead a classroom of students and work with colleagues to achieve common goals. Strong leadership skills are essential for setting expectations, motivating students, and collaborating with colleagues. Highlight your experience leading teams, managing projects, or mentoring other educators.
- Teamwork: Collaboration is key in the education field, and high school teachers must work closely with other teachers, administrators, and support staff to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education. Highlight your experience working on teams, contributing to group projects, or facilitating group discussions.
- Adaptability: High school teaching can be unpredictable, and teachers must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and handle unexpected challenges. The ability to stay calm under pressure, think on your feet, and adjust your teaching style to meet the needs of different students is essential. Remember to highlight your experience adapting to new situations, handling unexpected changes, or taking on new responsibilities.
In summary, when applying for a private school high school teaching position, be sure to highlight your soft skills in addition to your technical qualifications. Communication, creativity, leadership, teamwork, and adaptability are essential for success in this field. By emphasizing these skills on your resume, you can increase your chances of landing the job and positively impacting your students' lives.
This video explains some of the common soft skills.
Where should your soft skills be listed?
List your soft skills in the skills section of your resume, alongside your technical abilities. It's essential to provide specific examples of how you have demonstrated these skills in the workplace. By highlighting your soft skills, you can show potential employers that you are qualified for the job and possess the interpersonal qualities that make you a valuable asset to any team.
When should you talk about your soft skills in the interview?
Discuss your soft skills during the interview process. These are the personal attributes and qualities that make you a well-rounded teacher, and showcasing them alongside your technical abilities is essential. Be prepared to provide specific examples of how you have demonstrated these skills in the workplace. In addition, by highlighting your soft skills during the interview, you can show potential employers that you possess the interpersonal qualities that make you a valuable asset to any team.
This video discusses how to prepare for an interview.
Have a trusted mentor review your resume.
After updating your resume, email it to a trusted mentor or friend for review. Take advantage of this step. Your mentor will read your resume like the person at the school who decides which applicants get interviewed will read it.
Because your soft and technical skills piqued the school's interest, it wants to interview you. It doesn't matter whether the interview is in person or on Zoom; practice interviewing. Practicing interviewing is essential for increasing your chances of being one of the finalists and, hopefully, landing the job. It allows you to hone your communication skills, build confidence, and better understand what employers are looking for in a candidate. By practicing interviewing, you can also become more comfortable answering common questions and developing strategies for handling difficult or unexpected questions. Ultimately, practicing interviewing can make the difference between getting the job you want and missing out on an opportunity.
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Sources: ChatGPT & Grammarly GO
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