Professional Practice

5 Resume Building Activities to Engage in NOW

As the Education Director for AOE, I have had the pleasure of reviewing many resumes that come across my desk. I can honestly say resumes have evolved in the last few years. Some are amazingly visual with graphics, headshots, and even a splash of color! While classic designs are still king in my book, it’s clear that a well-crafted, thoughtful resume is as important as ever.



The unique thing about a resume is its ability to encapsulate your entire professional career in one or two sheets of paper, while at the same time highlighting your unique passions and talents. A great resume cannot be thrown together the night before a big interview. It needs to grow and develop along with your professional endeavors. Think of your resume as a blank canvas with the amazing potential to display the “art” of your professional career!

If you are considering a job change, or even if you are unsure where the next chapter of life may lead, there is no time like the present to push up your sleeves and tackle projects that will ultimately make your resume stand apart from the rest. I’ve put together a list of five resume building activities to engage in now to help curate an amazing show piece. These tips will make sure your resume is primed and ready when opportunity knocks.

  1. Attend Conferences – Conference attendance is one way to demonstrate life-long learning. If you missed the fall conference season or couldn’t afford to travel this year, fear not! Many conferences, like AOE’s Art Ed Now, are online and can be attended from the comfort of your own home (in your PJs if you choose!) And it doesn’t have to be an Art Ed conference to count. If you are interested in a particular topic, like Makerspaces or STEAM, look around and see what is available. Any conference or webinar you attend is a great addition to your resume.
  2. Create – Dust off your art supplies and give yourself the time you need to explore creative endeavors. Administrators LOVE to see practicing artist-teachers. It means that you practice what you preach and that your passion for art education is deeply-seated. If you need to jumpstart your creative juices, consider enrolling in a studio class or treat yourself to a new sketchbook. And make sure to showcase your work in a way that is easy to share, such as a direct link to a professional portfolio or website.
  3. Develop Your Passion – A resume is a perfect place to highlight all the work you have done in a particular area. I am talking about work you do that is above and beyond expectations including books you have read, networking you have pursued, classrooms you have observed all because you were driven to learn more about a topic. If you spent the last two years fine-tuning video and editing skills and are now a master of flipped instruction, for example, this should be highlighted on your resume. Taking the initiative to develop a passion demonstrates ingenuity, drive, and perseverance. Passion is one of my favorite things to look for on a resume.
  4. Connect with the Community – Community involvement takes many forms. This would include actively communicating with parents through technology, like a classroom Instagram account or website. It could also include community art shows and displays with business partners, and collaborative efforts with staff outside of the art room. Taking the time to connect with those outside of your classroom demonstrates excellent communication and advocacy skills. It tells administrators you are a respected teacher and your program is worth sharing.
  5. Be a Leader – It’s no secret Art Education needs advocates, so take a look around and see what you can do to be a leader in the field. You could put together a PD presentation for a staff meeting, join the Leadership Team in your building, help run state conferences, lead an after school art club, etc. There are lots of ways to tick this box, so find an opportunity that fits with your personality. Taking the initiative to go the extra mile denotes confidence and the ability to cooperate for the greater good.

In addition to working on the items listed above, you will also want to keep a list that includes all the amazing things you do. A Google Doc works well, or try out this handy download to keep your resume current.

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I hope my suggestions will encourage you to continue to grow a resume that truly highlights all your amazing skills and work.

What does your resume look like?

What other items would you add to this list?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Heather Crockett

Heather Crockett is AOEU’s Chief Academic Officer and a former AOEU Writer and art educator. She is an expert in differentiation, curriculum development, and assessment.

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